Carmina Campus, the ethical fashion was born in Rome and now flies to Africa

Collezione Carmina Campus

Africa and Italy are not so distant worlds after all. Ilaria Venturini Fendi has shown us that, incorporating her commitment to Africa in Carmina Campus, a brand of handcrafted “Made in Italy”, made from waste materials.

Ilaria followed in the family art tradition: her mother is Anna, one of Edoardo and Adele’s five daughters, who in 1925 opened a bags and fur store with workshop in Rome which then became one of the “Made in Italy” leading brands. Her sister Silvia is the maison’s creative director of women’s accessories and men’s collections. Thanks to the great experience she gained during the long period spent in the family company, and to her sensitivity to environmental and humanitarian causes, Ilaria Venturini Fendi created a collection of bags and accessories with a high added value. With the intention of creating without destroying, Carmina Campus combines pvc pieces, truck tires, plastic pipes and hardware waste, with luxury processing techniques.

Each bag is identified by a serial number handwritten on a tag where, in addition to materials, the machining hours are reported. For the more expensive models up to 7-8 hours are needed and the end result is an object with high quality fittings, unique, sought after and why not, even fun.

Ilaria Fendi VenturiniIn collaboration with the UN International Trade Centre (ITC) agency, that fights poverty through the creation of employment opportunities in Africa, the brand has launched social projects with the objective of training female microentrepreneurs, and fostering education and health care.

Ilaria Venturini Fendi adopted the ITC’s philosophy, NOT CHARITY JUST WORK, and created the Ethical Fashion Initiative. The project has seen the involvement of some craftsmen employees who have passed on their know-how to local communities through a process of on-site training. Scraps of traditional fabrics such as “shukas”, the Masai drapes with tartan design, mixed with printed cottons like “khangas” as well as other second-handed tissues combined with various materials, have been used to make the bags you find in this 100% Made in Africa line.

Over the years the Made in Italy Carmina Campus collection has been enriched by new materials. So switches are turned into sparkling Switch Bags and bottle caps become closures for Pyramid Bags, reversible bags with an inlay made of small pieces of leather processed in shape of a pyramid. And then there are the old color charts, which take the form of Soft Bags.

The Carmina Campus brand is not only bags, but also furniture, home accessories and jewelry, everything created in the same philosophy. Ilaria Venturini Fendi sells them at stores such as Corso Como in Milan, the Takashimaya stores in Japan, and Linda Dresner in the United States. The first store, called RE (f) USE, opened in Rome in 2008, and is where the bag with the phrase “Les Femmes relevants defies” (Women face challenges) that was given to Michelle Obama at one of his official visits to Italy, was purchased.


Borsa blu di Carmina Campus

Borsa multi color Carmina Campus


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