A YEAR since the launch of their Hand In Hand baguette project, Fendi is celebrating this creative initiative with a special exhibition in their headquarters in Rome. Opening the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana across the month of November, the Italian fashion House invites fans and clients of the brand for a unique insight into this partnership with local artisans across the country.
The Baguette bag was originally designed by artistic director of accessories and menswear, Silvia Venturini Fendi in 1997. It was an instant hit and now considered one of the most famous bag designs of the 21st century.
Now, not only have we seen variations of the bag every season, it has undergone a multitude of interpretations from ateliers who have transformed this accessory into a veritable objet d’art.
The Hand In Hand initiative offered customers a chance to have a one-of-a-kind piece, but for Fendi and the craftsmen it represented human connection during a time of separation.
These bags are physical manifestations of relationships that focus on preserving and transmitting rare craft, creativity and most importantly the savoir-faire of locals in the brand’s founding country.
The ground floor of the exhibition showcases the first twenty Hand In Hand bags, each hand-made in a different Italian province. With the physical, there are digital elements framing processes illustrating a historical and cultural narrative not widely known about.
LED screens stretch from the marble floors to the ceiling showing age-old techniques, videos of behind-the-scene hand-creating and reveal secrets of their art, while different types of craftsmanship tables are set around a stage to immersive visitors into the process.
Revealing that the new year will see a continuation of the project with new additional regions added to SS22, the essence of family in Fendi stretches beyond their four walls.
by Imogen Clark