It was a Versailles-level battle of the logos. After a few days of not-so-quiet whispers of a surprise collaboration, Versace and Fendi finally debuted their much-anticipated collaboration with a dual runway show that closed out Milan Fashion Week — and a spring ’22 season full of color, sex appeal and joie de vivre.
Unlike Gucci’s Balenciaga collaboration last season (which saw Balenciaga logos and motifs infiltrate Gucci’s Aria collection), this meeting of the design minds (dubbed “Fendace,” of course) consisted of not one but two collections; one “Versace by Fendi” from Fendi’s Silvia Venturini Fendi and Kim Jones, another “Fendi by Versace” curation by Versace creative director Donatella Versace.
One other key difference: Instead of a sister brand collaboration (both Gucci and Balenciaga are owned by the Kering Group, Sunday’s event was a distinctive coming together of two very separate competitor fashion empires, and ones in which family members are still active in their respective brands. In the words of the collection’s release, it was a “crossing of the ‘party lines’ of luxury conglomerates — inspired purely by friendship and mutual professional respect.”
The fashion house swap resulted in two slightly different collections that were both high on impact and Italian flair. For Versace by Fendi, Jones and Venturini Fendi delved into the Versace archives, specifically the mid-to-late nineties period, to mix the iconography such as the Greek key motif, the Medusa head and the baroque print with Fendi’s more compact “F” monogram. Oversized jackets and pants mixed the logos and the Medusa made a key appearance on Fendi logo pumps.
For Fendi by Versace, Versace took her own houses motifs such as the safety pin to puncture the Fendi logo here and there and using the brand’s monogram on her signature chain mail. A shimmering chain mail gown with monochrome monogramming and a two-piece chain mail bandeau and miniskirt on Emily Ratajkowski (accented with a Fendi logo scarf head wrap) epitomized the latter collection.
Differences could also be seen in the silhouettes, with much of Versace by Fendi done in more relaxed styles while Fendi by Versace played to Versace’s penchant for sex appeal (and its renewed commitment to the miniskirt and other skin-baring garments for spring ’22). One also couldn’t help but wonder what the late Karl Lagerfeld would think of the partnership.
One thing is clear from the collaboration: Logos are here to stay.