A Toast to Tokyo

Justine Lee meets Sil­via Ven­turini Fendi in the Ja­panese cap­i­tal as the de­signer dis­cusses her fas­ci­na­tion with the coun­try and the land­marks that make 2015 a spe­cial year for the house of Fendi

Hong Kong Tatler - - The Invitation -

t’s the day of Fendi’s fur-only cou­ture show in Tokyo and the city is buzzing with tastemak­ers and fash­ion VIPS who have flown in just for the oc­ca­sion. Ti­tled Haute Four­rure, the col­lec­tion has been spe­cially brought over from Rome for tonight’s much an­tic­i­pated run­way show at the Tokyo Na­tional Mu­seum.

De­spite the hec­tic sched­ule ahead of her, Sil­via Ven­turini Fendi, the brand’s cre­ative di­rec­tor along­side Karl Lager­feld—she over­sees ac­ces­sories, menswear and the chil­dren’s line, while he fronts the women’s col­lec­tion—in­vites me to her suite at the An­daz Ho­tel for cof­fee.

It’s a big year for Fendi. Not only does the Ital­ian fash­ion house celebrate its 90th an­niver­sary, but 2015 also marks 50 years since the brand was launched in Ja­pan. “It was one of the first mar­kets to re­ally de­velop an in­ter­est in our furs,” says Ven­turini Fendi, who is the grand­daugh­ter of the fash­ion house’s founder, Edoardo Fendi, and the only fam­ily mem­ber to re­main af­ter Fendi was sold. “I think the Ja­panese way of think­ing is quite sim­i­lar to that of the Ital­ians,” she ex­plains. “There’s a strong ap­pre­ci­a­tion for de­tail­ing that’s em­bed­ded in the cul­ture. It’s al­most like a way of life.”

Fes­tiv­i­ties in hon­our of Fendi’s 50 years in Ja­pan kicked off in May with a char­i­ta­ble auc­tion of five Peek­a­boo bags de­signed by some of Tokyo’s most revered style icons, in­clud­ing Ja­panese Vogue editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo, artist Taka­hashi Hiroko and ac­tress Mao Inoue. Pro­ceeds went to Tokyo Univer­sity of the Arts. Con­tin­u­ing the year­long cel­e­bra­tions will be tonight’s fash­ion show and VIP af­ter-party.

This year also marks 50 years for Lager­feld with the brand—ven­turini Fendi first met the de­signer when she mod­elled, aged six, in his first Fendi cam­paign. “We are con­stantly shar­ing ideas,” she says.

The Haute Four­rure col­lec­tion, which de­buted at Paris Fash­ion Week in July, is a per­fect ex­am­ple of the pair’s col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ship— most of Lager­feld’s fur en­sem­bles are com­ple­mented by match­ing minia­ture Peek­a­boo bags de­signed by Ven­turini Fendi her­self. “There’s a lot of mu­tual trust and that comes af­ter so many years of work­ing to­gether.” Clock­wise from left: Karl Lager­feld and Sil­via Ven­turini Fendi; Ven­turini Fendi (far right) mod­els at the ten­der age of six; the Peek­a­boo bags by Ry­ohei Miy­ata and Anna Dello Russo

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