In the countryside near Florence, the new Fendi Factory was inaugurated yesterday, the new Tuscan headquarters of the fashion house, created inside a former abandoned industrial site. It all began two years ago, when an oak was planted to symbolize the start of the works; today around the tree there are thousands of other plants, and the Roman maison is ready to start the new chapter of its glorious history.
The building that will house the Fendi headquarters is located in the Florentine municipality of Bagno a Ripoli, in the locality of Capannuccia, and extends for 30,000 square meters within an 8-hectare plot. The total investment is mind-boggling: we are talking about a figure of around 50 million euros, for a building which for now will house 370 workers but which when fully operational should house twice as many.
The inauguration of the building took place at the same time as the new edition of the Journées Particulières (Jp) by Lvmh, the French group which Fendi has owned for over twenty years now; an occasion in which the company promotes the knowledge of its craftsmen, which returns to the fore after a 4-year hiatus. Today, Antoine Arnault, Lvmh’s communication and environment manager, reveals his happiness by stating that “we could not organize the Journées either online or remotely, since the sense of the initiative is to let people see and touch close to what our craftsmen are capable of”. The Lvmh Jp took place from 14 to 16 October 2022.
According to the president of Fendi Serge Brunschwig, the new headquarters represents a continuity with the origins of the brand, as “the first Fendi store, in via del Plebiscito in Rome, also housed the atelier, and customers had the opportunity to visit both. This is how luxury was born, and we must go back to offering this interesting combination”, with workplaces that will become new points of contact with customers.
A focus on energy saving
With the new Fendi headquarters, the company has placed eco-sustainability goals at the heart of the project. Not only with the planting of thousands of plants, but also – and above all – for the building itself. To begin with, it was born from the recovery of a completely abandoned industrial site, with furnishings made by reusing old production waste.
As far as energy is concerned, a decidedly current problem, an energy saving plan has been put in place which involves all of Lvmh, and consequently also the Bagno a Ripoli plant, which provides for the early switching off of the lights in the shops and changes in temperature within one degree. This makes it possible to reduce actual consumption by 10-15%, and therefore increases in energy costs are amortized.
Arnault intervenes once again, stating that, however, pursuing the goal is not easy: “we understood that to achieve sustainability it is necessary to be realistic: we have introduced our Life 360 program which puts in place a series of objectives, some we have reached them early, while for others we are late”.
The training of craftsmen
Inside Fendi’s Tuscan headquarters, the focus is on people and their training. The company has started a collaboration with Its of Scandicci, within the “Adopt a school” program; it is envisaged that young people can take part in a masterclass dedicated to leather goods, in order to be able to enter an increasingly competitive world of work, but at the same time with an ever increasing demand for skilled workers.
According to Brunschwig, there is already an interest from students and families: the CEO of Fendi, however, issues a warning, stating that “the luxury industry is fundamental for Italy, but we need to invest more, as Germany is already doing and France.”