Ilaria Venturini Fendi, sporting a necklace that jangles with a row of her old house keys, is camped out in a dim corner of the L'Eclaireur restaurant in Paris.
Resembling a jolly market vendor, 40-year-old Fendi — the younger sister of Sylvia, who heads up leather goods for the namesake Roman fashion house — sits surrounded by the latest offerings from her high-end eco-conscious bag line, Carmina Campus. Now into its fourth season, the collection will be presented for the first time during Milan Fashion Week.
Like a magpie's nest, the collection's vibrant bags, produced by artisans around Italy, are constructed using a patchwork of salvaged materials that Fendi picks up trawling markets and bargain basements around Florence and Rome. Kooky cushion covers collide with swatches of deck chair fabric on one model, while one tote started life as an oversize knitted African hat. Elsewhere, pushing the boundaries of utilitarian chic, Fendi transformed silver mesh pot-scrubbing pads into a twinkling evening purse.
Leveraging her industry contacts (the designer used to oversee shoes and the Fendissimo line for Fendi), many scraps are also donated by various mills, she said.
The line, ranging in price from $300 to around $2,000 at retail, is distributed in an exclusive crop of stores, including L'Eclaireur, 10 Corso Como and Dover Street Market.
But Fendi is quick to insist the collection's raison d'être has anticonsumerist motives, as one of a number of projects she has geared toward promoting sustainability. Up to 20 percent of proceeds are donated to various charities.
Fendi named the brand after an organic farm she is establishing at a former dump site on the outskirts of Rome. "I have 700 rams and make my own cheese. I work from a little studio with a view of my vegetable allotment," she said, acknowledging it's a far cry from her past, growing up in the Fendi studios where she would "eat fashion for breakfast, lunch and dinner."
"When we sold the brand to LVMH [Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton], I decided that it was time to reevaluate life's values," she said, adding that she also hopes to house some of Italy's artisans on the farm.On March 1, Fendi will open her first store, Re(f)use di Carmina Campus, dedicated to recycled objects. As well as her bags, the three-story space at 39-40 Via Fontanella Borghese will stock furniture by designers such as Volksware.
Fendi's nascent jewelry line will also be showcased at the boutique, including bracelets made from bicycle chains. "This was made using my daughter's Barbie," said Fendi of a drop earring featuring a freshwater pearl cupped inside a miniature pink plastic hand.
"Fashion has become so disposable, it's worrying. If you make something today, tomorrow it's already old and I don't want to get caught up in that cycle again," she said. "The world needs something different."
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)