Well-known issues are not the only reason for the fierce competition in the midst of high fashion brands lately. Each of them is in competition not only with each other in jewelry design, but also with high jewelry brands. Therefore, it is not surprising that Delfina Delettrez, who has been designing for her own brand for about 15 years and is also the CEO of her brand, returned to her family home and started designing jewelry for Fendi. We had high expectations for what he would do when he was appointed as the brand’s creative director for jewelry last year. Rihanna and Nicole Kidman are in the middle of their fans, their designs have been exhibited not only in boutiques but also in museum collections. There was a little gothic and a little surreal world he built for his brand. His childhood commuting in the middle of Rome and Rio, the Rome he admired and the hours he spent in his mother’s workshop during his primary school years are sources of inspiration.
DELFINA DELETTREZ FENDI
Delfina Delettrez Fendi learned the business from the best, not only from Silvia Venturini Fendi, but also from Karl Lagerfeld, who was responsible for the fashion house’s women’s collections for 54 years. Delfina Delettrez also worked directly with Lagerfeld on the Chanel Haute Couture collections.
We made a contract for Delfina Delettrez’s first interview in Turkey since she stepped into Fendi, and we connected with her and the workshops she produced in Rome. If we look at what was spoken backstage, the granddaughter of the legendary Anna Fendi, entrepreneur and designer Delfina Delettrez is also a source of inspiration for Kim Jones. Archival pieces she wore in Fendi offices were particularly inspired by Jones’ Autumn/Winter 22-23 collection during the production phase. Now he continues to reproduce in communication with Jones, relying on the authority given to him by the double F chromosomes.
Like the rest of the collection, the jewelery we encounter in Fendi Spring/Summer 2022 draws its inspiration from illustrator Antonio Lopez and the 70s.
What does it mean to grow up with the surname Fendi?
It’s like you’re going to school from the first moment you open your eyes to life. But away from worries and fuss. The Fendi ladies were exceptional teachers. They taught me to communicate, to face. The door was always open for us. For example, when we wanted to attend meetings, we could go. The important thing was to have a point of view. It wasn’t about our age. This allowed us to develop our usual creative side. Some of us in the family were more inclined to fashion, some were not interested at all. Besides, I think there’s nothing scarier than living someone else’s dream.
So, does growing up in such a family automatically make you creative?
I’m sure the family chromosomes have a double F (laughs), but I don’t think creativity is transmitted through DNA. I think you need to have strong observation skills and strong senses. When I was growing up, or when we were growing up, nobody ever told us we had to love fashion. He didn’t force it. I learned by observing. I had incredible teachers. My mother, my grandmother, her sisters and, naturally, Karl Lagerfeld. That’s why I said I was just about to be enrolled in a school the day I was born. I think spending time in their midst and observing them has been a driving force in my interest in fashion.
The main inspiration for Fendi O’lock is the Palazzo della Civilta Italiana. The building, which is the epicenter of Fendi, is one of the examples of neo-classical and fascist architecture.
We see the influence of illustrator Antonio Lopez on the clothes. You also made references to him in the jewelry you designed. Was he always an inspiration?
Actually, the idea came from Kim Jones. I can say that the dialogue we established with Kim at the Fendi workshops is stimulating. It’s inspiring to see a new Fendi lady come to life with him. For my own brand, I can still say relatively small and independent. I’m not just a designer there, I’m also the CEO. Here we are in dialogue. So working with him is also new to my creative process.
The Spring/Summer 2022 Fendi collection consists of freedom of expression and the spirit of the 70s. You created contrast by bringing different tools together to embrace different perspectives. How would you describe the jewels?
Everything is based on the FF logo designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 1965. We reinterpreted this logo with a contemporary graphic approach, preserving its feminine design. So I rounded up the more angular design a bit. My inspiration was the Palazzo della Civilta Italiana with its round shape. I imagined placing the logo in the middle of the arch and pillars of the structure. Thus was born FENDI O’Lock. Kim sets me free in the creative process, but we also communicate a lot at the same time. He knows the importance of establishing a dialogue. Supposedly an Italian is hidden inside. Storytelling is very important to him. We start with understanding the new Fendi woman, imagining who she is, what she talks about, how she walks.
