The iconic Fendi baguette was created by Italian designer Silvia Venturini Fendi in 1997. A small rectangular handbag, designed to be carried on the shoulder with the body of the bag under the arm like a French loaf, hence its famous name Raclette Party Australia. The first Baguette had a patterned velvet body that reflects the ancient Italian weaving techniques from the fifteenth century. It has been created in over 1,000 styles and carried by everyone who’s anyone, from Madonna to Julia Roberts.
The body of the Baguette is small, slender and tapered like its name French bread, with a single strap top handle, 2 Fendi logo stamped buckles, a front flap over with magnetic closure and large signature double ‘F’ logo clasp. The Baguette comes in a variety of sizes from a petite mini to oversized.
The Baguette became a regular on the hit American TV programme Sex and the City. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker stated that the Fendi Baguette was a big deal and as a prized possession was perfect for the storyline as her character Carrie had a habit of spending large amounts of money on fashion rather than on her home. Actually paying more for her bag than the rent! The Baguette became famous and was the first bag to become known as the ‘it bag’.
In 2012 Silvia Fendi the Italian label’s creative director chose her 6 favourite styles that were re-issued in a limited edition, to celebrate 15 years of the successful Baguette bag. And teaming up with publishers Rizzoli, produced a book charting the history of the Baguette in beautiful colour photographs tracing it’s many designs from simple early styles, to works of art limited editions, designed by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Richard Prince.
The Baguette is loved by the famous too. Liz Taylor owned 18 Baguette Fendis, these were sold by Christies as part of her estate. The iconic double F’s were shaved into Kayne West’s hair and Scarlett Johansson and Georgina Chapman, designer at Marchesa, donated their Baguettes to raise money at a charity auction.
This Fendi icon is an expensive luxury that few can afford. Prices range from 500GBP to over 4,000GBP and vary according to the materials used and the number created. Don’t despair as there are many reputable designers who make fabulous bags inspired by the Baguette that are made by artisans in fabulous Italian leathers that will look fabulous and last a life time. But do also be aware of fakes, which are poorly made in vast numbers using inferior materials from the Far East.