Karl Lagerfeld is almost mythological in his legacy. Just his name commands perked ears and straightened backs. The designer has held the reigns at Chloe and currently designs for Chanel, but no fashion relationship is more enduring than his 50-year tenure at Fendi. Lagerfeld is unceasing at the brand, recently debuting Fendi’s fur couture collection (dubbed Haute Fourrure) as a historic marker of his time there. To further add to the celebrations, the brand is releasing a luxury coffee-table book commemorating this momentous era.
“Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld” will contain hundreds of sketches Lagerfeld has created for the brand throughout the last five decades. Known for their rendering in black with added color as the designs take form, the iconic Lagerfeld sketches trace the progression of both the brand and Lagerfeld himself as the years went on. But the book contains more than just sketches. Also included are photos, interviews and recorded conversations from 1965 to present day on subjects like Lagerfeld’s first visit to the Fendi atelier and humorous anecdotes with the Fendi girls.
The book itself is as unusual and enduring as the relationship has been. The Steidl-published tome will be presented in a wooden box, and the interviews are kept on a USB drive which also includes video of Lagerfeld sketching.
Before Lagerfeld, Fendi operated as a traditional fur house. After, they expanded into less fur-centric ready-to-wear. However, the brand has maintained their historic roots with fur techniques and creations they had never dreamed of before, a product of Lagerfeld’s inventive mind and the creative freedom the house allowed him. The Fendi logo of two F’s – for “fun fur” – was thus born, and the relationship has been flourishing ever since.