The iconic style debuted by Silvia Venturini Fendi in 1997 was dubbed the Baguette after it sit like its namesake French bread - under the arm - when carried.
November 29, 2022: The Fendi Baguette was made quite famous by Sarah Jessica Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw in the American sitcom Sex and the City, when she declared, “It’s not a bag, it’s a Baguette”. The petite shoulder bag soon became an It Fashion item. “It was a special day when I designed this bag; the stars aligned. The horoscope said it was a FENDI day,” says Silvia Venturini Fendi, Artistic Director of Accessories and Menswear, FENDI.
Taking inspiration from the object itself, a moment in time, as well as the spirit and geography of the place, the Baguette is realised in a multiplicity of ways, both in terms of clothing and accessories, reflecting the maker as much as the iconic item. It displays a difficult-to-realise romance between uptown and downtown, luxury and utility, and excess and reality.
Celebrating 25 years of this iconic creation, Fendi presented iterations of the Baguette, created by Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini Fendi at FENDI, Marc Jacobs, Tiffany & Co., Sarah Jessica Parker and Porter, to pay tribute to the bag and the city in which its place in pop culture history was sealed – New York.
For FENDI, the essential utility of the bag becomes a multi-pocketed motif, migrating throughout the collection. The unmistakable Baguette dimensions made mini and micro pockets, appearing on parkas to gaiters, roving all over the body, covering gloves, hats, skirts, sweaters and, of course, the bag itself in one of its new iterations. In contrast and cohesion, a sense of hyper-luxe and glossy glamour pervades the collection – the Baguette is not entirely utilitarian. Those gaiters are made from silk satin, that parka shaved mink or shiny leather; a stratification of sequins and biased cut silks are often layered beneath, adding a shimmer of art deco allure.
“I’ve got one word: Fendiroma. And it is one word! It is another land, this Fendiroma…And I’ve got two words: The Baguette. It’s a bag – and I am never one to shy away from an iconic bag,” said Marc Jacobs, Creative Director and Founder, Marc Jacobs. Mr. Jacobs’ grand dimensions from another time are contrasted with the humble origins of today. A reflection of the glittering and gritty New York cityscape, the casual is formal in parachute train skirts, balloon-backed broken denim jackets, rustling cellophane opera capes, and Fluro recycled fur stoles and hats. The glitter of rhinestones, silver, and Fluro yellow pervades, becoming an almost literal example of ‘local colour’, inspired by the glass frontages and workman’s safety vests to be found on the city’s streets. Exaggerated, platformed and oversized, Mr. Jacobs’ Baguettes are grand, elongated and gleaming, replete with multiple mini versions of itself attached.
Tiffany & Co. takes on the Baguette and reimagines it in its most precious forms, using sterling silver, enamel, Croco, white gold and diamonds. The T and the F complement each other in logo white gold fastenings encrusted in diamonds. At the same time, the shining crocodile takes on the hue of Tiffany Blue – a colour which also irresistibly permeates the FENDI clothing palette. Perhaps most startling is an unprecedented Baguette made entirely of stippled sterling silver. Crafted by hand over four months by Tiffany artisans, the bag is engraved with lilies and roses – the national flower of Italy and New York State, respectively. It is also the first of FENDI’s ‘Hand in Hand’ partnerships to come from outside Italy and is a measure of Tiffany & Co.’s superlative craftsmanship.
“It’s not a bag, it’s a Baguette,” is a statement inscribed inside each of SJP’s capsule bags or Baguettes. Designed alongside SVF (Silvia Venturini Fendi), embroidered in degradé sequins with a palette of purple, wasabi, baby pink or soft blue, the bags feature four interchangeable buckles to suit the wearer’s mood.
In contrast, the Japanese luggage brand Porter's supreme utility gives the Baguette a decidedly masculine bent. Known for their hard-wearing bonded nylon – that nevertheless exudes beauty and luxury – together with precision, Japanese craftsmanship, lightness and functionality are key here. The Porter collection is also a proponent of one of the Baguette’s latest incarnations: the Bum Baguette.