Delfina Delettrez Fendi: A Classic Eye with A Contemporary Twist

Delfina Delettrez Fendi: A Classic Eye with A Contemporary Twist

Delfina Delettrez Fendi is the founder and director of the celebrated jewelry brand 'Delfina Delettrez', and as a member of the Fendi fashion dynasty, is uniquely placed to marry the worlds of high fashion, fine art and luxury together. As Contemporary Curated Milan opens for bidding, we sat down with Delfina to discuss her creative influences and her unique approach to collecting pieces by the artists she loves.

Who are your favourite artists?

They are so many artists that I love and admire, it’s difficult to name them all. I am normally very fascinated by visionary minds and independent souls.

Delfina Delettrez Fendi at her home in Rome, wearing pieces from the Delfina Delettrez collection.

What influences your work as a jewelry designer?

When I first began over ten years ago, I started reflecting on what a woman like me would like to wear, and it’s the same question I still ask myself whenever I create a new piece today. Before then, I could never find the answer by looking at what the jewelry world had to offer. Nothing seemed oriented towards my energy or my generation. It became clear that if I wanted to start wearing jewelry, it would be have to be my own creation. I am very much interested in subverting the rules of by the jewelry tradition, giving new life and new energy to the classics, crafting the classics of tomorrow.

How do you find inspiration for your work?

Ideas can come from anywhere at any time; a conversation, an object, a piece of art, nature.

Delfina Delettrez Stone Hand Cuff in Carrara Marble. S.CESARONI

How would you describe your personal aesthetics?

I like twisted classics, unconventional objects that can touch different cords. I am attracted by the obscure and baroque side of beauty. My parameters of beauty shift constantly, I can be attracted by things that are almost repellent. I like to be faithful to my personal aesthetic but at the same time I am attracted by things that normally I don’t like, trying to find the new angle to things.

Which period in art are you drawn to the most?

There are many different periods of art that I am fascinated. If I have to choose one that is somehow related to my world I’ll say surrealism. A place where the absurd and the impossible becomes possible.

Which works in the sale speak to your personal aesthetic the most?

I really like the Col Telefono piece by Tacchi. I find it very elegant and somehow speaks of the current moment in which we are living – phone conversations with our loved ones from our sofas!

If you could collaborate with any artist – dead or alive – who would it be and why?

I would do an amazing video campaign with Rebecca Horn, looking at jewelry to constrict the body and influence and inform its movements.

How does art inform your jewelry?

I am very drawn to kinetic art, I am obsessed by beautiful mechanisms. You can clearly see this reference on my Tourbillon cuff where the ancient Italian artisan tradition is combined with a sort of post-apocalyptic vision, without sacrificing attention to details made by hand.

If you could save one artwork from destruction, what would it be?

I would definitely save the prehistoric cave paintings in Lascaux.

Which artists do you collect, or would like to collect in future?

Looking at my collection I realise is mainly modern Italian artists. I have pieces from Tacchi, Burri, Lucio Fontana, but I also like collecting small scale pencil drawings from Hans Bellmer, Carol Rama and Ugo Rondinone.

Which exhibition did you last see and why did you love it? Unfortunately these was a year without exhibitions and travel. Luckily, I didn’t have to go far to witness what I consider an incredible performance and an unforgettable experience. My husband Nico Vascellari performed for 24h continuously during the last day of the first Italian lockdown, dancing energetically while repeating over bad over again: “I trusted you”. Sharing an incredible energy and managing to unite people from all over the world that experience this piece from their home.

Explore Delfina's Highlights from Contemporary Curated Milan

How have you kept yourself engaged in art and culture this year?

Among the few positive aspects of this particular moment I had the possibility to read a lot and watch movie and documentaries. Social media too at times proved they could be used in a different way and offer precious content which of course should never become an excuse not to experience art live.

Can you share any creative takeaways from 2021?

We never stop but mutate and adapt.

Delfina Delettrez Fendi.

Are there any artists you feel speak to the times we are currently living in?

I think performance art is the form of expression that can better interpret this moment, and to help reflect our society and surroundings. Particularly when you think about the way the work of Paul McCarthy speaks about consumerism or the entire body of work of Tehching Hsieh. At the end all comes to an idea of deep meditation and the absolute need of becoming one with the body and the mind. This concept rather than inspiring is a necessity. Also Chris Burden, the Viennese Actionists, the Gutai Group, Marina Abramovic and Gina Pane.

A new exhibition opens in Rome, who would you call to go and see it with?

My daughter, I really enjoy having the possibility to look at art alongside a free and young mind.

Contemporary Art

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

More from Sotheby's

Close