Gold detailed O’lock earrings, 9150 TL
There is a difference in the middle of the jewelery you designed for Delfina Delettrez and Fendi, but I think the gothic and surreal designs in the haute couture collection reflect your own style… What do you think?
When it comes to jewellery, I like to blend the classic approach with fun. This is an approach that is somewhat in Fendi’s DNA. A surprising surprise awaits you every time. Presumably this is due to the Roman and Baroque style. Because there is always that shock factor in the baroque. Fendi also never moves in a straight line. There is always a deviation.
After being the employer of your own brand for 15 years, as a member of the Fendi family, what was it like to design for this brand? Did you have any reservations?
Everything was very familiar, on the one hand, it was about an emotional burden that I was carrying on my shoulder. Being tasked with designing a new logo as soon as you start is fantastic. It was a very emotional moment for me. On the one hand, it is a huge responsibility. Because our logo is not only related to this logomania concept. My one-on-one time meant family to me and designing a logo made me feel like I was at the top of the family. In time, I had worked on Fendi collections or we had collaborations. This approach helped me focus on my own brand. But I feel like it’s the right time to devote myself entirely to Fendi. Being a part of Kim Jones’ vision, witnessing the birth of the new Fendi lady is beyond incredible. I feel at home. Supposedly, I took a stroll in the middle of the pages of a family album and they seemed to have given me permission to add the photos I wanted. However, yes there is a big but, because for me it also means struggle. The turn to tell the rest of the story came to me from the women who dedicate 100% of their lives to this brand, to the family. And I know that too much is expected of me. I symbolize the continuity of a family, a family history that has contributed so much to Italian society, culture and fashion. It’s an honor to know that there are stories to continue, so I dedicate myself entirely here. I am aware of the responsibility. They need to make my family name proud, keep them at the top, and see that I am aware of and implement everything they have taught me.
How would someone who grew up in Rome, grew up in the Fendi family, and designs jewellery, describe beauty? What does beauty mean to you?
Craftsmen are an important part of my business. It’s so nice to watch them in action. It’s not just about the value of the tools you use, but also about the value of craftsmanship and their techniques. The jewelery I design does not only come to life in Italy, they are also produced exactly in Rome. We use innovative 3D printing methods together with the classical techniques of jewelers. The craftsmen we produce together are able to realize the designs of my dreams, together with offering me the most suitable quality. In the haute couture collection we presented in January, we supported the artisans of Murano. It was very nice to experiment and spend time with them. I was with them during the pandemic and they taught me the art of glass. This experience was very good for me, it was special. It was unique. It broadened my horizons. For another couture collection, I worked with different artisans from a different region in Italy. I especially enjoy traveling and mixing different materials and techniques in the midst of different artisans, regions and approaches in my couture collections.
Who inspires you the most?
My family. In the 90s, I loved being with my mother at the workshop. I would always run to him after school. It was something for me about to teleport to London or New York in an instant.
Fendi is a brand that adheres to family traditions. How can it stay contemporary in one-on-one time?
Beyond family and brand, tradition and classicism lie in the code of jewellery. However, I pay great attention to reshaping and reinterpreting. I also play with the codes of my own generation while designing. Naturally, while all this is happening, I also blend creativity and freedom. By adding a diamond to a piercing, I make it a part of high jewellery, and in an instant I have created a new earring. I can say that fashion is in my bones. That’s why I apply the rules of fashion to jewellery.
Silver O’lock bracelet, 5750 TL
What does Rome mean to you?
I was born here! But I always improved myself through travels. My roots go back to Morocco and Turkey. My roots allow me to embark on a dreamlike journey aesthetically. Memories, encounters, Roman architecture are what make me who I am. Rome has given me a passion for contrast. He taught that different aesthetic approaches can meet in a timeless harmony in the middle. I have a passion for timelessness. I love designing jewelry that doesn’t feel like it belongs to a random era. I like to break the classic with contemporary interpretations.
Would you like your daughter to work and design under the roof of Fendi by continuing this tradition?
Why not? The important thing is to follow your own passions.
Article: Aykun Tasdoner
Photos: Luca Anzalone
Taken from ELLE Turkey May 2022 issue.