Fendi Bicoastal Parties Draw Stars from Ansel Elgort to Awkwafina

Courtesy of Fendi; Photography:Neil Rasmus for Billy Farrell Agency/BFA
Ansel Elgort and Chloe Sevigny

Ansel Elgort and Chloe Sevigny celebrated the Italian label’s hotly anticipated capsule collection Tuesday night in New York; three hours later, Joe Jonas and Awkwafina did the same in L.A.

How do you turn a worldwide debut into a truly global affair?

The launch of Fendi Mania might be a cool model to follow, with the Italian label hosting nine kick-off parties within a 24-hour period, starting in Shanghai and then trickling across the time zones, from Hong Kong to Kuwait, Paris, Moscow and points beyond, wrapping up with the final two events Tuesday evening in New York and L.A.

Ansel Elgort, Chloe Sevigny and Olivia Palermo were among the wall-to-wall crush of guests at Fendi’s Madison Avenue store, while a few hours later, Joe Jonas, Presley Gerber and Awkwafina were seen at the label’s Rodeo Drive boutique. “I want to wear this as my wedding dress,” joked the Crazy Rich Asians actress about her logo-centric skirt, top and purse.

Emblazoned with a bold graphic design, a Fendi-Fila mashup created by Instagram artist @Hey_Reilly, a few pieces initially were teased on the brand’s Fall 2018 menswear runway before becoming the expansive Fendi Mania collection for men, women and children that debuted Tuesday (it’s in boutiques and online starting today, with availability planned through the end of 2018).

The logo’s birth on social media also was reflected in the key activity planned for each party, with glass photo booths constructed to feature Fendi Mania framing, with photographers on hand to ensure your iPhone photos could be taken effortlessly.

Fendi Mania’s wide-ranging styles, meanwhile, include ready to wear, accessories, swimwear, boots, bags, scarves in silk or fur and more, with prices likewise highly varied: A pair of terry socks for men or women will set you back $140, while Fendi’s iconic leather Baguette likewise has been imbued with the Mania treatment in an allover logo print and fringe accents, and at $5,900 is sure to become a collector’s item.

No stranger to collecting fashion, Sevigny said her love of vintage Fila is just one reason she’s enticed by Fendi Mania. “When I was a teenager, I worked in the Stamford Town Center at the Polo Ralph Lauren, and across the hall was a Fendi,” the actress noted. “It was this mysterious, glamorous store I would walk by and peek in; I didn’t feel like I was allowed to go in for some reason because of the price tags and the luxury surrounding it. I grew up in Darien, Connecticut, which was really waspy and wasn’t a Fendi town, so Fendi to me represented this whole other side of luxury. And then coming into [New York], I would see these strong, bitchy women wearing it, and I thought, Maybe that’s what Fendi is. So of course I fell in love with it.”

Dilone is among the models appearing in the Fendi Mania campaign lensed by New York-based photographer Cass Bird, and on Tuesday night in New York she talked about what she loved about the project. “The clothes are just fun to wear,” the 24-year-old model said. “You feel like a boss, chill and laid-back and also a little bit sexy. It’s always cool to see older brands keeping it fresh and making it cool and hip for all of us.”

As its name implies, Fendi Mania may not be for those who prefer their logos on the subtle side. But as love of branding has circled back to top fashion trends — especially when labels can marry the idea with athleisure styling — fashion fans are considering how logo dressing fits into their lives. “It’s pretty minimal for me, but it also depends — the more comfortable I’m getting with myself and expressing myself creatively, I’m throwing out all the rules I once had in my head,” Dilone said. “So who knows? Maybe I could do a lot of logos in one outfit.”

While she embraces logos, Sevigny admitted that applying them to her personal style requires a balancing act. “I try and find bags with little to no logos, and I’m not into clashing logos; that’s very hard to pull off,” she said. “But something like this is a great way for someone who’s younger and into fashion to have a piece of Fendi and enjoy that piece of glamour, however that emboldens them and makes them feel powerful. And we are living in a capitalist society, so you gotta roll with it.”