Kim Jones Takes A Nostalgic Look At 1980s Subculture For FENDI FW24

Emma Hodgson   |   22-02-2024

Artistic Director Kim Jones presented a collection which celebrated a marriage of opposites at FENDI’s Milan Fashion Week show.

For F2W24 pieces were both utilitarian and extravagant, simple and yet theatrical and took influence from both the town and country life. 

Jones also looked to the house’s 1980s archives and the designs from that era in the context of British subculture trends which were garnering international interest at the time. 

He explains: “The [1984 FENDI] sketches reminded me of London during that period: the Blitz Kids, the New Romantics, the adoption of workwear, aristocratic style, Japanese style…It was a point when British subcultures and styles became global and absorbed global influences. Yet still with a British elegance in ease and not [caring] what anybody else thinks, something that chimes with Roman style.”

The designer continued: “FENDI has a background in utility. And the way the Fendi family dresses, it’s really with an eye on that. I remember when I first met Silvia Venturini Fendi, she was wearing a very chic utilitarian suit – almost a Safari suit. That fundamentally shaped my view of what FENDI is: it is how a woman dresses who has something substantial to do. And she can have fun while doing it.”

In the latest collection, Jones explores an ease of dressing where London nonchalance meets Roman freedom, and utility becomes a statement of intent. 

For FW24, luxury is found in the sumptuous comfort and strident confidence the clothing and accessories give the wearer to express themselves. Simultaneously practical and playful, a sense of duality – a very FENDI quality – infuses the collection.

Throughout the collection, FENDI’s past is made present in recurring codes and motifs that stretch back to the beginnings of the house. 

The house’s 2025 centenary also plays on the horizon with a linking thread of the Selleria tying the present to the past, as a motif in garments and leather goods.

 From its initial inspiration and creation by Roman master saddlers, the Selleria finds form this season perhaps most startlingly in the leather riding boots that dominate the collection, the Chupa Chups lollipop holder – Salvador Dalí drew the logo after all which is now united with FF wrapping – and in the designs by Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Artistic Director of Jewellery. Here, metal thread hardware is stitched through statement leather bangles, while its meaning is echoed again in giant leather and metal chains.

In the bags by Silvia Venturini Fendi, Artistic Director of Accessories and Menswear, past styles are deconstructed and revivified, constructions softened and reconfigured. Eschewing embellishment and embracing tactility and utility, sumptuous leathers in rich, natural colours dominate new versions of Peekaboo, Baguette and By The Way bags. 

New for season is the Simply FENDI, a soft satchel that is accompanied by the Roll bag, a new rounded shopper. Worn in multiples and grasped in a multiplicity of ways, there is a reiteration in this gesture that there is not just one FENDI woman, but many FENDI women with an encouragement for them to find themselves in what they choose and what they wear.