Seated in the colossal, caramel-coloured enclaves of the new Fendi boutique on London’s Bond Street, Silvia Venturini Fendi looks right at home. As well she should: her surname is above the door, after all. It’s also emblazoned on the labels that adorn everything from hand-stitched leather key rings to five-figure coats and bejewelled handbags. She’s the sole Fendi family member still involved with the house, founded in Rome in 1925 by Edoardo and Adele Fendi, a company whose value was conservatively estimated this year at £1.8bn.
Silvia oversees Fendi’s accessory offering, but doesn’t design the clothes: that has been the job of Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi’s artistic director since 1965 – the longest ongoing collaboration between a fashion house and an outside designer. Silvia was just five when Lagerfeld was appointed, joining the company herself in 1987 as head of their secondary line Fendissime after a whirlwind period as a sometime-model and socialite in New York. Read more.