Formally trained as an architect, Cristina Celestino’s design direction combines traditional elements connoting heritage with a contemporary aesthetic. As a fellow Italian interior and product designer with a passion for legacy, it was quite fitting that Fendi Casa tapped Celestino for its latest groundbreaking collection, Back Home. Here, Luxe gets the scoop on the inspiration behind the collaboration with the renowned fashion label.
You first worked with Fendi designing one-of-a-kind furniture for the Design Miami booth in 2016. What came next? I worked with Fendi on the Omotesando store in Tokyo, where the Design Miami concept was adapted to a pop-up using everything from the furniture to wallcoverings. Some of those pieces—mostly low tables and sofas—were then chosen and produced exclusively for several Fendi boutiques worldwide. Silvia Venturini Fendi trusted in my vision and thought that my collection represented the Fendi world, but also had strong potential commercially. After suggesting my work to Raffaella Vignatelli, the president of Fendi Casa, this collection, Back Home, was born.
And the influence? Silvia Venturini Fendi asked me to create a collection of furniture inspired by the Pequin—Fendi’s signature broad stripe pattern—created back in 1987, the same year Fendi Casa launched. As for the inspiration, the overall mood is from the ’70s—and, in particular, the interiors and furniture of Willy Rizzo, a decorator and photographer who worked in Rome in the mid-60s. He mixed refined luxury with a modern vision in a bold and distinct way using very rich material combinations and finishes.
This is a large collection—14 products! What was it like to work with the Fendi Casa team? It was an honor to collaborate with such an iconic company and an Italian family heritage brand run by women, both Fendi and Fendi Casa, who offered me complete freedom in the design process. We shared a common vision, so it was a very easy collaboration from start to finish.
Any favorites? That would be like asking a parent to name a favorite child—it’s impossible! I love different elements in each of the pieces, and I love that they work alone as either statement and iconic pieces, or equally well together.
What were your aspirations for this collection? My hope, as it is with all of my designs, is to create pieces that express a message and a story beyond the aesthetic value. One that people remember. Fendi Casa’s quality is impeccable, so if people choose to pass this furniture down, they can certainly do so, but I never design with those preconceptions. I simply follow my heart and my imagination.