Unlike Balenciaga x Gucci, that other major collaboration that surprised the world of high fashion this year, “Fendace” was a different kind of partnership. Instead of designing together, the creative directors of both Italian luxury brands swapped roles: Donatella Versace brought her extravagant flair to Fendi, while Silvia Venturini Fendi and Kim Jones reinterpreted Versace’s vision with their expertise for tailoring and evening wear.
It was, as Donatella called it, “history in the making.” The two brands do not belong to the same luxury group — Fendi is a part of LVMH while Versace is owned by Michael Kors — and neither Silvia nor Donatella have ever designed for another brand before. And yet their histories are very much tied together: longtime Chanel and Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld, as well as Fendi founder Anna Fendi, were both extremely close with Gianni Versace.
The partnership, then, was only natural. The two brands looked to each other’s archives to inspire their creations. For the “Fendi by Versace” collection, Donatella added a dose of sexiness, introducing miniskirts, cut-out bodysuits and metallic, form-fitting gowns, one of which was modelled by Naomi Campbell. The Fendi “FF” monogram collided with Gianni’s signature baroque prints across looks for men and women.
The iconic monogram, created by Lagerfeld, also made an appearance in the gold chokers, gowns and minidresses — including one seen on Kate Moss — in the “Versace by Fendi” collection. The men’s offerings also had a streetwear vibe to them, including oversized shirts, shorts and bucket hats labelled “Fendace”.
“We’ve just done it as friends, and out of respect for each other,” said Jones, who helms Dior Men, and who joined Fendi last year to design the womenswear and haute couture collections, succeeding Lagerfeld. “We wanted to do something that was optimistic and fun as we return to live shows. And we wanted to do it because we love each other.”
The sentiment was echoed by Donatella, who stated, “Fendace is about the need for sincerity in fashion today rather than strategy.” Jones affirmed: “It’s never been planned as a commercial thing.”
And yet we’re sure to see their Fendace collections flying off the shelves when it launches next May. Among the many people you can expect to see wearing it? Versace ambassador Dua Lipa, who attended the secret show, as well as Gigi Hadid, who modelled. Most importantly, Kim Kardashian, who tipped us off to the partnership months ago.
Below, take a look at some of our favourite looks from the collections.
Versace by Fendi
Images: Courtesy Gorunway.com. Header photo: Courtesy Pier Nicola Bruno