Just because something’s recycled doesn’t mean it has to look cheap or ugly, says the founder of Carmina Campus, a new line of totes, computer sleeves, and iPad covers made from reclaimed materials. Then again, she’s a Fendi. The youngest daughter of Anna, one of five Fendi sisters who transformed the family business into an international brand, Ilaria Venturini Fendi is using her clan’s artisanal approach to refashion castoff supplies into objects of exuberance and desire. Produced in Africa through the UN-sanctioned Ethical Fashion Programme, the line marries fine tailoring with leftover fabrics (including reclaimed safari tents, military blankets, and leather swatches) to reflect Venturini Fendi’s aspirations for a better world.
A GREENER FENDI
Venturini Fendi didn’t just grow up surrounded by luxurious furs and leathers in the Fendi atelier; her father, Giulio Venturini, also took her on frequent trips to the country, where he imparted his passion for animals and the environment. After some time on an organic farm in Rome, Venturini Fendi decided to reclaim her family birthright— and change some lives in the process.
“The idea is that the word ‘ethical’ should no longer apply to just a niche,” Venturini Fendi says.
Now available in such high-end fashion hubs as 10 Corso Como in Milan and the Dover Street Market in London, Carmina Campus sends a message that sustainable can be lustable. But the line is also an outlet for activism. Its “STOP FGM” collection, for instance, campaigns against the practice of female genial mutilation, with a portion of proceeds earmarked for charity.
“The idea is that the word ‘ethical’ should no longer apply to just a niche,” Venturini Fendi says in a press release. “The entire fashion system could and should take up certain parameters, making the distinction pointless.” Such a revolution would require an overhaul of everything we know about the industry, but then again, she has generations of Fendi DNA behind her.