The Italian luxury fashion house, Fendi, embraced the zeitgeist with the launch of its F IS FOR… movement on February 6 last year. Young artists and musicians used a mix of images, videos, interviews and musical performances to express themselves via an app and Fendi’s website. To mark its first birthday next month, the brand enlisted six street artists from different parts of the world to collaborate on an artwork called The Ring Of The Future—the word ‘future’ designed in the shape of a ring, in their individual artistic styles and languages. Each letter moved into the next, embodying a future without boundaries. This artwork also features on Fendi’s first-ever genderless T-shirt in black and white (available online February 6 onwards), to spread the message of unity by transcending cultural obstacles. We got Cristiana Monfardini, worldwide communication director, Fendi, to tell us about her brainchild.
ELLE: What inspired the idea for The Ring Of The Future artwork?
Cristiana Monfardini: I wanted to pay homage to the values F IS FOR… stands for, such as fearless creativity, freedom of expression, and authenticity. Our movement is made up of passionate and energetic millennials—new talents from the fields of art and music who are unafraid to express their style. It was amazing to collaborate with six such artists—Gary from the UK, Cave from Iran, Hillel Smith from the US, Roes from Hong Kong, Casper from Japan, and Jodae from South Korea. They all come from different cultures, which in turn influences their individual and graffiti styles.
ELLE: Did the artwork turn out as you had envisioned?
CF: When I first thought of F IS FOR… I had a platform in mind that would allow young talents to express their creativity on the rooftop of the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. I see this place as a white canvas, where artists can share their talent—as Russia’s Pokras Lampas did in June 2017, with his unique Calligraffiti [a fusion of typography and street art] that took two days and 550 litres of paint to make. The Ring Of The Future was the natural evolution of this way of thinking. By creating unexpected things in an unexpected place (our rooftop), the artists celebrate the Fendi motto, ‘nothing is impossible’.
ELLE: Tell us about the previous collaborations.
CF: Our performances began last February, with NxWorries and Anderson Paak. Then, in September, came Cailin Russo’s singing performance, and a video collaboration with NBA star Jordan Clarkson. We also had our favourite free-running couple, Katie McDonnell and Erik Mukhametshin, jumping around the walls of our headquarters in November. We are already setting the next stage, and working hard to surprise you with unexpected collaborations.