To Fendi and Beyond: One-on-One with Siliva Fendi

To think of the FENDI Empire as homegrown is difficult considering the nearly century-old Italian fashion stronghold has its roots firmly placed in the future; but an afternoon spent with Silvia Fendi sheds new light on the idea.

Bayside at Miami Beach’s Standard Hotel, Silvia Venturini Fendi sits proud, breeze blowing through her hair, in the good company of her FENDI team and her daughter-cum-jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez-Fendi to chat with Haute Living about her latest venture. Another feather in her hat, if you will, in terms of the strides Fendi has been able to make in blurring the lines between fashion, technology, art, music, and most recently, architecture.

Fendi swept into town for DesignMiami/ to celebrate the unveiling of the brand’s collaboration with contemporary, New York-based architecture duo ArandaLasch–the latest in a series of similar collaborations for FENDI and one that adds new dimension to their on-going efforts to tap emerging talent for exciting, statement-making crossovers. A major proponent of DesignMiami/, FENDI is going on three years of supporting the art and design fair through specially curated, interactive projects that incorporate creativity through varying mediums.

“It’s something that is very related to the DNA of FENDI,” explains Fendi, who acts as reigning empress of the brand today but vividly remembers where it all started. “Really FENDI was a company built from five women working together with Karl [Lagerfeld], so it was an équipe work—always an exchange of ideas and points of view.” The five women in question are Fendi-sisters, Paola, Franca, Carla, Alda, and Silvia’s mother, Anna, who took the Italian fashion house, started in 1925 by their parents, Edoardo and Adele, into the international spotlight. The rest is documented history. Lagerfeld remains at the helm as creative director, while Silvia acts as accessories director, designing all those extras for which FENDI is so well respected—a task that she approaches from a creative place, reinventing constantly and pushing the proverbial envelope whenever possible. (We all remember how she revolutionized the handbag with her creation of the Baguette.)

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