- ALEX RITMAN
Fendi Makes a Splash in Cannes With New Eyewear Collection From Thelios
A pop-up boutique was set up to help offer the festival's noted attendees — including Timothee Chalamet, Adele Exarchopoulos, Tahar Rahim and Noomi Rapace — sunglasses from the new Fall/Winter 2021 collection.
The Fendi FE400091 'Fendi Way' sunglasses, part of the new Fall/Winter 2021 collection launched in Cannes. COURTESY OF FENDI
With the Cannes Film Festival having pushed its dates from May to July, at least one fashion accessory became a near essential requirement on the Croisette this year.
Thanks to the relentless summer sun that’s been beating down on the Cote d’Azur the last couple of weeks, sunglasses were among the most ubiquitous stars of the show – a regular guest at the numerous red carpet premieres, film photocalls and often even in the Palais press conferences (although probably more to disguise the previous night’s revelries).
Fendi used Cannes as an opportunity to launch its fall/winter 2021 collection, the first from the Italian fashion house following a new exclusive partnership with its LVMH stablemate Thelios, which is overseeing design, development, production and distribution.
To help make a noise at the festival, a pop-up Fendi store was set up in the Hotel 3.14 (currently undergoing a refurb) where visiting stars were invited to stop by to choose a pair. Meanwhile, Fendi went through its already extensive rolodex of movie world connections to gift them eyeglasses in the hope they’ll wear them during their festival activities.
According to a representative, the array of stars Fendi works with attending Cannes this year included the likes of Adele Exarchopoulos, the Palme d’Or winner in town with both Zero Fucks Given and The Stronghold, Noomi Rapace, starring in Lamb (acquired by A24 at the festival) and Tahar Rahim, recently seen in The Mauritanian, who’s on the main competition jury with Spike Lee.
“We have a big list of actors, but of course it’s just a gift – they have to decide whether they want to wear it or not,” said the rep.
Among the more popular designs from the new collection are the Fendi Way, a classic cat-eye shape with distinctive openwork, and the more futuristic, mask-shaped Fendi Technicolor, sporting the company’s famed FF logo on the lens, as designed by its former creative director, Karl Lagerfeld. Also on display in the 3.14 is a special ‘eyecap’ with built-in fold-away shades – handy for those whose sunglasses steam up while wearing a COVID mask. Rapper Freddie Gibbs — in town for his debut acting role in Down With the King — reportedly claimed one, while arguably Cannes’ most photographed actor – Timothee Chalamet (part of Wes Anderson’s all-star The French Dispatch) — proudly wore his eyecap in one of his various Instagram stories posted from the festival.
This year’s Cannes may be one of the more unusual in the festival’s long and illustrious history, but according to the Fendi rep, it’s still the most important European industry event on the calendar.
“The coverage you get from the media here is still far bigger than any other festival,” said the rep. “Cannes is always the dream, and it’s still something that people look up to as a luxury brand.”