At the very heart of Fendibackfrontals there is a deep desire in BLESS, founded by Ines Kaag and Desiree Heiss, to celebrate FENDI’s remarkable savoir-faire, but also the less-sung value in having created a company that is at its very genesis a family affair and whose current, profoundly human structure, almost one hundred years later, remains akin to that of an extended family.

BLESS’ proposal for Design Miami/ 2023 is a playground of multifaceted approaches that bring out the strengths of FENDI, in a conscious inventory of what the Maison embodies today. 

You need to be very curious to do the backside. Of course, not everybody is as curious as BLESS. That is why they were tapped by FENDI for a full booth takeover for the DESIGN MIAMI 2023 show. They designed the booth so that there would be a behind-the-scenes corridor to be discovered, with functional design components.

BLESS looked to highlight the unseen aspects of FENDI when they started this collaboration with the fashion house. Titled “Fendibackfrontals,” the booth is composed of several double-sided paravents, created in partnership with Fendi Casa.

The aisle-facing sides feature full-scale photos of private scenes that Bless encountered during a visit to Fendi Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana headquarters in Rome, including the entrance, the kitchen of a Fendi family member, and an area at the Rome boutique for VIP customers. The back of the panels features a wooden wall print, creating a separate environment.

The paravent’s backsides are fabricated with noble, lustrous rosewood and yet they are presented ‘behind the scenes’, forming a corridor with the booth’s perimeter walls.

The walls are covered in a fabric printed with a composite photograph of the paravent’s backsides, creating a ‘mirroring’ effect.

Each paravent is a three-dimensional micro universe that allows the visitor to dive into an exported fragment of FENDI – a transportive moment allowing you to cohabit with the Maison.

This feeling is further supported by the inclusion of a series of smaller products, including an iteration of BLESS N°07 Chairwear B and a broom covered in goatskin glove leather, which are placed in direct ‘conversation’ with the paravents.

The Protective Sister Bag and Protective Brother Carton Bag, together form BLESS’ take on FENDI’s iconic Peekaboo bag, with the option to be transformed into two independently usable bags, or ‘go out’ in their combined ‘family’ format.

Here BLESS imbues the Peekaboo with the same collaborative, multifaceted spirit as they approached the paravents. The design of the bag is left largely untouched, whilst traces of parcels sent between their Berlin and Paris studios and FENDI in Rome, including shipping labels and a cotton protective bag, attach value to elements ordinarily considered ephemeral by-products of daily operation, in the process adding layers of visibility to their ongoing dialogue.

FENDI always stands on the first row for quality, tradition, experimentation and creativity.

By: Mário de Castro