- SANDRA SALIBIAN
Fendi, Istituto Marangoni Partner On Upcycling Project
Under the creative direction of American visual artist Sarah Coleman, Istituto Marangoni’s students will turn discarded materials from Fendi’s window installations into new artworks.
Sarah Coleman COURTESY OF FENDI
NEW ART: Fendi is teaming with Istituto Marangoni’s unit in Florence on a project dubbed “Dis-cycling: The Seductive Allure of Creativity in Sustainability.”
Kicking off this week, the initiative will see a number of students of the fashion and art school recovering materials previously used by the luxury house for its window installations to create new artworks.
The students will operate under the creative direction of American visual artist Sarah Coleman, who was recently tapped by Istituto Marangoni as one of its mentors and has already collaborated with Fendi on different projects.
Known for manipulating designers’ materials to rethink everyday objects through an ironic filter, Coleman will work closely with students hailing from the courses of fashion design, multimedia art and textile innovation, following them step by step through the processes of conception, development and final execution of their work. Fendi managers will also be involved in the interdisciplinary project via online and in-person meetings.
Developed also thanks to a collaboration with Pardgroup — the Italian company that handles the window change-out operations of Fendi’s European flagships — the final projects will be showcased in the fall in the exhibition space at Fendi’s factory in Bagno a Ripoli, a 25-minute drive from Florence.
In addition to telegraphing Fendi’s commitment to sustainability, the project builds on the brand’s ongoing support of new generations of talent in craftsmanship and luxury.
For instance, last year the brand strengthened its partnership with New York’s Juilliard School to highlight the talent of emerging artists in different disciplines, from dancing to acting. The company gave the Fendi Vanguard Award to four rising stars selected among Juilliard’s final-year students enrolled in the bachelor’s, master’s and advanced diploma programs.
The fashion brand and Coleman have worked together on multiple occasions, ranging from the revamp of Fendi’s Miami store in the Design District and the creation of a limited-edition Peekaboo bag in 2020 to the launch of a summer capsule collection last year.