Wow, I can already feel myself coming in strong.
So Fendi is collaborating with Kim K’s shapewear brand SKIMS. Yeah, that happened. I feel like I probably should have seen it coming, considering Kim Jones (the new creative director of Fendi) is all about creating hype, and is really good at making money.
However… Fendi – the 96 year old Italian iconic brand – is collaborating with… SKIMS – the 3-year-old brand that sells $35 bargain Spanx. Mate, you’ve got to be joking me.
Some would say that everything Kim K touches turns to gold – which is probably true, you can’t doubt her business prowess – but is it criminal of me to think that everything Kim K touches turns to tack? Maybe I’m just trying to be non-mainstream by hating everything that Kim likes, but aligning Fendi with her bargain Spanx brand is just one step too far for me.
Fendi has previously gone this route (i.e. tacky) when Nicki Minaj did a 127-piece collection with Fendi, consisting of bright pink viscose dress and a hoodie with Nicki Minaj’s face on it. Couldn’t they have collaborated with someone interesting instead? FKA Twigs has recently worked with Swarovski on their new advertisement, and I’m hoping it progresses to a full-out design collab. Couldn’t Fendi have picked someone like FKA Twigs? What about Solange Knowles? You had to pick the tackiest woman (also highly problematic with her anti-vax/husband drama etc etc) with no fashion credentials to create a 127-piece collection with?
And now Kim K. Perhaps I’m being too harsh on ol’ Kimmy. For sure, she’s had some great fashion moments, and I’m not denying she has a wardrobe full of clothes that we wish we could buy. But do I correlate her with high fashion? No, no I don’t.
Maybe I wouldn’t be so salty about it if she had actually tried to design a collection with Fendi, instead of creating a variety of FendiFendiFendi tights in different colours, with matching bloody maternity bras. It feels like a bit of a cop-out to me, and a cheap one at that.
For some reason (I know the reason – money) brands have decided to away from their heritage and move towards logomania, and the mass market.
Loro Piana has done that recently with their “Loro P” beanies, to try and tap into the “hype” market, after the brand found that they had become an almost cult brand amongst the men of today. The allure of Loro Piana lay in the fact that nobody could recognize the brand you were wearing unless you were intimately involved with the brand yourself. Yes, a lot of people know what Open Walks are, but can you tell the real from the fakes? Can you spot baby cashmere from across the room? You know that understated friend of a friend actually is uber-wealthy, because he’s wearing £1,600 Gift of Kings t-shirt – and nobody knows but those in the know.
However, what they’ve done is take what men actually enjoyed out of the brand (the anonymous anti-logo, if-you-know-you-know characteristic) and just throw it straight in the bin. “What do men reeaaallly want?” thought the designers. “Ah! I know,” lightbulb goes on, “An item of clothing that not only hints of being Loro Piana, but actively shouts it at people! In fact, why don’t we create a t-shirt with the face of a goat on it, and overlay “Vicuña” in gold lettering? Do you think that’s clear enough? Do you think people will get it?” I wish I was kidding.
No one can deny that Kim Jones is the king of hype. He had women lining up for his men’s collection for Dior, so much so that Maria Grazia Chiuri even eventually included some of his designs in her womenswear staple collection.
When Kim Jones took over Fendi, women were pleasantly surprised at the elegance of his first collection (and even his SS22). Yes, there are logos, but they are quiet, and written in script, and not yelling at you. Most of the collection, if you didn’t know, you couldn’t even tell it was Fendi, unless you got really up close and personal and realised that the print you thought was a check is actually made up of tiny calligraphed F’s all put together.
Fendi x SKIMS is only made for those who like Kim K and aspire to be like her and dress like her. Fendi’s main customer base isn’t going to be lining up to buy Kim K’allified pink fluffy shearling slides, nor are they going to be dropping over £4000 on a draped leather dress that looks like it’s come straight out of Kanye West’s Yeezy headquarters.
In my humble (but outspoken) opinion, this collab devalues Fendi’s brand image. Will I be buying a bubble-gum pink logomanic Fendi catsuit? Probably not. Will you?
Image via fendiskims.com