FENDI presents Craftica, a Design Performance by Formafantasma

For the first time, FENDI is bringing its Design Performance program to Design Miami/ Basel, expanding on the program’s successful ventures in Miami and Milan. Since 2009, the FENDI Design Performances have offered audiences a rare view into designers’ workshops through the use of FENDI discarded materials and live demonstrations of the processes by which exceptional craft-based design work is made. FENDI’s ongoing program emphasizes approaches to production that blend the traditional and the experimental while establishing a new, interactive format for design exhibitions that celebrates the creative process and the key role it plays in shaping the value of finished products.

For this year’s project, FENDI has invited Italian design studio Formafantasma to create a new body of work exploring leathercraft in conversation with other hand-worked, natural materials. The goal of this project is to reveal the essential, enduring beauty of leather and handcraft within the context of contemporary living. Designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Formafantasma were selected for this project because the young studio has already displayed an exceptional gift for inventive material investigations, as well as a highly refined and seductive aesthetic sensibility.

In line with their characteristic approach, the designers have researched the many functional and decorative aspects of leather within the long history of human production. They have mined this history for forgotten or obscure applications, while at the same time uncovering entirely new ways of presenting this inherently sumptuous material. The finished collection will include a range of eye-pleasing design objects – from furniture to tabletop vessels – each embodying a particular quality of leather.

Formafantasma is utilizing discarded leather left over from the FENDI manufacturing processes as the foundation of the collection and drawing on the talent of FENDI’s in-house craftsmen for certain phases of production. The FENDI leather will be juxtaposed with other materials in order to bring out its singular nature. Unusual leather-like materials, such as those derived from plants and fish, will broaden the perspective of this investigation, while other finely crafted materials, such as marble, glass, and wood, will showcase leathercraft as a highly provocative element of contemporary design.

The new collection will be unveiled at Design Miami/ Basel, where the designers will work side-by-side with FENDI craftsmen demonstrating the craft processes involved in the creation.

Silvia Fendi: “I have always been attracted to experimental approaches to traditional materials and processes. For me, Formafantasma’s work with leather discarded from the fashion industry to create new design objects for a domestic context stands for experimentation at its best. I’m impressed by the depth of their research and the ingenious way they have incorporated a broad range of leather types.  Andrea and Simone are the first Italian designers we have invited to our Design Performance program, so I feel especially gratified by their stunning contribution to our mission to preserve and promote fatto a mano practices.”