Italian fashion house Fendi has moved into its new headquarters at Rome‘s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana – a building commissioned by dictator Benito Mussolini in 1943 that has been renovated by local architect Marco Costanzi. The six-storey Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana was intended to be the centrepiece of Mussolini’s new Roman empire, but was abandoned due to his involvement in the second world war. The building was left in a state of disrepair, before Fendi‘s 18-month renovation – which has reportedly cost millions. Fendi have reportedly signed a 15-year lease for the building, and will be paying €240,000 in rental costs.
Clad in travertine marble, all four facades of the cuboid-shaped building feature a grid of six-by-nine archways, which are rumoured to represent the number of letters in Benito Mussolini’s name. Around the base of the building, 28 statues representing various industries and trades are tucked underneath individual arches. Inside, the original marble stairways and floors were well preserved and remain in place, but the building has been fully fitted out to house Fendi’s 450 employees.
The move coincides with the fashion house’s 90th anniversary, as well as German fashion designer and Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld’s 50th year with the company.