It’s all about Karl.
From Monday through May 10, Fendi will transform the windows of its New York City flagship on the corner of 57th Street in Manhattan’s Fuller Building to celebrate the work of the house’s late creative director Karl Lagerfeld.
Lagerfeld, who had a 54-year tenure at Fendi, is the subject of the annual fashion exhibit at Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute titled, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.” The exhibition will be open to the public from May 5 through July 15.
Fendi’s flagship houses women’s and men’s ready-to-wear collections, accessories and leather goods across two levels. The landmark building, originally designed to house art galleries, was reinterpreted in 2021 in a one-of-a-kind concept realized by Fendi in collaboration with current artistic directors Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini Fendi, transforming the idea of a gallery into a new contemporary space.
In honor of the exhibition, the facade of the 57th Street boutique will feature Lagerfeld’s Fendi archive sketches, emblazoned across three floors of windows on digital screens. In addition, 15 archive looks designed by Lagerfeld for Fendi and selected from the house’s ready-to-wear, fur and couture collections will be displayed in three groups throughout the boutique’s windows, in addition to one inside the location’s oversized glass sphere suspended from the ceiling overlooking Madison Avenue.
The sketches range in time from fall 1966 to couture fall 2018, representing some of Lagerfeld’s signature designs for Fendi throughout the decades. The archival looks were selected by Fendi’s artistic directors, with creative consultancy by Amanda Harlech. Geometric patterns are carefully played within the first group of looks extending from the ’60s and ’70s to a spring 2014 shaved mink fur coat and fall 1998 tulle gown. Techniques include symmetric diagonal workmanship, mink sewed in chevron patterns and silk-screen printing giving off a faded effect.
In the second group of looks, volume and artisanal mastery are explored, featuring a fall 1979 top and pants and an inlaid geometric mink coat from fall 2000.
A collection of feathered looks in mixed materials, debuted on runways from 2015-2019, brings together the third group. The glass sphere will display a spring 2000 chiffon and silver laminated sequin gown in yellow. The dress features a unique geometric workmanship, creating a patchwork effect of sequins. The look was later reimagined by Kim Jones as a mint green and silver gown in the couture fall 2022 collection, in a tribute to Lagerfeld.
Lagerfeld died Feb. 19, 2019.
In addition to the flagship boutique installation, Fendi will have its presence in Bergdorf Goodman’s window display from late April through mid-May. The New York City installation also recognizes the Lagerfeld exhibit at the Met and features a selection of archive Fendi looks designed by Lagerfeld from spring 1985 to 1992, including printed and colorful dresses in silk, linen and sequins.