ROME — “Finally, I’ve reached an age where I’ll have more freedom,” quipped Delfina Delettrez Fendi at her lavish 18th birthday party held at her family’s villa here last Friday. But her mom, Fendi accessories and men’s wear director Silvia Venturini Fendi, was quick to set her daughter straight. “True freedom never comes, especially with a mom like me,” she replied.
Wearing a reproduction of a silver metallic flute gown that Karl Lagerfeld designed for her mother when she was Delfina’s age, the petite Delfina, along with her mother, grandmother Anna, and her aunts Carla, Franca, Anna and Paola, greeted some 500 guests, most of whom were young pretty Romans and the next generation of Cinecittà actors, at Fendi’s vast estate in the hills overlooking the Eternal City.
“We Romans are more simpatiche,” said a gaggle of Delfina’s friends as they sipped champagne in the gardens before hitting the dance floor, where DJ Tania Vulcano from Ibiza’s Amnesia club spun tunes until the early morning.
“I’m not working tonight,” said Fendi chief executive officer Michael Burke, who stayed off the dance floor, but kept a close eye on his 17-year-old son, Matthieu. “I think Roman women are fantastic — they can do it all,” Burke said. “Not Roman men, though.”
Delfina was less concerned about the Roman guys at the party and more about the gift she had hoped her mom would get her: a bottle green Mini Cooper. The smart ride was her only birthday gift request, though. She instructed guests to make a donation to the charity SOS Brasil in lieu of presents. “I was fortunate to have lived in Brazil and I wanted to give something back to the people there who are less fortunate than me,” Delfina said.
She knows a thing or two about privilege. She just finished an internship at Chanel and is hoping to do another one in preparation for an eventual career in fashion. “I just don’t have any other passion than one for being a designer,” she said. “I just don’t see another thing I could do.”