Step Inside Fendi’s New Shop and Cafe Designed by Artist Joshua Vides

An unlikely collaboration—from bespoke bags to latte art—comes to life at Harrods in London.

fendi x joshua vides
Courtesy of Fendi

“The internet is a powerful place.” That’s what —the visual artist best known for his 2-D black and white illustrations, which have made their mark on everything from Air Force 1’s to Mercedes-Benzes—tells ED when asked about his most recent collaboration. After a visual merchandiser from Fendi reached out to Vides via Instagram, some casual chatting turned into serious brainstorming, which eventually led to the Italian fashion house's first-ever cafe and bag customizing “Peekaboo Bar.” Step inside the Fendi experience in London’s and become instantly immersed in the monochromatic, dizzyingly cool, cartoon-like world of Vides. From latte art to cakes, skateboard decks to decor, every corner of the shop has been given the true Vides treatment.

Start by enjoying a coffee or cake at the cafe, where even the food is graced by Vides’ take on the iconic double “FF”. Hungry for more? Browse through the breakfast or lunch menu—both of which Vides also designed—and expect your light bites to be served on FF-monogrammed dishware and coffee cups. Once your appetite is curbed and you’re ready to shop, make your way to the Peekaboo Bar where you can design your own bespoke version of the Fendi Mini Peekaboo handbag (from 20+ different materials)—a first for the fashion brand. If the prospect of designing your own handbag feels daunting, there will also be Joshua Vides x Fendi limited-edition products for sale, including shirts, blankets, skate decks, and more.

fendi x joshua vides
The exterior of Harrods’ Fendi shop.
Courtesy of Fendi

In celebration of the collaboration, we got the chance to catch up with Vides, whose shop will be open through August 31.

Siweb: This obviously is not the first artist x fashion house collaboration, though it does feel less expected given your style. How did this collaboration come to fruition?

JOSHUA VIDES: I received a direct message from an individual on Fendi's Visual Merchandising team, complimenting my work. It took a few days of back and forth chatting until he sent over a potential project. That was in December of 2018. A month later, he invited me to an event in New York for Fashion Week. Although it was just an event that lasted a few hours, I decided to book a ticket and head to New York for that face-to-face interaction, which I was hoping would drive the conversation home. I met the team, we had a few drinks, shared a few laughs, and briefly spoke about the huge “maybe,” of this happening. And that was it. I came home and waited. Two months of emails, late-night FaceTime calls, and a few sketches from my end, and the contract was signed on April 22nd.

fendi joshua vides collaboration
A cake and coffee designed by Joshua Vides for Fendi, served at the Fendi Cafe in Harrods.
Courtesy of Fendi

ED: What were some of the biggest challenges in merging your casual, cartoon-inspired style with luxury fashion products?

JV: We were both very aware that product was just as important as executing the experiential environment. As casual as my style appears, there's usually multiple changes and cleaning up of the lines when it’s all said and done. We had a little under three months to design and produce Fendi bags, accessories, home goods, and skate decks, which is unheard of. No samples. No photo approvals. I had about four hours at the Fendi headquarters to draw the items on sheets of transfer paper on a Friday in Rome. They took the sheets, scanned them, and sent them out to manufacturers. It wasn’t until the days leading up to the opening of the Pop Up when we all held the finalized product. Merging our DNA into one entity was the fun part, having one shot at the target with our eyes closed was the challenge.

ED: When the collaboration spans from skateboards to latte art, where do you even begin?

JV: From the jump, the idea was to create a working cafe. So I pitched all the plates, cups, posters, etcetera. Producing a cup completely painted top to bottom was out of the question, so we agreed on drawing the Fendi logo with my last name and adding to the porcelain goods. That was first. Then, I had to add my background to the collection somehow. That’s where the prints, T-shirts, and skate decks came into play. I needed to make sure that my fan base could not only afford a Fendi item, but also relate to the object. That's what makes it a real collaboration. I really tried to throw everything into the mix that I could. I mean, how many times does a kid from Rialto, California, get a chance to design an official Fendi product with their name on it?

ED: Tell me about your design approach of the actual space.

JV: It’s insane how many renders and sketches we went through for this specific project. It was very clear where they wanted to display their products, so I had to keep a retail perspective in mind while designing the space. Of course, the lines surrounding the walls and objects are the staples. Fendi logo here, Fendi pattern there. But everything else—the added windows, the glare lines on the glass, the shading—all happened as I painted. It’s much more fun that way, as I can add what I feel in the exact moment. No rendering or sketch ever appears the way the final does which allows each project to be completely different from the others.

ED: Do you think that this collaboration welcomes a new group of consumers into the world of Fendi? How about the world of Vides?

JV: One thousand percent for both ends. I had homies blowing up the Harrods phone and DM's trying to get the skate decks, while I received price sheet requests and wire transfer information emails from people in Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris, etcetera. It was an eye-opening project for the both of us.

ED: Three words to describe the Fendi x Joshua Vides experience in Harrods?

JV: ANYTHING. IS. POSSIBLE.

joshua vides fendi collaboration
Artist Joshua Vides sits in front Fendi’s customizable Peekaboo Bar, which he designed inside of Harrods in London.
Courtesy of Fendi
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