Pin It

All Is Transformed: Ilaria Venturini Fendi

Ilaria Venturini Fendi exclusively designed a new line of bags for the innovative eco-project Yooxygen, recently launched by global Internet retailer Yoox.

Ilaria Venturini Fendi’s design philosophy is very simple: nothing is created and nothing is destroyed but all is transformed. This is basically what brought her to create an eco/ethical-chic accessory line, Carmina Campus, entirely made using recycled materials.

Daughter of Anna, one the five sisters heading the historical Fendi fashion house, and previous artistic director of the “Fendissime” line, Ilaria Venturini Fendi decided to go her own way and declare war on waste. A while back she launched the “Cameroon Bags”, iconic bags made with tribal headgear crocheted with many colours and patterns by a group of Cameroonese women, experimented with the most disparate recycled materials - such as safety belts, tires, old carpets, plastic pipes, kitchen mats, computer keyboards and canvas straps found in hardware stores - and opened a boutique-cum-gallery based in Rome, RE(f)USE, specialised in accessories and interior design objects created using recycled materials by Italian and international artists and designers.

Wasting is not only terribly unfashionable for Ilaria Venturini Fendi, but also causing irremediable damage to our own health and that of the planet and, to re-emphasise this message, the designer has exclusively created a new line of Carmina Campus bags for a recently launched eco-project by Global Internet retailer Yoox. Yooxygen offers ethically and ecologically conscious products - from clothes to accessories, design objects and books - by various brands and designers, such as Brazilian Caboclo, multiple award winner Italian firm Pandora Design and British Katherine Hamnett.

Ilaria Venturini Fendi’s exclusive “Venetian Bags” include a series of clutches in bright colours - red, blue, yellow and green - created by assembling aluminium slats that were once part of Venetian blinds. Though made with recycled materials, the collection remains faithful to the high quality principles that characterise the Fendi fashion house: the bags are indeed made by expert artisans, paying attention to details and using innovative techniques.

In the next few months, Yooxygen, whose main partner is the Green Cross International, an environmental non-governmental organization founded by President Mikhail Gorbachev and active in 31 countries, will launch new actions and collaborations based upon ecological principles.

Dazed Digital: Why did you decide to take part in the newly launched Yooxygen project?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: Carmina Campus is a small project offering a niche product, but it has a great potential, that of bringing to people a very important message. I felt that Yooxygen could contribute to quickly and democratically spread this message to thousands of people scattered all over the world. I think Yooxygen is an example of how technology can be employed in a positive way: it is indeed a trading tool used as a means of communication, it is conceived as a container of commercial goods, but also of messages and ideas. As a designer I often get asked of taking part in different initiatives on the Internet, but I thought Yoox was the best partner for Carmina Campus because it has a direct relationship with a wide yet selected customer base from all over the world. Besides, I also felt it has the sensitivity and ability to bring the environmental message to a larger number of people. I guess this initiative could be described as a revolution in consumer habits made through a consumer tool.

Dazed Digital: How do you usually develop your bag lines?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting materials to use, sometimes I focus on materials that we forgot about because our daily life and routines literally made them invisible to us, erasing them from our perceptions. Often a material inspires me a bag and later maybe also an entire bag line. This was what happened with the “Venetian Bags” for example, inspired when I saw faulty Venetian blinds being thrown away from the production line. Finding the right idea to reuse a material is the starting point, the sparkle that ignites the creative process. Then there is the research phase during which several attempts at making the bags are made until a satisfying result is reached. As time passes the result reached is improved and, as artisans work on the bags, they perfect their skills in making them.

Dazed Digital: In your opinion does eco-fashion represent the future?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: We all know that we must find new lifestyles and fashion always proved in the past of being an innovative and helpful tool. I think that protecting the environment is fundamental for our existence and it’s not only fashion that has to be aware of this very basic principle, but all the other industries and professional fields as well.

Dazed Digital: Will you develop in future further eco-accessory lines for Yooxygen?
Ilaria Venturini Fendi: I do not exclude it. At the moment we are experimenting through this project the possibilities and potentialities the Internet can offer us.