As Fendi presents its Forever Fendi timepiece – a creation that brings together the past, present and future of the house – we discover what this latest launch means for the future of the watches division and the house as a whole with the Maison’s CEO and Chairman Serge Brunschwig.
Fendi CEO and Chairman Serge Brunschwig chats to A&E about the past, present and future of watchmaking within the brand
Fendi Watches presented its latest launch the Forever Fendi watch in Rome earlier this year. This contemporary yet sophisticated timepiece perfectly represents the brand with the instantly recognisable FF logo, created from links on the strap and is elegantly finished with diamond and mother-of-pearl.
Forever Fendi is a tribute to the brand’s heritage and sits perfectly with the image of the house overall. While the watch is a statement-maker it has a soft and feminine side thanks to the polished lacquer and round curves that perfectly catch the light.
The watch was presented in Fendi’s home city of Rome earlier this year and was accompanied by a unique exhibition. The Shape of Water installation saw bespoke fountains created by designer Sabine Marcelis.
Taking inspiration from, and pursuing the Design Miami project, the fountains and images showcased with a modern and fresh take, the relationship between Fendi and Rome, as well as two of the most iconic symbols of the Maison – the FF logo and Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana. – using water, an element that Fendi cherishes the most, as a design tool. Representing the fusion between the historical, creative and aesthetic legacy of Fendi, these special installations became the perfect frame to unveil the new Forever Fendi Collection.
Presenting the Forever Fendi collection at the event was Fendi CEO and Chairman Serge Brunschwig. Brunschwig joined Fendi just over a year ago and was tasked with finding a way to bring the brand into the future whilst still retaining its legacy and heritage. Here we discuss the challenges he faces with Fendi Watches and the outlook for the future of the brand as a whole.
What’s the message that Fendi is giving with Forever Fendi?
I think it’s super important to reaffirm that this watch is a real watch and that it is really part of Fendi. There is an emphasis on the word ‘real’ and we are mixing all the elements together. It’s our first time to do a presentation like this, and to me, it made no sense to do anything else. We saw the birth of the product and clearly, it looked simple but refined and really expressed the message of the brand.
What do you think is a challenge you face with Fendi Watches?
I think the challenge is to try to connect and produce something that’s much closer to our heart and I think this watch will produce fantastic results. Fendi Watches will have all the authenticity of a Fendi product. The universe of Fendi is proud and we must be sure to communicate this.
The Fendi Policromia watch’s success is thanks to the bespoke option – to what extent do you think bespoke is relevant in the industry?
I think it’s super relevant and I think we are really the leaders in it – we do it for bags, furs and watches. I think it’s great to also have this expertise in watches. Policromia is Fendi’s baby and we are super happy that it’s now a member of the family, and yes, it’s definitely something that we want to push.
If you were to create your own Policromia watch, how would it look?
If I had to design my own watch, my favourite colour would be red which is very inspiring for me. I think I would marry it with Fendi colours, maybe earthy colours, that would be quite beautiful. I would play with brown and all those earthy tones.
Fendi is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Baguette this year – What else is coming up for the house during the rest of this year?
2019 started with the emphasis on the Baguette. We had a lot of campaigns and films that will continue with surprises. The Baguette is incredible and the response to what we have done this year has been great so far. We are in a stock shortage already in some of the designs! The Peekaboo will also continue its success and will remain a priority for us. We are one of the few houses to have two iconic bags which is a dream come true.
What is there you still want to achieve at Fendi that you haven’t done yet?
I think we have built a lot of foundations in the past year including the revival of the organisation. There is a lot of new blood circulating within the company which is superb. I think I’m still a bit impatient to see our global performance. Then, of course, we have the new projects which will be the opening of extraordinary flagship stores and fantastic website – all of these are things that are going to make statements in the future.
What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?
To believe in yourself even more. At some point, you discover your strengths and it would have been great to discover them a bit earlier!
What do you say ‘no’ to?
To dishonesty and conflicts.
How would you describe Fendi in one word?
Are you reading a book at the moment?
Yes I am. It’s the story of a French journalist who escaped alive and wounded from the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack in Paris – it’s an incredible story. The way he recovered and found life again – it’s stunning. It’s called Le Lambeau by Philippe Lançon.
What is your personal motto?
How would you like the world to remember you?
As a giving person.
Interviewed by Lara Mansour Sawaya.