It's 1997, and Silvia Venturini Fendi, granddaughter of the creators of the iconic Italian brand, has just created the baguette bag. With its graphic style, rectangular shape and relatively small size, it takes its name from the way it is worn, like a French baguette, wedged under the shoulder. The fashion scene, stunned, watched this historic moment with awe: the birth of the very first it-bag. At the time, the iconic Sarah Jessica Parker, an influencer before influencers were a thing, and undisputed star of Sex & the City, made it her favourite bag. And she wasn't alone: in just a few weeks, the Fendi baguette became one of the best-selling bags in history.
Fast forward to spring 2020. There's something in the air, a feeling of déjà-vu... A fabulously retro-style bag in an exquisite vanilla leather, enhanced with a large gold button tab has appeared at Elleme, and there's little doubt: it's a baguette. Then there's the croco-embossed elongated leather rectangles at By Far: also baguettes. Low Classic has also entered the fray, with a unique design in organic colours. And with timeless models at Coach, ovoid at Coperni, super-chic at Chylak, fun and sexy at Simon Miller, ruffled at Nanushka... its elegance is intact, its style revisited, it's good to have it back.
Although we savour their return like we would a fresh French loaf, we can't help but notice that times have changed somewhat. In 1997, adopting the baguette as your handbag meant a brutal cull of your belongings, leaving only the essentials to carry (a mirror and a lipstick), but with the rise of the hands-free trend and the mini Chiquito by Jacquemus, the baguette bag is almost like cabin luggage. "Space is born of light" Le Corbusier once said. So it all depends on how you look at things…
It was unthinkable at the end of the 90s, but thirty years later and the baguette is now worn on the shoulder, or if you're super-hip and the strap is suitable, as a crossbody, which is how all the fashionable boys and girls will be sporting their Maison Margiela Red Carpet Glam Slam, sexy AND gluten free!
"It's not a bag, it's a Baguette!”