The daughter of renowned designer Silvia Venturini Fendi, Delfina Delettrez Fendi knows a thing or two about fashion. Growing up in one of fashion’s most influential and respected families, Delettrez Fendi has been surrounded by industry heavyweights since, well, forever (Uncle Karl ring a bell?), but that has not made her any less determined to be successful on her own terms. While her mother may be behind the Fendi ‘Baguette’ – one of the most popular ‘It’ bags of all time – the young artist and designer is paving her own way in the world of fashion with her eponymous accessories label and signature surrealist aesthetic.
Read on for our in-depth interview with the designer about growing up Fendi, her love of jewelry, her fashion advice, and more.
You were born into one of fashion’s most influential and successful families, sometimes referred to as the industry’s ‘First Family’. Can you tell us a bit about what it was like growing up in such a creative environment?
When I was little, it felt normal to be surrounded by such strong and creative personalities, but today I feel proud to belong to such a family that has been so influential in fashion and so internationally recognized.
Were you interested in fashion and design from a very young age, or did you develop a passion for them over time?
My mother always told me that I used to have a very personal style from a very young age; she had to hide scissors at home to avoid me destroying archival pieces when I just wanted to transform them on my body.
Your mother, Silvia Venturini Fendi, was the creator of one of the most iconic ‘It’ bags of all time – the Fendi ‘Baguette’. Do you hope, in your own right, to create a ubiquitous piece of jewelry that will stand the test of time?
Of course. I know how important it is to create strong identity codes in brands, and this is what I did with my piercing earrings; they are totally unique and recognizable, and I will continue to evolve and evolve them. Like the ‘Baguette’ was a new way of wearing a bag, this is a new way of wearing earrings – actually, one earring!
You’ve managed to create a signature style that is easily recognized as your own. How would you describe the aesthetic of your brand?
You’ve teamed up with Kenzo and, of course, the house of Fendi. Tell us a little about that.
I like to experiment in new fields, and the collaborations were enriching, because they created new synergies. The Fendi collaboration had a very strong sentimental value, because it gave me the opportunity to work not only with Karl Lagerfeld, but also with my mother.
Do you have a favorite collection from your collaborations?
I had a great time working on my first Kenzo collection and so did my artisans, especially when I brought them a basket of nuts to crush – they were very happy! My artisans were more like molecular food chefs, working with slices of oranges and nuts dipped in transparent resin. With the Fendi collaborations, the first collection is definitely my favorite. It gave me great freedom of expression. It was a lot of fun to reinterpret fur, to make it light and look as if it were feathers. It allowed me to play with my code and see the fur transform and evolve into a fantastic, tropical bird-like creature.
Any plans to move into designing other accessories?
Not for now. I live day by day, but never say never.
Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you ever designed?
It was a ruby ring that I created when I was pregnant. It was like an amulet that I wanted to offer to my daughter one day, and in the meantime wear it as a protection and fill it with stories, anecdotes, and positive energy.
Can you tell us about the first piece of jewelry you ever received and the first piece you ever bought for yourself?
The very first one was an aquamarine brooch that was given to me on my day of birth by my grandmother. I like the association of an aquatic stone with my name, as nothing is left to chance. It tells me how much this tribute has been thought of for me. I never actually bought a piece of jewelry until I started to make my own; I wasn’t attracted to anything unless the piece had a sentimental meaning.
Any exciting, upcoming partnerships you can share with us?
I am working on new challenges, but I am Italian and superstitious, so I prefer to not talk about them!
Bees, faces, and furry creatures. What’s next for Delfina Delettrez?
Always freedom, freedom, and more freedom!
Where did your passion for surrealism come from?
From a need for freedom; boundaries are inexistent in surrealism. There is movement and imagination that is ultra stimulated. I also like the distortion effect; I like when objects can disorientate me, make me smile, and create a small, inner revolution.
What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
Be yourself, but at the same time enjoy fashion and interpret all the different eccentric characters you wish to be.
What’s the best fashion advice you would dish out?
Don’t be afraid of the unseen. Make it different.
How would you describe your personal, everyday style?
It varies; sometimes I have a minimal, almost uniform look, and other times I look like a colored tropical bird with my furs.
What jewelry do you wear everyday?
I usually wear my ‘Dots’ rings, playing around and assembling them in many different ways all day long. I also tend to wear my ‘Australian Pearl Piercing’ earring with diamond triangle, and on the other ear a simple ‘Pearl Piercing’.
You never leave home without your…
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?
I would sail around the world.
Delfina Delettrez is available at Boutique 1, Mall of the Emirates and www.Boutique1.com.
Photos: Courtesy of Boutique 1