Raffaella Vignatelli

Raffaella Vignatelli, President of Luxury Living USA spoke to Furniture & Accessories Europe about the luxurious projects it has been undertaking from all over the world. Fendi Casa has made it mark with its exclusive lines of collection and we get to know in her exclusive interview how Fendi Casa Keeps its freshness every time.

FAE: Every show has a new collection. How does Fendi manage to keep it fresh every time?


Raffaella Vignatelli: Fendi Casa proposes three new collections per year remaining true to its unique mood of on-going research and innovation. The freshness and contemporary feel of each collection stems from the continuous research of new solutions in terms of design and from a deep-rooted study of fabrics and leathers. In addition, Fendi Casa expresses the evolution of Fendi maison’s creations extrapolating tendencies, colours and geometrical patterns which become translated into furnishings and home accessories.


FAE: Recently Fendi Casa has furnished Carlyle Residence at Los Angeles. Tell us about it.


Raffaella Vignatelli: The new model residence high above the Wilshire Corridor is 2,837-square-foot two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom luxury residence, priced at $3.275 million (not including furniture).


The apartment’s interiors are an original display of one of the newest aesthetic sensibilities from FENDI Casa. The artful composition of inherently modern furniture and prestigious objects expresses beguiling, subtle luxury. Nearly all pieces selected for the residence are from the FENDI Casa Contemporary Collection – designed by Toan Nguyen – which introduced distinguishing belts and buckles, leathers and fabrics of primordial origin and tone, and the rich elemental colors of cuoio (reddish brown), lava and earth. The full collection of Luxury Living furnishings in Residence 2101 adds to the sophisticated dynamic that is present throughout the building, as FENDI Casa’s distinctive furnishings create an elegant ambiance for residents and their guests in The Carlyle’s lobby, lounge, salon and private dining room.


In addition to the elegantly appointed FENDI Casa furnishings, the model residence features a hand-picked art collection from local art dealers, Art Angels.


FAE: This iSaloni saw Fendi’s new collaboration with Thierry Lemaire. Tell us about the collaboration with Thierry Lemaire. How did it evolve?


Raffaella Vignatelli: Thierry Lemaire has given a new French touch to the Fendi Casa collection introduced during the last two presentations – Maison & Objet January 2014 edition and The Salone del Mobile April 2014 edition. His decorative sensitivity and his evocative style perfectly match Fendi Casa’s values. It is a journey along a pathway blending interior classicism with modern solution and the meeting of Thierry Lemaire leads Fendi Casa into a new aesthetic dimension perfectly balanced with the iconic style that always has distinguished our proposals. I believe that one of the most interesting features of Thierry Lemaire is the extraordinary ability to join noble and high quality materials such as woods and essences with metals and other solutions. It’s a highly formal and rigorous design, as well as functional and comfortable.


An exclusive and charming ambience introduces the Fendi Casa collection presented at Paris’ Maison & Objet 2014. The precious interior design objects express a lifestyle that translates tradition in innovative and contemporary terms.


The high-level design, showcased on a multi-faceted and fluid stage, reveals a sophisticated art de vivre, translating into a living philosophy. In this display, sofas, armchairs, tables, beds and exquisitely finished objects, resulting from a meticulous design and high-level craftsmanship, naturally adapt to the surrounding context and bring out its value.


This is where architect, designer and decorator Thierry Lemaire’s new collection falls into place. It originates from a sophisticated and versatile furniture programme, a magnificent take on Fendi Casa’s styles: Artù seats, Star tables and suspended fixtures, Stardust chairs, Ginevra coffee tables.


FAE: What were the different aspects specially looked into while designing for Bentley?


Raffaella Vignatelli: The Bentley Motors collection is inspired by the renowned craftsmanship and exquisite materials that characterise the interiors of all Bentley models. Combining the highest quality craftsmanship with a rigorous aesthetic sensibility links Bentley’s inherent qualities of heritage and tradition and technological and architectural design aspects.


