Silvia Venturini Fendi talks personal taste: Part One

Silvia Venturini Fendi is creative director of accessories at her family’s eponymous fashion house, which has 200 stores in 35 countries.

Silvia Venturini Fendi in her office at Palazzo Fendi, Rome.
Silvia Venturini Fendi in her office at Palazzo Fendi, Rome. | Image: Fabio Massimo Aceto

My personal style signifier is “clerical chic”. I buy lots of my everyday clothes in stores that supply the nuns in Rome – Gammarelli, the papal tailor, and De Ritis. I like to wear a sort of uniform: a pleated skirt, a white T-shirt, a black wool cardigan. Then I give it a twist by adding some great shoes, diamond stud earrings and one of my own handbags. De Ritis, Via dei Cestari 48, 00186 Rome (+3906-686 5843). Gammarelli, Via Santa Chiara 34, 00186 Rome (+3906-6880 1314).

The last thing I bought and loved was a gold necklace by my daughter, Delfina Delettrez. It has a transparent heart-shaped pendant containing a fresh flower and one of her milk teeth. It’s poetic and a bit disturbing at the same time, but I like the contrast of the two objects and its sense of humour. Via del Governo Vecchio 67, 00187 Rome (+3906-6813 4105;

Fracas perfume by Robert Piguet, £160 for 30ml.
Fracas perfume by Robert Piguet, £160 for 30ml.

And the things I’m eyeing next are some beautiful pieces of furniture by Pierre Paulin and Maria Pergay that I saw at Design Miami, where you can find some exceptional, museum-quality work. Mostly, I look out for new talent. It was here that I discovered the London-based designer Simon Hasan. And this year we collaborated with Berlin-based designer Elisa Strozyk and artist Sebastian Neeb, who were inspired by Palazzo Fendi’s neoclassical architecture in Rome to create an amazing, dream-like mini-collection of furniture using leather offcuts to update original 18th-century pieces.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Morocco. I rediscovered Casablanca, which is a city of great contrasts – very traditional yet contemporary. I also experienced the renaissance of Morocco’s capital, Rabat, with its daring projects, such as the new Grand Théâtre de Rabat, designed by Zaha Hadid, which is currently being built.


An indulgence I’d never forego is a teatime treat of rosé champagne, cucumber sandwiches and smoked-salmon blinis at Caviar Kaspia in Paris. 17 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris (+331-4265 3332;

The last item I added to my wardrobe was a pair of men’s custom-made brogues from Calzature Petrocchi, a master shoemaker in Rome, whose clients have included Marcello Mastroianni, Audrey Hepburn and my grandmother, Adele. Via dell’Orso 25, 00186 Rome (+3906-687 6289;

Caviar Kaspia restaurant, Paris.
Caviar Kaspia restaurant, Paris.

The best gifts I’ve given recently are the ballerina and fairy outfits I bought for my granddaughters, Emma and Adele, at Lavori Artigianali Femminilli. Via di Capo le Case 6, 00187 Rome (+3906-678 1100).

The grooming staple I’m never without is Fracas, Robert Piguet’s legendary perfume. It is feminine and very modern. £160 for 30ml;

Ragusa chocolate.
Ragusa chocolate.

An object I would never part with? There are a crucial few: photographs of my family, my BlackBerry, my Concetto Spaziale artwork by Lucio Fontana, my diamond ring and the remote control to open the gate to my house.

The last music I downloaded was the complete works of Caetano Veloso. I love his Tropicália pop music and admire him as a poet and political activist, as well as a musician.

Zaha Hadid’s design for the Grand Théâtre de Rabat, Morocco.
Zaha Hadid’s design for the Grand Théâtre de Rabat, Morocco. | Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

The books on my bedside table are all about postwar Italian design and architecture – a rare, original 1957 edition of Amate l’Architettura by Giò Ponti and Foto a Memoria by Ico Parisi, in which he retraces his memories through his photographic collection.

In my fridge you’ll always find groceries to meet the needs of the three generations that live in the house: fresh vegetables and dairy products from our country estate, Ragusa chocolates by Camille Bloch and light white wine.


My favourite websites are Nowness and Industrie. Since getting my iPad, I really enjoy viewing a variety of fashion and design websites, and these are the ones I visit most frequently.

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