Silvia Venturini Fendi discusses the fashion house’s impact on our homes – past, present and future
Fendi Casa has been bringing a sense of style to our homes for 31 years and, with Silvia Venturini Fendi keeping a watchful eye, the artistry’s set to continue
Design is in Silvia Venturini Fendi’s blood – granddaughter of legendary Fendi co-founder Adele Fendi, she’s creative director of the brand’s menswear and accessories lines (the mighty Karl Lagerfeld heads up womenswear) – and Fendi Casa is a passion of hers. Launched in 1988, it now has a dedicated design team, forging the future of interiors.
The collection’s signature aesthetic is slick, with noble materials, such as Italian marble, rich woods and brass, elegantly combined with immaculate upholstery fabrics and fine detailing. Furniture is big, bold and unapologetically glamorous, featuring plenty of soft, curving silhouettes – a characteristic it shares with the fashion house’s clothing and accessories. What also ties it together and makes it unmistakably Fendi is its refined craftsmanship.
Having last year celebrated a decade of showing new design collaborations at December’s Design Miami and fresh from presenting a collection at Maison & Objet in Paris this January, the brand is gearing up for more exciting pieces to be unveiled at Milan Design Week this April.
As one of the very first fashion houses to add a dedicated homes line, Fendi has been involved in the world of interiors for 31 years; a lot has happened in that time, but this is a brand used to shifting trends. ‘Things change with time,’ says Venturini Fendi, musing on the brand’s evolution. ‘Our style started as classical and Roman, but now it’s more international, just like the company.’
KNOWN FOR UNAPOLOGETIC GLAMOUR, FENDI CASA’S FURNITURE IS BIG AND BOLD, WITH CURVING SILHOUETTES
‘Before, we were more local,’ she says, looking to the brand’s history of championing Italian artisans.
An international presence, however, means that home and fashion can be linked to create what chairman and CEO Serge Brunschwig refers to as the ‘Fendi Universe’. Clever touches, such as piping, zips, bag buttons and the instantly recognisable trademark ‘F’ logo, applied to furniture remind you of the desirable Fendi lifestyle. And, where technology is implemented to create new designs, they’re never far removed from artisanal skills. As Brunschwig tells us: ‘Both innovations and traditional methods play their part. I was really amazed by the technological advancement in how pieces are built. Yet at the same time, expertise in craftsmanship is always so relevant, as it is so closely tied to the brand’s heritage and DNA.’
Like Venturini Fendi, Brunschwig also deeply believes in supporting new design talent, which Fendi is now known for. A memorable highlight was ‘Craft Punk’, a 2009 installation in Milan that presented the process of building an object by 12 young designers, including Simon Hasan, Peter Marigold, Studio Glithero and Raw Edges – all of whom have since forged successful design careers.
‘Artisans are fundamental,’ explains Brunschwig. ‘Our future and the sustainability of Fendi’s work relies on them. These roles are ones that could have disappeared, but it’s our responsibility to make sure that they still exist in 20 year’s time.’
So what’s next for Fendi Casa? Venturini Fendi remains tight-lipped for now. ‘It’s a secret,’ she says, but insists that the surprise will be worth the wait. We never had any doubt. fendi.com
‘CRAFTSMANSHIP IS ALWAYS RELEVANT, AS IT’S CLOSELY TIED TO THE BRAND’S DNA’
Portrait Creative director of Fendi menswear and accessories Silvia Venturini Fendi Opposite ‘ Loulou’ armchairs and the ‘Infinity Lite’ floor lamp from the Fendi Casa collection