Donatella Versace and Fendi’s Kim Jones pulled off an unprecedented mash-up of their brands at Milan’s spring 2022 collections—the first IRL ready-to-wear shows to take place in the Italian capital in 18 months. Donatella called the new line, instantly christened Fendace, an opportunity to “get above and beyond one’s own four walls,” and said she relished the chance to work together to offer “something unexpected and unique.” Just don’t call it a collaboration. “Aside from visiting each other’s archives, we worked independently,” she says. “I sketched on my own, and Kim on his own. We saw what the other created [only] when both collections were pretty much finished.”

The concept itself came to life over a group dinner at Donatella’s place after the collections in February 2021, where she and Kim were joined by Silvia Venturini Fendi. “We wanted to do something celebratory that would also be a surprise,” Kim says. “It’s about the beauty of togetherness after time apart.” A communal spirit is chiming up and down the fashion industry: Having made it through the pandemic, there’s a collective sense among creatives that they truly are stronger together, and customers are responding in kind. (For Kim, there was also the allure of seeing Gianni Versace’s 1990s collections in person. “What Versace did then was a huge influence on me,” he says. “It was such a big part of the culture—beyond fashion.”)

The swap was also a full-circle moment: Gianni Versace and Karl Lagerfeld—the latter designed Fendi for more than 50 years—weren’t just friendly rivals, but real friends. “There is trust among us,” Donatella says. “We knew that each would treat the other’s brand with respect.”

The two brands also share a language: Both adore print and know their way around a logo—and damn if their joint show wasn’t the glammest event of the season as Naomi Campbell closed their Milan runway in Versace metal mesh, emblazoned with Fendi’s double-F’s.