CSR News: Italian Luxury Fashion House: Fendi Funds Rehabilitation of Trevi Fountain In Rome

Take notes global brands and fashionistas – corporate entities and fashion can help build and beautify nations eternally! With so many companies setting up CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) departments in efforts to balance corporate profits with social responsibility, Italian luxury brand Fendi does it effortlessly through love, patriotism, culture, history and beauty in its birthplace of Roma! Fendi is following in the footsteps of other well known Italian brands such as Tod’s, the Italian luxury shoe group, who announced a project to fund the restoration of the Colosseum, at a cost of €25 million along with Renzo Russo, founder of Diesel who has also pledged  £4million to restore Venice’s famous Rialto Bridge. When it comes to local and global branding, it is always a win win situation to juxtapose one well known brand with another in creating new (Glocal) globally local lifestyle marketing. With Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani named as a UN ambassador for fashion and pushing the world of fashion to be more inclusive by seeing fashion and beauty beyond borders, it seems many can learn a thing or two from Italian brands because when it comes to giving back and CSR initiatives- Italians do it best.

Anyone who has been to Roma (Rome), whether you are a local or tourist has missed out on the beauty and mysticism of Rome if they have not hung out at the Trevi fountain, especially when it is beautifully lit at nigh as you throw a coin in the fountain, make a wish and possibly share a romantic kiss. The Trevi fountain is Federico Fellini‘s Italy -the pure ravishing beauty of La Dolce Vita! The Trevi Fountain puts the R in romance in its representation of Rome AKA the Eternal City . To to be eternally beautiful one must have a little polish, nip and tuck every now and then and Fendi has come to the rescue by picking up the cosmetic surgery bill!

“Italian fashion house Fendi on Monday said it will finance a renovation of Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain, becoming the latest luxury group to fund repairs to priceless heritage in times of austerity.

“It’s a great idea, a great project! It is a symbol of Rome, like the Colosseum or St Peter’s (Basilica),” Fendi’s German-born artistic director Karl Lagerfeld told a press conference in the city.

The 2.12 million euro (S$3.5 million) repairs on the nearly 300-year-old fountain will be finished by 2015, Rome’s city hall and Fendi said in a note.

Lagerfeld, who has been with Fendi since 1965, told AFP: “My motto in life is: ‘Whoever has the money pays’. It’s as simple as that.”

“Fashion has money because things are going amazingly, like never before, in other parts of the world. So Rome should benefit,” he said.

The 79-year-old designer, who is also a celebrated photographer, said he would be publishing a book on the fountains of Rome that will feature some of his daguerreotypes – an antique type of photograph.

“The restoration of the Trevi Fountain demonstrates the importance of public-private collaboration,” Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno told reporters.

Alemanno said the economic crisis in Italy created “a need for a new cultural philanthropy”.

The “Fendi for Fountains” project will also include funding to restore Quattro Fontane, late Renaissance fountains gracing each corner of a busy intersection which are blackened with soot.

Fendi, which was founded as a leather goods business in Rome in the 1920s and is now part of French luxury giant LVMH, said it felt “a deep bond with the Eternal City...Under the deal with Rome city authorities, Fendi’s logo can be displayed on building site signs during the repairs and the company can hang a plaque near the monuments for four years after completion.READ MORE