To celebrate the new year and the incoming year of the Dragon in all its glory, renowned fashion house FENDI collaborates with the iconic Hiroshi Fujiwara and his brand FRAGMENT (FRGMT) to bring together a three-way collection that only the Godfather of Japanese Streetwear can — by looping in one of the most iconic Pop-Culture Icons that have won the hearts of children and children-at-heart the world over: POKÉMON.
This collab even goes beyond the precious garments and leatherwork that FENDI is known for and extends even to the virtual world with a POKEMON GO special release.
The enigmatic Kim Jones who’s best known to create and collaborate with taste-making brands like SUPREME (during his Louis Vuitton stint) and KAWS (when he was in DIOR) is doing it but this time for FENDI.
“I first met Hiroshi Fujiwara in London in 1999 – and what can I say? He’s one of my idols and I love him. He’s an instigator of the Japanese club scene, its youth fashion scene and its streetwear scene. I have been in love with Japan for a long time; its influence on me and what I do is huge – Hiroshi is a major part of that,” says Kim Jones, FENDI Artistic Director of Couture and Womenswear.
“Our bag shapes are a logo themselves; they are so representative of the House. While our workmanship is another important part of our iconography. At the same time, we never want to be too precious with either – we enjoy celebrating both in new ways! It’s a living history that Hiroshi Fujiwara adds to with both FRGMT and Pokémon; he’s taken our handbags and made them into mini pop monuments,” says Silvia Venturini Fendi, FENDI Artistic Director of Accessories and Menswear.
This collaborative effort is ushered through the ‘Friends of Fendi’ project that was conceived by both Jones and Venturini-Fendi. For this series highlighting Fujiwara San’s long history of creative reinvention and collaboration, he takes a spin at reimagining the amalgamation of a storied historical fashion house brand like Fendi and adding his know-how in elevating a pretty pedestrian pop icon culture like Pokémon and elevating it to luxurious heights.
“When Kim asks me to work on a project together, I have no reason to say no. I very much enjoyed working with Kim again, and this time also with Silvia. It was a true honor to work with the house of FENDI, a traditional brand with outstanding craftsmanship. Grateful for this opportunity,” states Hiroshi Fujiwara.
The collection spans several iconic FENDI bags with a distinct bold design placement of the dragon-type Pokemon Dratini and its evolution all the way to Dragonite. Aside from the big bold Pokémon patches of either Dratini, Dragonair, or Dragonite, what’s interesting with the design this time is the lack of the iconic double thunderbolt logo that Fragment is known for. They did use the logo, however, in a previous collection with Pokémon some time 2019 — since the Pokémon highlighted at the time was non other than the franchise’s most recognizable electric mice, Pikachu (dubbed the Thunderbolt Project).
Aside from the leather bags, the collection also includes a couple of T-shirts and sweatshirts with big Dragonite prints playing around with the FENDI type-face logo. Mini icons such as Baguette Pouch, Mini By The Way and Mini Mon Trésor, and small leather goods further animate the offering along with Dragonite key charms, baseball caps, and textile accessories.
From earrings to ring, a selection of galvanized brass jewellery combines the Maison’s iconic FF logo with Pokémon’s signatures, including Dratini and Dragonair and the famous Poké Ball which opens on a soft chain bracelet and necklace, unexpectedly revealing the FF logo in a celebration of the brands’ emblems.
But perhaps what got our attention instantaneously are the Dragonite hand-crafted leather figurine expertly rafted by the artisans at FENDI. This ultra-limited (and possibly ridiculously expensive) display piece further displays the Maison’s savoir-faire and playful side. A true and rare collector’s item available in limited series, it is meticulously crafted using the utmost qualitative leathers and branded with its own silk FF foulard, requiring more than 30 hours of manual workmanship.
Here’s more from the collection:
Personally, I’d love to get my hands on the Dragonite Key Charm and maybe the Baseball Cap…and maybe the textile bag scarf…and maybe…(OH NO!).
Now, while we understand that splurging on any of the pieces here might be outside the normal everyman’s purse, you can still take a piece of this fun collaboration by going online and through Pokémon GO, the mobile game sensation from Niantic where players can discover Pokémon as they explore the world around them.
Starting today (January 4, 2024), Pokémon GO Trainers can obtain digital avatar items featuring designs from the FENDI x FRGMT x POKÉMON collection. Please visit fendi.com and www.pokemongolive.com for more details.
The FENDI x FRGMT and FENDI x FRGMT x POKÉMON collections is available now in selected FENDI boutiques worldwide and on fendi.com. With how popular this collaboration is, these pieces would undoubtedly be flying off the shelves fast. So, if you want to get yourself anything from the collection, best to check with the local FENDI store or go online on their official site.