Gift Ideas from Italian Artist Francesco Clemente and his Family

From left: Francesco Clemente; Alba Clemente; Pietro Clemente; Chiara Clemente and her daughters, Alice Thompson (in Pietro’s lap) and Gaia Thompson (in Chiara’s lap); Nina Clemente; Andrea Clemente; and Nina’s daughter, Indigo Rambharose. Francesco wears his own Fabindia jacket; Gheebutter shirt; Knize boots. Pietro wears a Prada sweater; Common Projects shoes. Chiara wears a Dior dress. Nina wears an Alexander McQueen dress; Proenza Schouler shoes. Andrea wears a Brunello Cucinelli sweater; Armani Exchange T-shirt. All other clothing and accessories their own.

For our 2019 'Friends and Family' issue, we asked eight families—from multigenerational clans to collaborators who lean on each other like kin—to share what they’re giving and asking for this holiday season. Contributing editor Karin Nelson sat down with each group to paint a picture of their relationships and what they're getting up to this year.

Back in the early ’80s, when Alba Clemente, a costume and set designer, arrived in New York from Rome with her two little girls in tow, she was met with a loft in lower Manhattan that was bare save for a mynah bird. Her husband, the artist Francesco Clemente, had figured it would distract them from not having any furniture. “It shit everywhere,” recalls Alba, laughing. Nonetheless, the young parents ended up creating a magical home, full of art and friends who would drop in unannounced for Alba’s famous home cooking. “I think I’m a basic Italian cook,” she says. “But if you read Warhol’s diaries, I pass for a great chef!” Julian Schnabel made their dining table, Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring helped with the Halloween decorations, and the girls—Chiara and Nina—were in the middle of it all. “It’s amazing we turned out okay,” says Chiara, a filmmaker who now has two little girls of her own, Alice and Gaia. When Alba’s twins, Pietro and Andrea, were born, the family left the loft—now Francesco’s studio—and moved into a townhouse in Greenwich Village. With few rules and no curfew, the four kids were free to come and go, but mostly they stayed put. “Our place was where everyone wanted to be,” says Pietro, who, like his brother, works in production. Such is still the case: They all try to gather for Sunday dinners—Nina, a chef, makes the trip from upstate New York, where she lives with her daughter, Indigo. “It’s nice to still have the family around,” Alba says. Even so, she admits to running off every ­summer to Italy and India. “It’s also healthy to occasionally get away from them.”

Moncler Enfant puffer jacket, $515, moncler.com.

Giorgio Armani bag, $1,595, armani.com.

Chanel Le Vernis polishes, $28 each, chanel.com.

The Elder Statesman cashmere teddy bear and soccer ball, $515 each, elder-statesman.com.

“Little People, Big Dreams” hardcover books (the Quarto Group), $15 each, quarto.com.

Birkenstock sandals, $100, birkenstock.com.

Repossi black gold and diamond rings, $13,037–$24,018 each, repossi.com.

CDG x Hanes T-shirt pack, $90, cdgcdgcdg.com.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro, $999, apple.com.

Areaware shrimp puzzle, $15, areaware.com.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive vacuum cleaner, $700, dyson.com.

Richard Mille watch, $92,500, richardmille.com.

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