Fendi is giving consumers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into its operations, allowing the public to access its salons and footwear and accessories factories over the next three days.
Beginning Friday, the Italian fashion house will participate in Les Journées Particulières, a no-cost, 52-brand event hosted by parent company LVMH. The label will allow visitors to explore its newest operations—a leather goods factory in Capannuccia, near Florence, and a shoe manufacturing facility in the coastal town of Fermo, Marche. The Palazzo Fendi flagship boutique in Rome, which houses its in-store fur atelier and Privé private apartment, is also open to the public.
According to Fendi, these locations showcase its ethos and heritage. It hopes to galvanize interest in the craftsmanship that has come to define the label, as well as what it’s doing to promote corporate social responsibility. Both factories were designed for minimal ecological impact, using daylight production and solar panels to conserve energy.
The 30,000-square-foot Capannuccia factory occupying 20 acres is working toward LEED Platinum certification. The space will feature a permanent photo exhibition documenting the factory’s history and a special installation showcasing regionally produced baguette bags. The grassroots project, dubbed “Hand in Hand,” will illuminate the skills of craftspeople in Italy.
The factory will also dedicate space to showing the work of the DIS-CYCLING project, a collaboration between Fendi, Istituto Marangoni Firenze, and New York-based artist Sarah Coleman, who mentors students from the Florentine school. Participating students repurpose materials used in Fendi’s window installations into new creations.
The Rome flagship store will exhibit bespoke fur pieces made by fur artisans, as well as ready-to-wear and archive styles. Fendi, LVMH, Imperial College London and Central Saint Martins University Arts London are working on a two-year research collaboration to develop new bio-textiles to replace animal-derived fur.
Visitors to the event can watch leather goods craftspeople work live from the boutique to create Fendi bags. A special setup will house Hand in Hand baguette bags from the Basilicata and Marche regions. The 75,000-square-foot footwear factory will display a special archive shoe selection.
Calling its fashion houses “powerful levers for creating value in their local economies,” LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault noted that each brand’s operations “involve countless specialist ecosystems of suppliers, contractors and partners.”
“They hire and nurture new talents. They foster innovation in the service of excellence. And they also have a key role to play as committed pioneers of ecological transition,” he said.
Les Journées Particulières gives the public a peek behind the curtain and a new way to appreciate “this wealth of human skills and creativity.” The event is now a fixture of the company’s yearly calendar, with Dior, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Kenzo hosting their own exhibitions and activations that allow “the public to discover every facet of a savoir-faire that straddles art and technical prowess, culture and the economy, the past and the future,” Arnault said. Dior, for example, offers tours of its renovated 30 Avenue Montaigne atelier and exhibition space in Paris, presenting never-before-seen pieces and design sketches.
Last year, more than 180,000 people participated in guided tours and demonstrations, workshops, tastings, exhibitions, concerts, conferences, and masterclasses, LVMH said.