“I’m not gonna lie. I think that’s what my job is. I want all my friends to go, ‘I want that straight away,’” Kim Jones told WWD in a preview of his Fendi fall ’21 women’s collection, his highly anticipated ready-to-wear debut for the brand, which he presented today in a virtual runway show set at the brand’s Via Solari showroom during Milan Fashion Week.
That could and likely will extend to shoes, as the designer also pointed out in the interview that he saw opportunities in the footwear category.
Could Jones’s Fendi be the brand to produce the next “It” shoe in a post-pandemic world, following in the footsteps (pun intended) of Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee-produced brand refresh? If his collaboration with Jordan on the Jordan 1 Retro High Dior is any indication (Jones is staying on as Dior’s men’s artistic director), he is likely to pull something through with great fanfare.
Footwear has always been an important category for the Italian luxury goods house, which has specialized first in fur, second in leather goods and third, likely, in shoes.
Fall ’21’s showing focused on strong basics, including knee boots in a variety of neutrals and leather, from smooth calf to snakeskin (the sleek black or brown knee boot with a heel is already a clear trend for the fall ’21 season). There was also a series of boudoir-inspired kitten heels with fur on the toe (Jones maintains that the brand will continue to put forth animal fur items as customer demand for them continues, in spite of an industry-wide reckoning on its use).
Fur or no fur, texture was a clear focus of the collection, from head to toe, and Jones continued the brand’s tradition of statement outerwear, many done with fringe accents and suede cutout detailing, all done in a neutral palette.
In the WWD interview, Jones also spoke of his predecessor, Karl Lagerfeld, likening his work ethic to his but avoiding other comparisons. “I think it’s really important to respect what the house is, especially when you’ve got someone there whose name is actually across the door,” Jones also said when talking about the tendency of new creative directors to clean house and start fresh.