This past Saturday, which was National Handbag Day, Fendi celebrated its most iconic bags as well and dubbed the day Fendi Icons day. The bag that I’m focusing on from the House is none other than the Fendi Baguette. The history of the Fendi Baguette dates back to 1997 and many call the Baguette the first it-bag that started the designer bag mayhem and craze in the years that followed.
The story behind the Fendi Baguette proved to be one of the perfect (fashion world) storms, with a shape and design that filled a void in the market at the time along with placement on one of the most iconic tv characters and shows that changed the style of that generation and ones to come. Fendi lent Baguette bags as props to HBO for Sex and the City, a show that was new at the time and growing in popularity. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, Carrie Bradshaw, carried multiple renditions of the Fendi Baguette and SJP later said, “Having Carrie wear the Baguette was a defining moment for us, and marked the beginning of everything”. With the Baguette skyrocketing Fendi to it-bag stardom, LVMH then acquired Fendi in 1999.
The Fendi Baguette came at a time when larger totes reigned supreme in the bag world, but the market was missing a smaller bag that that offered the ability to transform daytime outfits and night on the town looks alike. Silvia Venturini Fendi created the first Baguette and when asked on how she devised the design, she told Harper’s Bazaar, “My grandmother had a collection of beautiful beaded bags from the 1920s and 30s. I always had them in my mind.” Many elements from the era of flappers came through in Fendi Baguettes, with opulent beaded detailing and light materials that flow with movement.
Though the Baguette is small and practical, the usability of the design reigns supreme offering a short strap and a longer shoulder strap. The wearer is able to transform their Baguette to not only suit their outfit and purpose, but also their mood. As the Baguette gained popularity, Fendi released hundreds of options in different designs ranging from basic to over-the-top and intricate. 20 years after its release, the Baguette sold more than a million units.
For me, a classic black Fendi Baguette is the bag I lusted after. The medium size allows for this bag to work daily, offering space for my needs and then some. The lambskin leather is incredibly smooth and supple, while still being thick and sturdy and it shows off the embossed FF logo print magnificently. Logo prints still reign supreme but many like the idea of it but want something a bit more subdued, and this Baguette offers that beautifully (this bag comes in 13 colorways). Getting into the Baguette is easy, there’s a magnetic button clasp under the FF gold-toned hardware detail. On the inside, you’ll find a zip pocket. Price is $2790 via Fendi.
Fendi embraced the opportunity to truly personalize your bags, with bag charms and interchangeable straps. A bag can easily go from looking like it’s straight off the shelf to being custom to you, and this Fendi Nano Baguette Charm transforms my bag and gives it a playful spin. The thin chain shoulder strap is long enough to carry this bag crossbody, but I carry way too much to make that work. Instead I love adding this bag to the shoulder strap loop hardware on my bag, and inside of it I can carry my lip gloss, contacts, and a couple pieces of gum. The Nano Baguette offers the typical design elements, just micro-sized.
There’s even a tiny leather flat pocket on the interior, which is a nice touch. The black and natural woven raffia offers such interesting dimensionality and I love the pairing of the raffia sitting against my Baguette’s smooth black leather. Price is $770 via Fendi.
Which Fendi Baguette is your favorite?