The Lady and the Baguette

Post 1710 of 1732
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Silvia Venturini Fendi

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Fendi spring/summer ’14 collection

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Fendi spring/summer ’14 collection

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Fendi spring/summer ’14 collection

The-Lady-and-the-Baguette5The new Fendi store in Bond Street, London
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Silvia from her modelling days

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The spring/summer ’14 campaign

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Freida Pinto carrying Fendi bag
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Silvia with Pietro Beccari and Karl Lagerfeld
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A model showcasing the spring/summer’14 line
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A shoe from the new collection

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Peekaboo Bag

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Baguette Bag

Powerful, creative and stylish, Silvia Venturini Fendi is a formidable force. We find out what
makes her one of the most influential women in fashion. By Dyuti Mishra

No one knows how to develop a legacy the way Silvia Venturini Fendi does. Born into one of the most powerful fashion dynasties, Silvia has pushed the house towards defining contemporary fashion. And the label continues to pleasantly surprise us season after season. Daughter of Anna Fendi, one of the five Fendi sisters who turned the fur and bag workshop into a luxury empire, Silvia has creativity and a strong spirit of entrepreneurship in her blood. She is the brainchild behind the Baguette, one of the most iconic bags of our times. It is only fitting, then, that we get our notes on luxury from this veteran.
While the Fendi legacy has always been a strong one, you took it over to another level with the accessories and iconic handbags. How do you strike the balance between heritage and reinvention?
It is very important to be a heritage brand in luxury fashion. I always find the past, ancient artisanal techniques to be a great source of inspiration. Knowing where we come from is fundamental to understand what we want to be. My idea though is always to create a timeless bag, not something that will be forgotten after one season, and this idea is very much expressed through the Selleria Line. The Anna bag from the Selleria Line, for example, is named after my mother who loves the casual and contemporary qualities of the bag. It is linked to the Fendi values, as it represents the five Fendi sisters and Rome, with the Fendi Roma logo heat-pressed on the front of the bag.

You and Karl (Lagerfeld) have been a team for so long now. What is it like working with him? How has this relationship evolved over the years?
Karl Lagerfeld joined the company in 1965 and the collaboration continues today. He started working with my mother and her sisters in the ’60s. He went from being the maestro to look up to from the short height of the child I was then, to a trustworthy, extraordinary person to share experiences and ideas with. I have the greatest respect for Karl’s work.

In 1997, you gave us the Baguette, one of the most coveted accessories of our times. Now, with the Fendi’s Artist Baguette project, the house is collaborating with some of the best contemporary artists. Tell us more about the legacy of the bag.
When I created the Baguette, it was mainly a simple, personal desire for a change from traditional bags, originating perhaps by some kind of dissatisfaction with the ’90s minimalism. It immediately became a cult object, a true phenomenon of the fashion world that revolutionised the entire industry. Baguettes change every season according to materials, colours, the zeitgeist, high-tech workmanship and precious craftsmanship.

Fendi has always collaborated with pioneers of design and art. How important are
collaborations to the house?

Our relationship with design began in 2008 with Design Miami, through which we tried to support the vibrant synergy, creating different initiatives, encouraging confrontation and supporting mutual cultural enrichment. Our collaborations with designers like Maria Pergay, Thierry Lemaire, Fernando and Humberto Campana are done in the spirit of strengthening the involvement of Fendi in the design world.

What was the mood and inspiration for Fendi’s spring/summer ’14 collection?
The idea of the collection comes from graphics inspired by the world of informatics. It’s very 21st century. Everything is hyperlinked—clothes, bags, shoes, accessories. The colours are inspired by Rome—the grey of the Roman walls and the orange tinges inspired by the old wall paintings found in houses in Pompei. The freshness of fluorescent pastels and sherbet colours, and the blue and black night shadows—all reflect Rome. The inspiration came from computer, Web graphics and galactic visions. As for accessories, I wanted to rework the iconic bags like Peekaboo, 2Jours and the Baguette. The one I really liked on the catwalk is the Baguette, it is always so different. The bag has a peculiar shape that you can recognise even without the logo.

How is this collection different from the rest?
This collection is an absolute positioning of the Fendi image—contrasts with visual harmony. It’s easy dreamwear with the appropriation of all the house’s codes. Shoes in this collection are very experimental too, with two heels instead of one on each shoe, and made with silicon to recreate the effect of stones.

What’s Fendi’s strategy for India?
Fendi is very successful in India because it is a brand that is attentive to high quality and refined details. India also has a legacy of luxury with particular embroideries, precious-stone enrichments and hand-stitching. These details are appreciated by Indian women who are known to be very sensitive to the excellence of materials and workmanship.

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