Meet President Fendi

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Published July 13, 2010

Rome’s Alta Moda fall haute couture fashion week kicked off in Dolce Vita style thanks to its new Presidente, Silvia Venturini Fendi, who began her three-year tenure this summer. Delfina Delettrez, the 22-year-old jewelry designer (and Silvia’s daughter) launched the proceedings on Friday night with a housewarming bash at her new home and atelier in Rome’s Ostiense neighborhood, the place where Cinecittà filmmakers Pier Paolo Passolini and Luchino Visconti used to hang out.

In fact, Al Biondo Tevere, the trattoria on the Tiber down the street from Delettrez’s new digs, was where Passolini had his last meal before his murder in 1975, and it’s also where Visconti shot a scene for Bellissima (1951) with Anna Magnani; two facts the Fendi clan, and all true Romans, know by heart. Delettrez spent five years transforming the old factory with Massimo Nicotera, a theologist and builder, using recycled stone, woodwork and copper pipes. In September during Paris fashion week, Delettrez said she would have a show at the atelier of Lebanese couturier and Fendi family friend, Rabih Kayrouz. “It will be my jewelry, but also something else, something almost like clothes, but not quite,” she said mysteriously. Delfina’s party was in full swing by 1AM–with Carlos de Sousa and Bianca Brandolini engaged in a samba competition to a mix of bongos and gypsy violins–when two Rome caribinieri appeared. That’s when Silvia Fendi pulled out her negotiating skills. Holding down the fort on Delfina’s doorstep, she had these two members of Rome’s finest smiling apologetically and on their way back to the squad car in no time. What’s a mama for?