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Fendi: It’s in the bag!

Designer Silvia Venturini Fendi.

By Jessica Michault

Silvia Venturini Fendi has fashion in her blood. She is the third generation to work within the company that was started by her grandparents and then carried on by her mother and four sisters to become one of the biggest and most respected fashion houses in the industry.

We sat down with the designer to talk about what it is like growing up Fendi, working with Karl Lagerfeld and the key to her continued success at creating seminal luxury handbags.

Did you always want to be a part of the Fendi family business?
Well it was a personal choice, but of course growing up with such a family it was quite normal for me. I always say that I went to fashion college from the very beginning of my childhood. I come from a big family and not all of us went into the business. I would say I was always the one that was interested in what was going on in the atelier. I felt the excitement; I felt the energy. There was a sense that something important was going on there.

What are your goals for the company now? Where do you want to take it?
Well you know we are a company that has 90 years of history behind it. But what is important is to keep traditions, to keep an eye to the past but also always look to the future. To be relevant after all those years, that is what interests me. At Fendi we really like to look at what we didn’t do, more then what we did.

You have known Karl Lagerfeld all your life, what is it like working with him at Fendi?
Every time that I see him it is like the first time. He gets bored very easily so what is important is to always surprise him. Of course there is a very deep and strong relationship with him. I know what he expects from us, and every time he comes to Rome I like to watch his reaction and see if we could surprise him once again.

What is your secret to coming up with so many iconic bags over the years?
There is no secret. There is no recipe. If there was, I wouldn’t tell! What I think is important is to come out with the right thing at the right moment. I always try to avoid looking at what is on the market and what the others are doing.


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