Glamour is no stranger to the baroque splendour and emerald waters of Rome’s Trevi Fountain: Anita Ekberg, dressed in a risqué little black dress, famously cavorted here in Federico Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960), while Audrey Hepburn playing Princess Anne exchanged her long locks for a gamine hairdo at a salon near the fountain in the 1953 classic ‘Roman Holiday’.
On 7 July, this 254-year-old fountain became the backdrop for Italian fashion house Fendi’s runway show titled ‘Legends and Fairy Tales’. Celebrating 90 years of the brand, the event saw a fascinating array of furs and accessories designed by Fendi’s head of design and one of the world’s most influential designers Karl Lagerfeld, and Silvia Venturini Fendi, head of accessory design at the company.
For Fendi, which donated €2.2 million (around Rs.16 crore) to renovate the fountain that was reopened to the public late last year after a 17-month makeover, the venue was befitting. As Pietro Beccari, chairman and CEO of Fendi, said, “The Trevi Fountain is a unique place and it represents Fendi’s preservation of values, tradition and historic patronage while looking towards the future.” He added that holding the fashion show here was “the best way to celebrate Fendi’s 90th anniversary as it expresses our roots and DNA, while transmitting daring creativity and craftsmanship”.
A 2014 ‘Bloomberg’ report said this restoration project is a part of its parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE’s plan to boost the Fendi brand and reduce its dependency on Louis Vuitton. However, Fendi, which started life as a small fur atelier and leather goods workshop in Via del Plebiscito, is not the only luxury brand engaged in clearing grime and mending fissures of crumbling monuments. Other luxury brands including Tod’s and Bulgari are helping sponsor the restoration and upkeep of many of Rome’s historical monuments.