Fendi, St. John & Gucci

Fun Facts:

Fendi is unique in that it has been run not by male members of the family but by five sisters, daughters of Adele and Edoardo Fendi, who became involved in the business after the death of their father in 1954. Fendi originally specialized in producing high-quality furs and leather goods on Via del Plebiscito in Rome in 1925.

Although Fendi produces a ready-to-wear line, the name is probably best known in the fashion arena for its dramatic fur collections, which have been designed by Karl Lagerfeld since 1962. It has been the company’s relationship with Lagerfeld that brought the Fendi name to the attention of the fashion press. Lagerfeld was also responsible for designing the double-F-griffe  that is almost as well recognized among the fashion cognoscenti as the double-C and double-G symbols of Chanel and Gucci.

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St. John is short for St. John Knits International Inc.  It is labeled as an upscale American fashion brand that specializes in women’s knitwear. The garments especially appeal to executive women or women in positions of authority, due to the use of gold buttons reminiscent of military or nautical officer clothing

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Guccio Gucci (awesome name by the way) opened a small saddlery shop in 1906 and started selling practical leather bags to his horsemen customers in the ‘20s. As a young man, he rapidly built a reputation for quality, hiring the best craftsmen he could find to work in his atelier. The quality was so outstanding he quickly gained a reputation and started to expand his line in Rome. The third store opened in Milan in 1951. By the time the fourth store opened in Manhattan in 1953, Guccio had died and his sons were running the business.

The brand was famous for a while, thanks to famous customers like Jackie O., Grace Kelly and Aubrey Hepburn, but by the ‘80s Guccio’s grandsons were running the company into the ground. They started to dull the appeal of the high-name brand by agreeing to strange partnerships…designing the interior of the AMC Hornet station wagon. Knockoffs were everywhere, and the grandsons started fighting…yes, physically. One business meeting ended in a fight, and reportedly one of the grandsons hit the other one in the head with an answering machine! haha.

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2 thoughts on “Fendi, St. John & Gucci

  1. I actually learned about the companies that you explained. Great summary of Gucci! It is interesting to know that Guccio’s grandsons destroyed the company. I always wondered what fashion companies think when they see knockoffs of their items that look incredibly similar to their products. Did you happen to see the new eco-friendly Gucci flats? They are very cute and made of biodegradable plastic. I recently wrote an article about them. If you are interested, check it out: http://thefashionfoot.com/2012/07/24/eco-spotlight-gucci-shoes/

    • Thank you Dana. I love love love your article on the new eco-friendly Gucci flats. I did not know about them so thank you for making me aware 🙂 Did u buy a pair? I wonder if they are comfortable…

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