First a MINI, then a bag.
Under the style-assured guidance of Ilaria Venturini Fendi, elements from prototypes of the new MINI Roadster were combined with discarded colour samples and other materials to create fashion designer bags made by Italian craftsmen. This capsule collections comprises week-end and city bags for women and men. The wide-ranging materials from the MINI Roadster provided an extensive source of inspiration. In some styles, the soft yet robust seat leather formed the outer shell of the bag, while the canvas from the soft-top was often decorated by a mosaic of small metal plates coming from the colour samples of the car body painting. Sunvisors hide make up mirrors while from the car interiors, handles become a special detail in a tiny proportioned bag. Reclaiming unused materials, defective or no longer fit for their intended purpose, or searching for stocks of end-of-lines and vintage materials that may change their function in the design of a new object, has been Ilaria Venturini Fendi’s creative approach from CARMINA CAMPUS’ start. This perspective on materials is being increasingly shared beyond the fashion world, and MINI is embracing the practice that now goes by the name of “up-cycling”.
“For many years now, the BMW Group has been working with creative people from all manner of fields,” says Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design. “We are delighted to have found in Ilaria Venturini Fendi a designer who devotes her artistic powers above all to considerations of sustainability and up-cycling. For us these are key issues of the future which we are now addressing through this collaboration in customary MINI fashion”.
The CARMINA CAMPUS label.
The youngest daughter of Anna Fendi, and once herself Creative Accessories Director of the Fendissime young line as well as shoe designer for the legendary fashion house, Ilaria Venturini Fendi retired from the company some years ago to run an organic farm in Northern Rome. In 2006 she launched CARMINA CAMPUS, a label that specialises in making furniture, jewellery and bags from re-used and up-cycled materials – to the highest standards of design. “I’m very happy about this collaboration,” says Venturini Fendi. “It shows just how aware MINI is of the motor industry’s impact on the environment and that it is working towards change. For big brands like MINI in particular, up-cycling is an important issue. After all, this is where you will always get scrap material that is generally described as waste, but in fact can become part of a high-quality object.”