Outside the entrance of Shamao Street at International Finance Square in Chengdu, China, Fendi has enacted a quasi, reverse form of panda diplomacy, China’s operation of gifting giant pandas to foreign nations. Here, the Italian fashion brand enlisted Hong Kong-based artist Oscar Wang to create Fendidi, an installation that features an enlarged model of the beloved black-and-white bear covered in the label’s signature “FF” logo. Wearing a black leather Baguette bag, it is encased in a glass box that features sentences on one side that begin with “F is for…” and completed by “Fun,” “Friends,” “Fantasy,” “Funk,” and others.
The artwork stands at 10 feet high and 6.5 feet wide, and is intended to market Fendi’s capsule collection with Jackson Wang, a popular Hong Kong-born, South Korea-based singer and songwriter. The line—which includes suits, trousers, shirts, jumpers and accessories, primarily in black and slim fits—was seemingly made to attract millennials in Chengdu and surrounding cities.
Indeed, the label has taken great efforts to highlight the fun and cool factors of its collections, particularly the Baguette bag. Last year, it launched a global initiative that saw the majority of its stores devoting a sizable amount of space to the iconic carryall, along with an advertising campaigns that featured fresh-faced models. And by signing Wang, with his 14.4 million Instagram followers, as a brand ambassador, the fashion house is continuing to spread the message further.
As for Fendidi (“didi” translates to “little brother” in Chinese), the panda isn’t just China’s national animal, but is said to originate from the Chengdu area—a point of pride for the high-earning population. To whit, the display of this logo-ladened panda is a scheme, a form international relations that the Chinese know all too well.
Fendidi will be on view from July 19 to July 28, 2019 at the entrance of Shamao Street at International Finance Square.
(Photo courtesy of Fendi)