Fendi lights up Times Square in New York

Fendi lights up the night sky in Times Square, New York City. Article by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE.

Fendi’s iconic Roman yellow, inspired by Roman sunset, blanketed over 45 digital screens to light up the 3 nights in New York City.

What is the meaning behind this fabulous illumination, symbolizing grace and power of Fendi? Was it a statement? Silvia Venturini Fendi, Donatella Versace and Kim Jones (designer of Fendi), the Fendace team came to New York.

Fendace is Fendi x Versace collaboration, a collection produced by Donatella Versace and Kim Jones and shown during Milan Fashion Week in September 2021. Fendace is very creative way to oppose the counterfeit pandemic.

Read more about Fendace concept HERE

Sylvia Venturini Fendi, Donatella Versace, Kim Jones - Fendace team in New York city
Sylvia Venturini Fendi, Donatella Versace, Kim Jones – Fendace team in New York city

House of Fendi is the one, who’s sufferings from counterfeit probably the most than other luxury houses. Silvia Venturini Fendi said in her interview to Le Monde, in March 31, 2016 “There is one thing that I think is really lacking: tougher anti-counterfeiting laws. As the collections are immediately on the Internet, people copy them the next day. This makes me very angry, because we invest a lot of time and resources in creativity and production.”

Story of Fendi facing counterfeit for the last 40 years is very rich. Fendi sued Burlington in 1986 for selling counterfeit handbags, and filed a new lawsuit in 2006 after concluding the company was violating the injunction. In 2010, Fendi reached a $2.5 million settlement with the former partner company of Filene’s Basement to resolve counterfeiting claims.

But there was another story of counterfeit goods produced by Dapper Dan, a Harlem tailor for gangsters which was revoked in 2017 by Gucci luxury brand (parent Kering luxury group).

Fendi lights up the night sky in Times Square, New York City November 2021 by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Fendi lights up the night sky in Times Square, New York City November 2021 by RUNWAY MAGAZINE

Let’s draw a Gameplay and the players of luxury market

Fendi is an Italian luxury fashion house known for its finest leather goods and fur. Founded in Rome in 1925 this house was a family-owned enterprise. Karl Lagerfeld joined Fendi in 1962 and became the creative director of the luxury fashion label’s fur and women’s ready-to-wear collection. Karl Lagerfeld immediately created the inverted FF logo that joined the growing list of international status symbols, and then set about, aided and abetted by the sisters. Fendi was a family-controlled company until 1999, when Prada and LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury goods group, joined forces to buy 51 percent of Fendi; competitor Gucci lost out in the bidding process. Under the deal, Prada and LVMH were obligated to acquire any of the 49 percent of Fendi that the sisters should decide to sell. In 2002, Prada agreed to sell its 25.5 percent stake to LVMH, French luxury group. In 2002, LVMH acquired an additional 15.9 percent.

Gucci is an Italian luxury fashion house based in Florence, Italy. Founded in 1921 in Florence by Guccio Gucci is famous for it’s leather goods, specifically bags and ready-to-wear. Following family feuds during the 1980s, the Gucci family was entirely ousted from the capital of the company by 1993. In 1999 Gucci was acquired by the French luxury group Kering.

Fendi lights up the night sky in Times Square, New York City November 2021 by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Sylvia Venturini Fendi and designer Kim Jones . Fendi lights up the night sky in Times Square, New York City November 2021 by RUNWAY MAGAZINE

So in 1999 we have the disposition Fendi, parent company LVMH, and Gucci, parent company Kering. It is very old and long war happens between luxury groups LVMH and Kering, both French.

Now with the players set let’s see the game. If you think that this game doesn’t really concern you, you are mistaken, as this gameplay touches your pockets, as all of us buying luxury goods. And when we buy we are influenced by “public” opinion, or better yet what is “trending”. Trend related to the events and how these events were presented to the public.

Known problem from 1990s until today is counterfeit. Counterfeit definition: made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud.

In 2017 François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, parent company for Gucci, decided to promote counterfeit and use it in the gameplay. In 2017 Gucci invested and reopened atelier in Harlem of known counterfeit goods tailor Dapper Dan. He was known in 1990s for massive production of counterfeit goods with the logos of Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Fendi. fashion brands filed massive lawsuit against him, he was chased by FBI, and finally they were able to close his atelier in Harlem, and strip him from all money he earned by production of illegal goods. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, and specifically Fendi put the end to this illegal production.  Read story about who is Dapper Dan HERE.

François-Henri Pinault from 2018 involved Vogue and MSNBC  – 2 different media outlets and change public opinion about Dapper Dan and legitimize counterfeit. CFDA (The Council of Fashion Designers of America) has a foundation together with Vogue, different scholarship programs and annual award ceremony in New York.

In 2021 CFDA made Dapper Dan sponsor of New York Fashion Week, and gave him lifetime achievement award.

So when in January 2021 CFDA together with Vogue decided to made Dapper Dan sponsor and give him an award, luxury houses who were fighting counterfeit for the last 40 years like Fendi, Versace, or Louis Vuitton expressed their disagreement by creating collaboration projects. Fendace is this project. Read more about it HERE.

Read more about CFDA celebrating Counterfeit HERE.

Fendi lights up the night sky in Times Square, New York City November 2021 by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Fendi lights up the night sky in Times Square, New York City November 2021 by RUNWAY MAGAZINE

So what exactly happened in November 2021?

November 10th, 2021 CFDA made massive publicity and gave award to counterfeit goods designer Dapper Dan.

November 16th, 2021 François-Henri Pinault came to New York with the premiere of the new film “House of Gucci”. Ridley Scott’s film will follow three decadent decades in the lives and deaths of the Gucci family, taking its story from The “House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed”. Starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek (wife of François-Henri Pinault ).

Red carpet premiere took place at Jazz at Lincoln Center, which is 15 min walk from Times Square, lit at the same time as a POWERFUL STATEMENT by Fendi, confronting counterfeit on luxury market launched by Gucci / Kering!

Something to think about…



Posted from Times Square, New York city, USA.