The background of the collection is a residence where charm and luxury are perfectly balanced: through a columned patio, a warm light enlightens the wide and refined interiors. Sofas, armchairs, chaise longues, beds and meeting tables wisely decorate the spaces.


The colour palette is characterised by natural and pastel nuances. The mocha, cognac, taupe, quartz, grey and camel, flank variations of purple-red, burgundy, brick red or blue. The combinations exalt the use of tactile leather and sensuous textiles. Hints of male attire, pinstripe or houndstooth, are introduced into sophisticated velvets and the lightest of cashmeres, crafted with three-dimensional patterns.


Finely crafted leather upholstery – with its signature quilted diamond pattern or elegant padded texture – further enhance the collection’s pieces.


The Richmond collection develops the theme of the double shell, in burr walnut briar root, used in other of the collection’s models, as well as for the interior of the automobiles from Crewe.
Ebony Macassar essence and Calacatta marble make for a precious decorative effect matching with the steel gun-metal finishing of the base. Finely crafted leather upholstery – with its signature quilted diamond pattern or elegant dimpled texture – further enhance the collection’s furniture pieces.


FAE: Last year, Luxury Living opened its showroom in New York, which marks its third in the US! Tell us about the demand of Italian design this year too?


Raffaella Vignatelli: Luxury Living Group is very proud of the opening of its third American showroom in New York. The demand for Italian design has seen constant increase during the year, it expresses the authentic spirit of made-in-Italy, that special blend of tradition, unique workmanship – hand down from generation to generation – and tendency-defining style and design.


FAE: Fendi Casa products are 90% handcrafted by Italian artisans using traditional techniques. Tell us more about your collaboration with artisans and techniques used.


Raffaella Vignatelli: All workings of our collections are handmade and handcrafted. They follow the realisation processes of tradition, those that have been handed down over time and that give a unique value to the finished pieces. They refer to the typical Fendi manufacturing process, faithfully recalling to the great stylistic heritage, as in the case of the Selleria stitching, expertly performed by hand, stitch by stitch. A working example is clearly visible in the Sabrina armchairs, enriched with Selleria thread along the profile for a unique tailoring result. The motif Damier is another exclusive manufacture of a refined and detailed raw-edge leather strip weave. A product requiring great technical skills for the artisan arrangement of strips cut one by one and then put together in a woven pattern, as if they had been woven on a loom. It’s used to enhance the headboards of beds and sofa structures.


FAE: What are the new projects that you are working in future?


Raffaella Vignatelli: Fendi Casa plays an active role in contract projects. Important projects regarding yachts, as well as exclusive residential properties in emerging contexts, are being worked on at present.


FAE: Tell us about your exclusive property design collaboration.


Raffaella Vignatelli: For example one of the most relevant projects was the one for the Lady Lara yacht, an elegant 100 mt. super yacht, with a modern design completely furnished by Fendi Casa. For this realisation, the interior express a researched and eclectic style where wisdom and style are translated in armchairs, sofas, chairs and complements that perfectly match to the image and the yacht’s mood. The shades include colours in ivory, white and gold shades for cushions and details. A deeply-detailed project where we were protagonists and that has been developed during the boat’s building to assure efficiency and symmetry. Moreover, Fendi Casa keeps partnering with Princess Yachts for new projects in order to customize important yachts.


FAE: What are the emerging markets apart from Europe?


Raffaella Vignatelli: Fendi Casa’s target market is worldwide because it refers to a niche of customers who reside and have various properties in prestigious contexts all over the world. Fendi Casa collections are much appreciated in the Gulf area – United Arabian Emirates – as well as in the Far East market including China and India. At the same time also the US market has been registering a constant demand of luxury goods. The South American market (Mexico and Brasil), as well, has been evolving a new aesthetic sensibility creating new market opportunities.


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