Im Interview: Designerin Ilaria Venturini Fendi

Aus Italien kommen die großen, traditionsreiches Familienunternehmen der Mode: Ferragamo, Prada, Missoni oder Fendi. Wie der Name schon anklingen lässt, ist Designerin Ilaria Venturini Fendi ein Teil der Fendi-Dynastie. ihre Großeltern Edoardo Fendi und Adele Casagrande gründeten 1925 das Traditionshaus. Bis 2004 war sie dort als Accessories Creative Director der Fendissime Young Line und als Schuhdesignerin von Fendi tätig, bis sie sich entschied einen ganz eigenen Weg einzuschlagen.

Der Mode ist sie dabei treu geblieben, doch setzt die nun in ihrem eigenen Label Carmina Campus um und bringt dort in Handtaschen, Accessories und Möbeln italienisches Kunsthandwerk mit Nachhaltigkeit zusammen. Im Rahmen der Berlin Fashion Week launchte die Designerin ihre Kollektion im The Corner Shop Berlin und erzählt uns im Interview, wie sie zur Idee von Carmina Campus kam.

The Random Noise: You worked as a Accessories Creative Director and shoe designer for your family company Fendi. What made you leave the company?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: There were changes in the fashion system making everything become too frenzy and life itself was transforming becoming too fast. I loved my job, and I loved being still in my family company even after it had been sold to a foreign group. But it was really hard to think that what I created was destined to be old immediately after being presented. I needed to slow down my life and so I started looking for a small piece of land close to home to take a break at least  on weekends and  go horseback riding. Instead I found a beautiful, but very large piece of land that enchanted me, at the gates of Rome. Not a place that you could keep just for a few hours of relax on Sundays. So, this made me think it could be an opportunity. I had always dreamed of having a farm of my own, and I took my decision. I left the company to become an organic farmer and be able to also give space to values I always considered important, without having the chance to really engage with: environmental safeguarding and social development.

The Random Noise: How did then the idea for your own label came to your mind?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: I was happy passing from fashion to organic agriculture, but I still used to have my bags made by some artisans I knew, like people sometimes go to the taylor to have their dresses made. One day I had a conference bag made by the Italian NGO Aidos for a campaign against female genital mutilations that I decided to transform, adding some materials that could be reused and which I had at home. The piece became a brand new shoulder bag, still bearing the campaign logo. It looked so cool that Aidos gave me another 97 leftover bags made for the same campaign and I made 97 different bags  that were sold out in a short time, benefitting the NGO, too. The idea for Carmina Campus project came like this, it was not the consequence of  a marketing research. From the start, I could join my creativity and know-how in luxury design with my ideas about sustainability and social development.

Im Interview: Designerin Ilaria Venturini Fendi

The Random Noise: What is the design idea of Carmina Campus?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: The concept of re-using, employing in a creative way only already existing materials that could not maintain their original function. And showing how high quality craftsmanship can make the difference in creating objects made of precious, but also poor materials, like trash bags or beverage cans.

The Random Noise: For what does Carmina Campus stand for?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: It’s a latinism that could be more or less translated as „chants of the fields“. It’s a name I first thought could be given to the farm, but since its original name was an old heritage in the end I thought it was better to leave it like that (I Casali del Pino) and I adopted it  for my design project. It’s a name strongly symbolic for me, it shows how my return to creativity was possible thanks to the return to nature.

Carmina Campus Showroom in Mailand

The Random Noise: You ony use leftover fabrics for used materials like cans. How does the design process looks like?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: The design process for me is now based on the materials I find or search for. They give me the inspiration for my collections that being based on this approach, are not necessarily conceived as  seasonal. The same style may recur in different lines or be present in past or future collections, made of  different materials.

The Random Noise: Where do you image Carmina Campus in the future? What are the next  plans or projects?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: I imagine Carmina Campus increasingly connected with other industries and projects with which to share a view and more values linked to sustainability. I would like to be a reference point for a network of enterprises – also bigger than Carmina Campus – that want to be really  innovative and ready to cope with the problems of our times. In a crisis like the one we are experiencing, each one of us should try to change things in his own trade or industry and be linked in a network that should support a common effort to overcome problems.

Right now I am in an advanced discussion with a governamental partner to start a collaboration that would bring work to some Italian prisons and Carmina Campus providing training and trade support.

Carmina Campus Showroom in Mailand

Carmina Campus Showroom in Mailand

Carmina Campus Showroom in Mailand

Carmina Campus Showroom in Mailand

Bilder: Headerfoto © Michela Palermo, zweites Foto von Ilaria Venturini Fendi © Martin Mueller, Produktfotos © Carmina Campus Press

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