Already a household name, Fendi has taken timepieces to a whole new level this year with the showcase of its latest, extraordinary watches at Baselworld 2014.
by Irina Lytchak
When one hears the name ‘Fendi,’ they make an automatic association with luxury Italian leather goods. Now, the elegant fashion house has challenged the rest of the industry’s top players by showcasing an array of out of the ordinary watch pieces, featuring mink fur bands, interchangeable gemstones in the dials, and fox fur accents.
One of the visionaries behind the brand’s evolution has been Domenico Oliveri, CEO of Fendi Timepieces, who joined the luxury house 12 years ago and stepped into his current role in September of 2013.
Known for specializing in luxury leather goods and fur, Fendi stepped into the world of watchmaking in 1988, making their licensed watch collection relationship one of the longest to exist in the history of the luxury watch market.
Fendi’s commitment to the art of watchmaking and a passion to invest in the watch industry has allowed the company to acquire 100 per cent of its licensed watchmaking division and incorporate it entirely under the Fendi Maison name.
“We think this completes the image of the brand and what we offer,” says Oliveri. “And this is completely aligned with the overall Fendi image. Ever since the acquisition, we have been moving the brand toward a more luxurious image and product offering.”
The Fendi luxury house has always attempted to think outside of the box when it comes to fashion and upon their acquisition of their watch division, the brand wanted to make sure that this sense of revolutionary thinking translated to their timepieces as well. The latest designs presented during Basel 2014 included Fendi’s existing collections Crazy Carats, Chameleon and Selleria with complementary touches of panache and the new Fendi My Way. The Crazy Carats Collection, best known for its interchangeable gemstone dials, has been given a dash of vigor with a mink fur band that comes in various dazzling shades and dual colour combinations. Similarly, Chameleon has retained its classic dial shape but now comes with the signature ‘F’ encrusted with diamonds, giving the watch an added pop of sparkle. All of these latest design innovations have been a direct reflection of the company’s aim to break away from all things conventional and to challenge the norm.
“The Fendi DNA is about innovation, creativity, and being daring,” explains Oliveri. “We dare to do something that normally others don’t do and we want to surprise. It’s all about creating something that’s unique, not usual, not conventional.”
With that in mind, it’s no wonder that Oliveri has been able to take the watch division of the luxury house and transform it into such an integral part of the brand and in such a short period of time.
“We give women the possibility to be unpredictable,” he says. “The Fendi woman is a modern woman but is also absolutely self-secure, with great character and anticipation for quality and elegance.” CJ