Italian luxury fashion house Fendi is asserting its creative credentials with the opening of a new flagship on London’s prestigious New Bond Street, in which art and design take centre stage.
The store was designed by Tokyo-based architect Gwenaël Nicolas, whose other recent retail design projects include the Louis Vuitton Townhouse at Selfridges and Moynat, just streets away from the flagship in Mayfair.
The 6,800 sq ft space spans three floors of a 19th-century brick and terracotta building. The interiors allude to the brand’s Roman roots, thanks to extensive use of travertine – a form of limestone deposited by hot springs that’s normally associated with classical Italian sculpture. However, the biggest wow factor is its specially commissioned art and design pieces.
These include the kinetic installation A Million Times 72 by Stockholm-based design studio Humans Since 1982 – a wall of constantly-in-motion digital clocks, designed to look as though the analogue-style hands are rotating; furniture by Brazilian designers Campana brothers; and a 32ft-high, 5,600-piece chandelier of Italian Murano glass, designed by the Fendi studio.
To celebrate the launch, Fendi turned its attention to social activism, hosting an online charity auction to benefit UK charity Kids Company. Dubbed ‘The Peekaboo Project’, the campaign unites 10 influential British women including artist Tracey Emin and architect Zaha Hadid. Their personalised Fendi ‘Peekaboo’ handbags appear both on the brand’s e-commerce site and in “luxury vending machines” in the store’s windows.
For more on luxury flagships, see Luxury Brand Temples and our Future of the Store Industry Trend. For more on brands embracing charitable causes and ethical initiatives, see Retail Activism: Kenzo’s Pop Up, Project Ocean, Selfridges and Eco-Ethical-Sustainable.