Chez Dede: Andrea Ferolla and Daria Reina
Chez Dede is a lovely little multibrand shop in Rome. It sells clothing and accessories, books and furniture, including some familiar brands such as P. Le Moult and Camoshita.
However, for me the most lovely thing about the store when we visited was the two founders, Andrea Ferolla and Daria Reina.
That’s Daria above, posing for a portrait outside the store. It was excruciatingly hot that day but she was cool and chic in a perfect shirt dress, slim black sandals and black leather jewellery.
Daria was born in Rome, but grew up in Belgium. “I think I appreciate Rome in a way the Romans sometimes don’t,” she told us. “I see the charm of the city, for example how walkable everything is despite its size - or the beauty all around us. Romans sometimes take all that for granted.”
Andea, her husband, is a well-known illustrator. He’s illustrated for Kate Spade, as well as featuring in galleries in London.
Andrea has a study in the back of the store that is an absolute treasure trove, packed with books and art, paintbrushes and works in progress.
There is also, rather charmingly, an old photograph of Daria propped up against his iMac.
Rather like seeing a designer’s moodboard, sitting in Andrea’s study makes you understand the aesthetics of the rest of the shop.
For example, his watercolours are used as the designs for the silk scarves and handkerchiefs. These are digitally printed but nicely hand-sewn, and I particularly liked one caricaturing the waiters at Pier-Luigi, the restaurant at the end of their road.
Others show fashion sketches and pictures inspired by the history of artists, such as the funeral of Matisse. Originals are offered for sale on the Dede website.
Andrea’s study also serves to reveal some of the couple’s influences, such as old lifestyle advertising and photography.
This drives the design of the products, with bags decorated with slogans or names of hotels for example. This is perhaps less my style, but it’s all part of that aesthetic.
As part of this Daria and Andrea also do branding and consultancy work for hotels, and they’ve published their own book on the beauty of Italy, Italian Chic, with Assouline.
The street - Via di Monserrato - is lovely if you’re visiting Rome, towards the north of the pleasant Regola district. But it hasn’t always been that way.
“This area used to be pretty unknown,” says Daria. “People knew the restaurant Pier Luigi, but that was about it.
“We liked it though, and since we opened [in 2011] Gerardo and Margarita have set up down the road [Giuliva Heritage] and a nice jeweller and little wine bar have opened too.
“In Rome you have to look after little areas like this, otherwise they can get run down quite easily,” she adds. “Romans are easy going - they feel they’ve seen it all before, given their long history, and you saw that with Covid: the city seemed to suffer less than somewhere like Milan.
“But that also means the city has its problems. Citizens have to do their bit and improve things wherever they can.”
Among the products on offer at Dede, I’d recommend the Camoshita buy, as well as the vintage objects and jewellery. The murano-glass trays are nice too.
Pop in mostly for the people though - for Andrea and Daria, shop manager Isabelle and others. Ask their advice on the products as well as on Rome as a whole.
Even the garden out the back of the shop is worth a look. That’s it pictured below, along with a rather stylish resident in the building behind, and her son who runs it.
Via di Monserrato, 35, Rome
Photography: Milad Abedi
Hi Simon, What a delightful shop. You are doing great service highlighting places like this. Daria make a good point about Roman’s sometimes taking their city for granted. As a lifelong Londoner, I think we tend to do the same and I suspect other places may do so as well.
Great pictures and a insightful article.
Simon, please don’t give away places like Via di Monserrato. At this rate it will soon become just another Via Condotti or Bond Street or whatever.
Don’t worry, the blog’s not that big
Proving size is important….
I wonder if “Camoshita buy” above is intended to read “Camoshita blazer”?
(I’m guessing based on their website.)
No, I meant buy. It’s more an industry term I guess – the ‘buy’ is the pieces the shop has bought, in order to stock them in the shop.
This is a wonderful place, thank you for writing it up. The pictures of Daria are a treat — then and now photos. She looks elegant in her casual shirt-dress. And I agree with you, Rome never ceases to provide wonders. Like Paris, Rome is a moveable feast, to borrow from Hemingway. It s the city of history and memory.
The first time I was in Rome, we were in the Borghese Gardens watching the moonrise,and I understood why it was called “Eternal City”. Shops like Chez Dede make my day, wherever they are. I hope you had the classic and simple Roman dish Cacio e Pepe. Thanks again for this great piece.
My pleasure, lovely to know it’s appreciated
Always enjoy learning about unique stores. Please do more ….
Jerry in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Cheers Jerry, and will do