There's a reason why the Fendi spring/summer 2024 menswear collection was shown out of its usual Milan Fashion Week Men's schedule. Close to Florence in Capannuccia (part of the Tuscany countryside), Fendi recently opened Fendi Factory, a new site housing production, laboratories, offices, and services of the house. And in honour of the milestone, artistic director Silvia Venturini Fendi presented the collection within the confines of the expansive production site where the artisans could visibly be seen working at the same time.
The message was clear: craft is inherent in Fendi's oeuvre. It wasn't only in the thematic narrative of the spring/summer 2024 menswear collection; Silvia also walked down the runway during the finale, accompanied by a parade of Fendi artisans.
The fit: Fendi refers to the collection as 'corporate artisan'. Essentially, the entire collection was a hyper fictional representation of a Fendi artisan—fashion-forward flourishes of artisan-inspired tools and workwear done in luxurious materials and cuts. A bulk of the ready-to-wear looks were based around tailored workwear with an unrestrictive sense of ease and fluidity.
The artisan's apron was core to the collection and was rendered in varying permutations. In its purest, it's reimagined in leather, while other looks saw the apron broken into parts and incorporated as part of the garments themselves. The apron also became the basis for a slew of halter-neck shirting that's reminiscent of Silvia's severe cropped tops for spring/summer 2022's menswear collection—another example of Silvia pushing the boundaries of menswear within the Fendi universe.
Perhaps the most outré garment from the collection would be the ribbed bodysuits that offer a sliver of the hip to be seen, while still retaining a classic polo or tank silhouette at the top.
The details: In an extension of the art of craftsmanship within the collection, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma was tasked with interpreting the Fendi Peekaboo bag, the Baguette Soft Trunk and the Fendi Flow sneakers. Kuma utilised waranshi and yatara ami-weaving techniques to construct and differentiate his interpretations from the rest of the accessories. The former consists of washi paper made from cotton and tree bark fibres that resulted in a textural, mottled façade to each piece; while the later is used as structural foundations to the Peekaboo bags and Fendi Flow sneakers.
Three exceptional looks: Look 6's all-cream look fully embodied the workwear inspiration with precise topstitching that grounded the entire look (and peep the super decadent coffee cup holder as well as that measuring tape detail); look 34's polo bodysuit look is how corporate sexy should be like; and look 38 in its full teal moment with deconstructed sleeves.
The takeaway: If there's to be a blueprint for future workwear-inspired collections—one that doesn't take itself too seriously—this would be it.
View the full Fendi spring/summer 2024 menswear collection in the gallery below.