Fendi’s “Hand in Hand” project celebrates the vast diversity and unique quality of Italian craftsmanship. The Italian Maison invited 20 ateliers representing the country’s 20 regions to interpret the iconic Baguette bag – designed in 1997 by Silvia Venturini Fendi, Creative Director for Accessories and Men’s collections. The designer plans to expand this unprecedented project to pay tribute to the best artisans around the world. .
Twenty regions, twenty interpretations of the Baguette bag. The “Hand in Hand” project was launched with twenty selected ateliers in Italy, which applied their unique talents to transform the iconic bag into a jewel of craft workmanship. Each Baguette bag is stamped with the atelier’s name and the gold “Fendi Hand in Hand” logo, created specially for the occasion.
The first creation was presented in the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 runway show, a collaboration between Fendi artisans and craftspeople at the Florentine atelier Peroni in Tuscany. In the skilled hands of Peroni artisans, the Baguette is fashioned from a single seamless piece of molded vegetal-tanned leather with no stitches from bag to buckle, using an impressive traditional technique known as cuoio artistico fiorentino. The different Italian regions each contribute distinctive savoir-faire while sharing a passion for traditional craftsmanship and skillful handmade creations.
In Veneto, “Hand in Hand” spotlights time-honored craft. Working with Venetian artisans at Bevilacqua, which has been making jacquard for five centuries, Fendi goes back in time. The fabric is woven by hand on 18th century wooden looms by artisans who meticulously create a rich floral brocade motif, producing just a few centimeters per day. An interlaced satin strap and a buckle sculpted in jasper with lizard details further elevate the jacquard. The absolutely breathtaking result is an ode to patient talent, to experience, and to the historic beauty of Venice.
Women artisans are honored in the Umbrian town of Perugia at the family-owned business Giuditta Brozzeti. Antique looms from the 19th century reproduce designs inspired by the bestiary of Medieval history. For its vision of the Baguette, the atelier featured a horse, a peacock, a unicorn and a dove in a bright royal blue and white color scheme. The luxurious simplicity harbors the secrets of generations of weavers of authentic textiles.
Nestled in the heart of Rome, cradle of emperors and Fendi’s native city, is the atelier-boutique of master jeweler Massimo Maria Melis. The history of ancient Rome meets the contemporary elegance of the couture house to create a leather Baguette decorated with original bronze coins portraying Roman emperors. The piece honors not the political past but ancestral Roman goldsmith techniques restored to their original glory.
The Abruzzo region, represented by artisan Simona Iannini, showcases the delicate force of the tombolo aquilano lacework technique. Continuous threads of linen are interlaced and never cut or sewn, an almost magical precision art passed on through generations since the 15th century. Recreating the shape of the Baguette using this centuries-old technique took 100 hours of work. The lace is starched and then becomes rigid after being left to dry on a wooden form for three days.
In honoring these artisans who are proud to be part of the Made in Italy movement, Fendi is promoting a living heritage and the talented artisans who too often ply their craft without sufficient recognition. “Each bag is unique, because the imperfections inherent to handmade craftsmanship are what express intrinsic beauty. Fashion often focuses on the designer, and I think it’s time that we celebrate the community of artisans behind these amazing creations,” says Silvia Venturini Fendi. Fendi is delighted to play a true “hands-on” role through its commitment to preserving and passing on the traditions of artisanal craftsmanship thanks to the “Fendi Hand in Hand” project!