Fendace, Fendace, Fendace: Everything You Need To Know About the Versace/Fendi Swap That Broke The Internet

Don’t call it a collaboration. The houses of Versace and Fendi broke new ground at Milan Fashion Week, with their audacious designer ‘swap’. Dubbed Fendace, Donatella Versace designed a collection for Fendi, whilst Kim Jones designed a collection for Versace. Both collections are pre-fall and will be on sale in May at the respective brand’s boutiques – expect a shopping frenzy. This historic co-operation between two iconic Italian houses, was, said Donatella, “something that’s never been done before”. 

Unlike the Gucci/Balenciaga hack between two houses that share the same parent company, or Prada where co-designers Mrs Prada and Raf Simons share equal billing at one label, what makes this ‘swap’ even more unusual is that Fendi is owned by LVMH whilst Versace belongs to Tapestry.

The idea was inspired by the mutual love and respect Jones and Versace have for each other and evolved after Donatella hosted a private dinner for Jones, Silvia Fendi and Delfina Delettrez Fendi in February.

“Donatella, and Versace is part of the culture I grew up in; it’s a cultural phenomenon. And when things in fashion become cultural, they last for a very long time and that’s very interesting,” Jones told WWD, whilst Donatella described him as a “younger brother,” adding, “He knows what luxury is, he knows how to make it young and accessible to younger crowds, which is not something I find in anybody else.”

The designers visited each other’s archives then created their version of the respective house codes and enlisted an army of supermodels to show it off.  

For Jones, that meant safety-pinned gowns, gold baroque prints and teeny tiny dresses worn by Kate Moss, Amber Valetta, Shalom Harlow, Adut Akech, and Precious Lee. Meanwhile, Donatella, sent out Gigi, Naomi, and Emily Ratajkowski in pastel chainmail mini dresses with double FF logos, FF print trench coats with matching miniskirts and knee boots, a micro chainmail version of the Baguette and Peekaboos lined with Versace’s signature baroque print.

Barriers were broken, minds were blown. The two designers took their bow together then went off to party with Liz Hurley and Alicia Keys, and all their supermodel friends. Just as well it was the closing show of Milan Fashion Week, because how do you follow that?

Photography courtesy of Versace/Fendi.


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