Fendi teams up with Botswana-based studio Mabeo at Design Miami – WWD

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MILAN – Fendi is partnering again with Design Miami, from Wednesday to December 5, with the Rome-based luxury group in partnership with Mabeo, the furniture and accessories brand founded by Peter Mabeo in Gaborone, Botswana, in 1997.

Fendi asked Mabeo and his design studio to develop products that emphasize Botswana craftsmanship.

Consulting artisans across the country, Mabeo shines a light on Botswana’s craft techniques and activities, resulting in 10 pieces of furniture.

The collection is called Kompa, which means something complete. While some products in the collection were the sole responsibility of individual craftsmen, others were designed by collaborating craftsmen working with different techniques.

The Loma stool is a multifunctional work of three objects in one that can be used as two storage containers, two stools or, when put together, as a side table. Featured in two material iterations, Mabeo has engaged artisans who practice ancient methods of pottery making in Botswana, with expert carpenters. Further reflecting the collection’s multi-faceted collaborative nature, the interior surface of the Loma Stool is painted by artists located in a desert region of Botswana.

Two works in the collection refer more directly to the collaboration with Fendi, the artistic director of women’s clothing and couture for the brand Kim Jones, the director of accessories and men’s clothing for the house Silvia Venturini Fendi and her daughter Delfina Delettrez. Fendi.

“I apI want to underline Peter’s respect for his country, culture and craftsmanship – which immediately bonded with Fendi – as well as the importance of relationships and human feelings, ”said Venturini Fendi. “The people involved are at the heart of the project, which is why it is named after Mabeo’s most senior official. [in age] craftsman, Kompa. It is a collection of 10 functional pieces that push the boundaries of traditional materials and techniques, where the African artisan heritage is explored and translated into today’s forms. For example, there is a cabinet made by basket makers. As often happens at Fendi, the materials are not what they seem, the clay and the wood look like leather, it is very intriguing.

The Efo stool takes the Fendi double-F pattern and fuses clay and Panga Panga wood, while the Maduo chair is a direct translation of an O’Lock jewel designed by Delettrez Fendi for the home.

Other items range from the Chichira wardrobe, a woven wardrobe with drawers, to the Gabi-Gabi sculpture, the largest piece in the collection, constructed from hand-battered galvanized sheet metal and with wooden drawers.

“I was immediately inspired by Peter’s work, his vision and of course the fact that he worked from Botswana where Kim Jones lived as a child,” said Delettrez Fendi. “It was surreal to jump on a video call and see him drive in his car through this fantastic African landscape: it was like we were traveling together. We had a group chat where he would send us pictures and I would ask him what kind of trees were around him or what kind of materials we could work with. It was like going back to basics, while creating special things.

Mabeo has also reinterpreted Fendi’s signature Peekaboo handbag, approaching artisans living in a desert environment where plant-based materials are scarce and using traditional methods of tanning, processing and sewing, with molded metal components. and hand carved in wood.

The collection is accompanied by a limited edition publication which is a visual record of the various trips, meetings and work in progress, as well as schematic drawings for each of the 10 pieces.

Mabeo launched its products internationally in 2006 after 10 years of locally manufacturing custom furniture for commercial projects. The studio has collaborated with designers like Inès Bressand, Patty Johnson, Garth Roberts and Patricia Urquiola.

Fendi was the first luxury brand to collaborate with Design Miami, making its art fair debut in 2008, when it sponsored the Design Talks, round tables with the world’s top designers including Aranda / Lasch , brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana, Tom Dixon and Arik Levy.

In 2019, the fashion house collaborated with design studio Kueng Caputo, formed by Lovis Caputo and Sarah Kueng, to create pieces intended to decorate the exterior colonnade of the brand’s headquarters at Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome. Caputo and Kueng have created 10 pieces, named “Roman Molds”, combining the brand’s soft Selleria leather with terracotta bricks.

Over the years at Design Miami, Fendi has partnered with Dimore Studio, artist Sarah Coleman, and architect and designer Cristina Celestino, among others.

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