When Silvia Venturini Fendi spoke to L'Officiel Hommes about the inspiration for the Fendi Fall 2020 Men's collection, she shared a nuanced goal: "I wanted to work on the concept of new sartorial classics, on materials, shapes, and on all those elements that have always distinguished the male wardrobe, [and] rethink them, projecting them into the future." The show provided new updates on wardrobe essentials with oversized leather blazers, platform-level lug sole boots, and work bags at both extremes of the size spectrum. Yep, you bet the exaggerated accessories trend that now dominates womenswear has made a seamless transition into men's as well, and thanks to the sleek yet chic identity of the full collection, it couldn't feel more natural.
"These looks are my way of reflecting on the basic elements of a wardrobe," Venturini Fendi explained further. "Where there are flannels and pinstripes for suits, coats, or navy blue cabans designed with a specific intent, there is fashionable longevity." And while these classic colors and patterns were expected, innovative styling and silhouettes found their way into many of the looks, posing a refreshing take on the usual. Knee-high boots, midriff-bearing cropped sweaters (read: the coolest new crop tops for men), and asymmetrical, color-blocked suit jackets offered a thoughtful step forward on menswear norms.
Adding on to the concept of the future, the creative director expressed her thoughts on the sustainability of investing in quality, long-lasting pieces. "I think this will be the attitude of our world," she explained. "We are forced, or rather happily forced, to review our way of buying. From here on, it will be more and more important to choose wisely what to wear, favoring clothes designed to last over time and for this reason also versatile, which is why I wanted to split some garments, in order to offer the customer the opportunity to transform the same jacket in a bolero, simply by detaching the lower part." This coming at a time where many consumers and fellow designers alike have dramatically increased awareness of the collective harm the fashion industry causes and how that contributes to global climate issues. In an industry rallying for change, many are calling for clothing buyers to adopt the "buy less" mentality expressed by Venturini Fendi here.
In tandem with the theme of the future, Venturini Fendi stresses that this confrontation with the codes of traditional consumerism does not at all mean closing oneself off to new technologies. She approaches this balance in the last four looks of the show, which she designed in collaboration with Japanese designer Kunihiko Morinaga, founder of clothing brand Anrealage. Each of the four looks features largely monochromatic outerwear and accessories that appear to be in shades of white and cream, but suddenly change when exposed to sunlight, revealing otherwise hidden graphics (you can see it in action in the video above, but we really hope the campaign and future street style will show us more). On the partnership, Venturini Fendi said: "I consider Morinaga a fashion scientist, but also a poet because I find very fascinating the idea that a natural element like the sun can influence not only our mood but also what we wear. When you are in a closed environment your clothes are one way, but going out into the open air they react and transform themselves, just like people."