There’s a trio of designers who define the Roman luxury brand Fendi today. There’s Silvia Venturini Fendi, the house’s longtime artistic director of menswear and accessories—the mind behind icons like the Baguette and the Peekaboo. There’s Kim Jones, who designs womenswear and inducted Fendi couture to the brand. And rounding it up is Delfina Delettrez Fendi, a fourth-generation member of the family, who was brought into the fold in 2021 as artistic director of jewellery.
Since Delettrez Fendi joined the brand proper, she’s introduced a real perspective to Fendi jewellery. One of her biggest coups was the introduction of the brand’s first high jewellery collection last year, where she designed pieces that evoked the colours and beauty of a Roman sunset.
Perhaps the best avenue to see the fanciest things Delettrez Fendi is cooking up for the brand is its couture runway shows, where the pinnacles of the house’s creativity and crafts meet. When Jones debuted at Fendi in 2021, it was with a couture presentation. Delettrez Fendi herself walked the show, wearing Murano glass jewellery of her own design.
In Fendi’s latest spring/summer 2024 couture collection, shown in Paris, one curiosity that came down the catwalk was a series of glittering eyewear. Dubbed Singular Vision, these are actually fine jewellery pieces crafted from 18-carat white gold and set with diamonds. This exceedingly fancy eyewear is an extension of the brand’s growing concept of a ‘couture ensemble’, which involves not just the garments but accessories as well. Last season, Jones designed his collection around Delettrez Fendi’s high jewellery debut, bringing the category fully into a synergistic creative conversation.
These eyewear pieces tap into the current season collection’s theme of humanist futurism. Jones’ idea was to combine precision and emotion into an imagination of a future that takes into consideration the people living in it—not a coolly removed vision.
The process of creating the eyewear is fittingly high-tech: the wearer’s face is scanned to yield precise measurements, from which the eyewear structures are tailored to each individual, then cast in gold and decorated with diamonds. They’re designed to be both functional and decorative. The lenses can be made into spectacles or sunglasses, or simply as non-prescription for the purposes of adornment.
Delettrez Fendi isn’t the only one to make accessories ultra precious for the Fendi couture. Her mother, Silvia Venturini Fendi, also introduced Fendi Gems Baguette bags on the catwalk this season. It’s an even more intensely crafted version of the brand’s famous handbag, with its hardware and buckle crafted from white gold and encrusted with pavé-set diamonds, and its already luxurious crocodile leather coated and gilded in platinum. Is it a bag or jewellery? At Fendi the proposition seems to be: why not both?