Fashion gives back – Fendi and the Fountain

When you think of Fendi, what do you think of? Well if you are a lover of high fashion and luxury brands, chances are, a leather bag popped into your head, followed by its eccentric creative designer Karl Lagerfeld.

But just in case you have never heard of Fendi, it is an Italian designer of luxury merchandise with over 80 years in the fashion business.

Fendi will now be known for another item, one very famous item in particular, the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Fendi has announced they will be funding the restoration of the Trevi Fountain at a cost of about $3.3 million dollars, according to an article in Time Magazine on 11 March 2013.

But don’t expect their famous Fendi logo to be on the fountains after its restoration, the only indication of their generosity will be a small plaque at the side of the fountain.

So why is this high end fashion brand being so generous, is it simply because they want to give back to society? They answer is yes but spending millions of dollars could earn them millions of dollars as well.

As the article in Time magazine highlights, tourists visit Rome because of its architecture, food, history and of course fashion. Tourists get pulled into the culture and fashion brands leverage on this very culture to create a luxury brand image. In consumer minds some of the best leather goods come from Italy and many consumers don’t mind paying more for something that holds the mark ‘Made in Italy’.

If Rome were to lose its national monuments like the Trevi Fountain or the Colosseum, tourists would find less reason to go to Rome and less tourists means less shoppers.

Fendi is not the only fashion brand which is invested in the upkeep of national monuments, here are some more acts of goodwill by other major fashion houses.
1) Tod’s will spend $33 million to restore Rome’s Colosseum.
2) Gucci donated half its Florence museum ticket sales to preserve the city’s art.
3) Prada will fund a 6 year of the 18th century palazzo in Venice.
4) Diesel will spend $6.7 million dollars on the restoration of the 16th century Rialto Bridge in Venice.
(Information taken from Time Magazine, 11 March 2013)

These are some smart marketing moves by these companies who know that keeping the culture of these places, add to their own brand image, while contributing back to society at the same time.

So it looks like people are not the only thing fashion can makeover, it seems old monuments are benefiting from a little makeover too.

Read more on the topic of branding and brand management from these books availabe at the NTU Libraries. Click on the topics below to view the catalogue.
– Branding and Culture
– Luxury Fashion
– Corporate Social Responsibility

About Debra Bernadette L’Angellier

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