Dizzying Heights

Fendi and Design Miami's "Design Vertigo" at Salone del Mobile

Since 2008, the venerable house of Fendi has been teaming up with hip annual exhibition Design Miami to take fashion into unchartered avant-garde waters. Launched in 2005 by the precocious, then 23-year-old curator Ambra Medda, Design Miami was conceived as an offshoot of gallerists’ mecca Art Basel, its art world roots providing the perfect foundation for a cutting-edge creative partnership. The debut collaboration was Design Miami/Design Talks, a series of lectures supported by Fendi that featured appearances from the Campana Brothers and Arik Levy, among others. Next came the Craft Punk installation at Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile in 2009—in which Fendi leather offcuts were transformed into new works by ten international designers—followed by Stereo Craft, for which LA indie band OK Go performed live with Gibson guitars covered in Fendi furs. The Italian firm’s latest venture with Design Miami is Design Vertigo, an aptly titled four-part installation at last week’s Salone del Mobile in Milan. Composed of site-specific works by four very different artists—among them sculptor Graham Hudson, who created a large-scale work featuring Fendi bags and fur-clad mannequins lolling about on scaffolding—the exhibit was a typically adventurous, sideways look at the intersection between contemporary design and luxury fashion. In this exclusive film, Sylvia Venturini Fendi takes a stroll through Design Vertigo, chatting to Medda about Felice Varini’s perspective-twisting work—a painting that appears to be floating in the air. 
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