Fendi announced today that it has pledged a hefty 2.5 million euros to restore five fountains across Rome, including the mother of all gorgeous water sources, the Trevi Fountain. The new project, dubbed 'Fendi for Fountains' gives a neat nod to the brand's 83-year-old double-F logo. It is also an excuse for creative director Karl Lagerfeld to get behind his lens for a new book of daguerreotype photography called 'The Glory of Water'.
'I've been to Rome 700 times and always photographed the monuments,' said Lagerfeld, clutching a glass of diet cola with leather mesh gloves, during a press conference inside Musei Capitolini. 'They're so photogenic. I don't think anyone will complain about another book on the fountains of Rome.'
In fact, as Silvia Fendi, creative director of accessories and kidswear, pointed out, the five Fendi sisters (one of whom was her mother Anna) already published a book on the city's fountains in the 1980s. A few years early in 1977, Fendi presented a film called 'Historie d'eau', written by Lagerfeld, where a Roman tourist takes a Fellini-esque plunge inside the Trevi fountain.
These days, no one is swimming inside the fountains of Rome. Most, like the 18th century Trevi, are connected to rusty pipes and antique filter systems from 1732. Last summer, after a piece of 1950s stucco fell off the fountain's Baroque facade and caused a national uproar, Mayor Alemanno made a plea for outside funding.
The call was answered by Fendi, one of the city's most influential fashion companies and family dynasties. Fendi's hefty donation, which also restores The Four Fountains, is advertising-free, meaning there will be no big billboards wrapped around Nicolo Salvi's masterpiece during construction. 'It's a straight gift,' said Mayor Alemanno, 'no strings attached.'