A History of Fendi

(first posted Feb 2021)

The Early Years

Fendi is a 20th century world-famous luxury brand, renowned for it's luxury handbags , clothing and accessories.

Today, it is still partially owned by the Fendi family. It's founder, Italian-born Adele Casagrande started designing clothes and leather goods during her teens. In 1918 at the tender age of 21, she opened a leather and fur workshop in Rome on the Via del Plebiscito. Her fur designs were kept a secret as fur was also discouraged at the time. In 1925, Adele married Edoardo Fendi and took on her new surname as the branding for her iconic fashion house.


Adele and Edoardo Fendi


Growing the Fendi Brand


Together, the Fendis sold small and medium sized leather goods, as well as selling furs which became more fashionable during the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  Fendi began to establish itself as a luxury handbag brand becoming popular with the upper class and wealthy patrons. Within ten years, there were quite a few Fendi shops gracing the streets of Italy’s big cities.

The couple had five daughters who all worked in the family business, helping it to grow bigger.  Edoardo died in 1954 and his five daughters then took over and worked together to expand the brand. They concentrated on bringing out more fur coats that were by then, highly sought after.


Karl Lagerfeld

A few years later, in 1965, Karl Lagerfeld joined the team and further modernised fur so it became a fashion statement.  He included bold colours, dramatic patterns, different finishes and more.  With Karl Lagerfeld’s help, Fendi hit the international market as a sought after brand for the rich and famous.

Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi

Karl Lagerfeld @ Fendi


Expanding into Other Fashion Areas

In the 1980’s, Fendi further expanded into other fashion items including jeans, suits, knitwear, fragrance and accessories.  Silvia Venturini led the third generation of Fendis, and in 1994 became a designer at her family’s fashion house. Today, Silvia remains in-situ as the brand’s creative director.

LVMH and Prada


The 1990’s also brought change to Fendi, when the family sold some shares of their company to LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) and Prada.  LVMH eventually became a major shareholder and the business became a multinational name.  Silvia Venturini Fendi is still part of Fendi so the family tradition continues.  Karl Lagerfeld stayed with the brand until his death (while also working with other luxury brands including Chanel).

Luxe Bags

The Fendi brand is famous for its iconic luxury handbags. The first ever IT bag was the baguette in 1997 and it remains popular today with over 1000 versions to choose from!  Other bags include the Roll bag (1999), the Ostrich bag (2002) and the Biga bag (2003).

Fendi is also renowned for its stunning luggage, such as the Black and Gold Mania Weekend Holdall,   and its feminine Bucket Bags with a stylish twist such as The Mini Mon Tresor Bucket Bag boasting a studded logo, ideal for rock chick style!


Fendi Holdall

Fendi Black And Gold Mania Weekend Holdall


Fendi Tresor Bucket Bag

Fendi Mini Mon Tresor Bucket Bag

Why not peruse the Papillonkia Fendi collection HERE and own your very own piece from the iconic Italian fashion house.

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