along with her sisters Alda, Carla, Franca and Paola
she has made the FENDI brand famous across the globe.
Born second of the five most famous sisters in the world, Anna has always chosen to play the role that best suits her: The Creative.
Hardworking and determined, with a scrupulous attention to the aesthetic detail, she has dedicated her professional and her private life to creativity.
As historical collaborator of Karl Lagerfeld, for the past 30 years she has been in charge as Head of Development of all FENDI collections and of the multiple licenses connected to the brand.
She had been worked as accessories designer and as creator of FENDI Casa project.
Born in Rome to Edoardo and Adele, she became passionate about fashion whilst spending time in the family boutique, specialising in leather and fur accessories, that opened in 1925 in via del Plebiscito – four other boutiques will open later in the 50’s in Rome. After her father’s early death, she completed her studies and started working with her mother and sisters in the boutique immediately afterwards. Each sister will soon take on a specific role: Paola as the expert in fur, manufacturing, dying and tanning; Franca as Head Buyer and Store Manager at the store in Via Borgognona; Carla as Accounts Director and Press Office; Alda as Director of the furs atelier and workshop; Anna, as Head of Development and Licensing.
Anna revolutionised the leather and accessories sector, by brainstorming both new materials and manufacturing concepts for the new lines. She in particular re-thinks handbags, by destructuring them and adding an innovative softeness.
“Initially, each of us used to make herself useful wherever she was needed, but afterwards each of us started to take over different tasks as a result of following our own personal inclinations. Since my first work experience, my vocation has been that of the creative person within the company. But when it came to the actual collections, we were all united, like the five fingers of a hand: each of us was different, but each of us complemented the others.”
Anna is responsible for the decision to concentrate the atelier, the showroom, the internal workshops and the selling area all in one place. All under the roof of a former theatre in Via Borgognona. This will become the historical FENDI Headquarters.
Count Savorelli di Lauriano puts her in contact with an emerging talent who has just arrived in Rome from Paris; that’s how the prolific and untarnished partnership with Karl Lagerfeld starts.
FENDI Collection is presented for the first time at Pitti in Florence, then in Milan; it has huge success and creates massive interest in both the American and the Japanese markets, leading to the opening of a Fendi boutique within Bergdorf & Goodman Department Store in 1975. Since then, FENDI has increased its’ success across the world through international distribution and thanks to the opening of boutiques and franchising points. The fashion world comes to know the “double FF” logo, which becomes the symbol of fabulous furs, impeccably crafted handbags and unmistakable accessories.
Under her creative supervision, new lines are born: the casual line “Ready to wear”, the menswear collection, several accessories lines and the homeware collection. At the same time she personally looks after all licenses for Italy and for abroad: from fragrances to eyewear, from jewellery to denim, from bed linen to school accessories. As Head of Production and Style Departments, she leads the constant research on materials and manufacturing and works on the constant anticipation of lines and designs; that has lead FENDI to operate a true revolution in fabrics, colours, patterns, furs, outerwear, handbags and accessories through the introduction of unprecedented techniques.
Along with her sisters, she organizes an exhibition about FENDI and the partnership with Karl Lagerfeld at the Gallery of Modern Art in Rome; the show receives the praise of the most prestigious critics, such as Achille Bonito Oliva, Vittorio Sgarbi as well the appreciation from the young audience, who will ask the exhibition to run longer.
Her daughter Maria Silvia, creator of the famous ‘Baguette’ handbag, joins her mother. This is an important collaboration that seals the introduction of the third generation into the family business.
She promotes the purchase of the prestigious Fendi Palace in Largo Goldoni, with its strategic location in Rome, which today has become the true temple of fashion.
Fendi completes the fusion with LVMH, which gives the brand a further push, by announcing the opening of over 250 stores around the world. Afterwards, Anna Fendi leaves the direction of the creative department to her daughter Maria Silvia Venturini Fendi, who will continue the partnership with Karl Lagerfeld in Fendi as Head of Accessories, Menswear and Childrenswear.
From that moment on, Anna starts a new entrepreneurial journey by supervising the refurbishment of Villa Laetitia: historical residence along the river Tevere which will soon become a new concept in hotellerie. In 2013 Villa Laetitia is nominated by Forbes Magazine as one of the three most romantic residences in Rome, also thanks to ‘Enoteca La Torre’, renowned Michelin-starred restaurant.
Anna is the first Italian woman to receive the prestigious IWF Hall Of Fame Award in Washington, for her constant work in promoting “made in Italy” beauty.
Anna launches, with Giuseppe Tedesco, a selection of wines AFV – Selected by Anna Fendi. After years of research, in 2013 comes the design collection “AFV – The art of tableware”; she designs pieces of astounding elegance, which are a homage to Italian creativity, history and craftsmanship. In 2015 she launches an international format that embraces all her creations under the name AFV – Winebar.
Rome, Roots, Roles, Research – these are the words that indentify the fundamental values upon which a family and its’ success are based.
Rome, with its unparalleled beauty, is the place of the soul for FENDI style: from the small cozy boutique in Via Plebiscito to the subsequent store in Via Borgognona and then to the neoclassic XIX palace in Largo Goldoni, opened by FENDI in 2005 after a grand refurbishment by Peter Marino.
It’s in the Roots of a family heritage that Fendi has always received strength and progression from.
It’s in the scrupulous assignment of Roles according to each individual’s inclinations, that FENDI has created the guidelines to reach its impetuous success across the world.
Finally, it’s in Research as a brave experimentation of materials, manufacturing, lines and designs, that Fendi has always found its’ strong engine: that “FENDI revolution” that subverted the old rules in the sectors of furs, outerwear and accessories, has taken the brand beyond the comfort zone, creating true pieces of art.
On the principles passed on by Anna’s mother’s generation to the latest generations of Anna’s children and grandchildren, Anna finds a new expression of her temperament as a passionate creative entrepeneur.
1998 Knight of the Big Cross
2005 Career Award in Campidoglio
2008 Ettore Petrolini Award
2011 IWF Hall of Fame – First Italian woman to receive this
2013 Fuoriclasse Castagner Award
Fur costumes and accessories for cinema
“It is a privilege to live in Rome. A huge privilege.”
“How can you think of something new in a city that IS everything already!”
“Beauty is timeless and weightless. Beauty cannot generate but beauty.”
“We were a small ideas workshop that has reached out to the world.”
“Fashion is not frivolous. Only a fool can think that.”
“There are several kinds of luxury, for instance the luxury of space, of welcomeness, of kindness. There is the luxury of humility, which is a very aristocratic feeling. There is the luxury of being able to search work life, private life, entertainment and friendship for that richness that only a tolerant and kind soul can feel.”