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

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words BECKY SUN­SHINE

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

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