In 1997, Silvia Venturini Fendi was asked to come up with an easy, practical and functional handbag. "In a certain sense, it had to be technological and minimal, just like the times," she says. "My response (fortunately I am indomitably disobedient) was the Baguette: the exact opposite of what had been requested of me. It was an unprecedented success."
Designed to be carried under the arm like a French loaf, the bag made its way onto all the right shoulders and quickly became a recurrent fixture in the world's most influential fashion magazines. The moment the Baguette broke out of the fashion bubble and into pop culture vernacular was when Sex and the City wrote an episode around it.
Venturini Fendi's rebellion has a great legacy, ultimately unlocking the keys to expansion as well as investment from LVMH. Over 700 models have been produced since 1997, in an esoteric array of additions beyond caramel suede – the Baguette is essentially an archetype which can be toyed with in sequins, embroidery, fur, leather, metal precious stones and alligator. Or conceived as art editions by Richard Prince, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.
Pictured are six re-issued editions that coincide with the Rizzoli tome Fendi Baguette, a lavish hardcover edited by Venturini Fendi with contributions from the bag's fans – including Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto; MoMA curator Paola Antonelli; art critic, professor and curator Achille Bonito Oliva and Sarah Jessica Parker herself.