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Apparel and accessories

Fendi takes to Tokyo with latest accessorial activation

May 2, 2023

The brand's “Hand in Hand - A Celebration of Excellence in Craftsmanship” exhibition spotlights new versions of the Baguette, a handbag that has fueled luxury conversations and commerce for decades on end. The brand's “Hand in Hand - A Celebration of Excellence in Craftsmanship” exhibition spotlights new versions of the Baguette. Image credit: Fendi


Italian fashion house Fendi is turning the spotlight toward a handbag that has fueled luxury conversations and commerce for decades on end.

Honing in on a bevy of the brand’s bestselling styles, Japan is home to Fendi’s “Hand in Hand - A Celebration of Excellence in Craftsmanship” exhibition -- the interactive exercise has reached Tokyo following an initial Rome-based run in 2021. This time around, a corresponding initiative fosters the creation of innovative designs.

Fendi form
Open through May 8, 2023, the presentation arrives alongside a new collaborative effort, one that makes space for both reflection and remixes.

The brand's latest contribution also represents the first time that a Tokyo-based artist has been tapped to interpret a Baguette.

Recognizing the undeniable role that the highly-coveted purses have played over the years, Fendi's approach involves a look through the lens of a select group of craftsmen who, in this case, also happen to be locals hand-picked by a direct descendant of the famed fur atelier’s founding family.

In fact, Silvia Venturini Fendi's input signifies a full circle moment, considering the fact that the executive is, herself, the originator of the handbag’s design.

With the artistic director of accessories and menswear’s initial vision in mind, artisans were tasked with reworking elements of Fendi's original silhouette, putting their takes on house classics in newly-published video content.

Capturing a series of contemporary creative processes, the brand backs a round of iterative Baguette renditions, inviting those such as fourth-generation artisan Aya Nishikata in on the celebration of Italian craftsmanship.

Heir to the Nishikata Senshoku Kobo atelier, the artist spends the first few moments of her respective clip placing the project with respect to her lineage.

 Fourth-generation artisan Aya Nishikata celebrates Italian craftsmanship

“Our family has been making a living from textiles for generations,” Ms. Nishikata starts.

“I grew up playing with a loom and helping with work since I was a child.”

Throughout, Fendi's partner employs her institutional knowledge with expert precision, coloring yarn in bright, gradient tones.

“As a traditional craftsman, I create work by missing my own expressions while sensibly preserving the techniques inherited from my parents,” she says.

The excerpt concludes miles away, at a company facility, as a Fendi team member conjoins Ms. Nishikata's loom-constructed panels together with gold hardware and leather strips in a cream shade.

“I am passionate about creating things that touch people's hearts at the same time as being close to their thoughts,” Ms. Nishikata says.

Pushing fashion forward

Inching closer to its centenary celebration, Fendi's demonstration reminds audiences of the iconic silhouettes that have fueled fashion conversation and commerce for decades on end.

Featured throughout the Omotesando, Tokyo-based exhibition, the Baguette has come a long way since its initial release in 1997 (see story).

Japanese artist Meguru Yamaguchi transforms a Fendi Peekaboo for “Hand in Hand”

The accessory now centers the "Hand in Hand" display — introduced in 2009, the brand's Peekaboo (see story) arrived a decade after the Baguette. The handbag also makes an appearance in content, as Japanese artist Meguru Yamaguchi manipulates the more contemporary medium.

All versions make for an ample storytelling opportunity, helping Fendi amplify its made-to-order capabilities.

The service offers the brand's clients a bespoke experience, continuing an act that has remained a cornerstone of luxury patronage since the start.