“It’s not a bag, it’s a baguette.”
Photo Courtesy of Carla Rockmore
Welcome to Editorialist’s “The History of…” series with fashion’s girl next door, Carla Rockmore. In each episode, we will explore the storied history of staple pieces with Rockmore’s help. First up: the Fendi Baguette Bag.
Few carryalls have a reputation as starry as the baguette—the Fendi Baguette, that is. Considered by historians and collectors to be one of the first-ever It-bags, this designer accessory has acquired a cult following for its easy throw-on nature, its decadent designs, and its ties to Carrie Bradshaw (ever heard of her?). We sat down with Carla Rockmore—internet personality, jewelry designer, and TikTok extraordinaire—to learn more about this must-have accessory, including who conceived it and how to style it.
The History of the Fendi Baguette
Who Invented the Fendi Baguette Bag?
The Fendi Baguette bag was the product of two great minds: Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi. Lagerfeld joined the Italian luxury fashion house in 1965 as Artistic Director, which took the label from a family-run business to a worldwide brand. He is credited with the creation of the famous inverted “FF” logo (standing for “Fun Fur”), which he introduced that year he was appointed. Meanwhile, Venturini Fendi, the granddaughter of brand founders Adele and Edoardo Fendi, was just getting her start at the fashion house. She quickly went from wrapping packages to cinching the Creative Director of Accessories seat in 1994.
It was only three years later that the Baguette was added to the Fendi roster. First conceptualized by Venturini Fendi, the Fendi Baguette was inspired by how French women carried a loaf of bread under their arms (hence its name) when returning from their local bakery. Characterized by its baton-like silhouette, single strap, and simple flap closure, the Baguette embodies the elegant, blasé attitude attributed to Parisian women.
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Why Is the Fendi Baguette Bag So Popular?
Now boasting the same acclaim as the Lady Dior Bag and Chanel’s 2.55 bag, the Fendi Baguette wasn’t immediately popular. It wasn’t until its guest appearance in an episode of Sex and the City that the Baguette was introduced to the world. Carrie had her shimmering purple iteration stolen, which elicited her famous bon mot: “it’s not a bag—it’s a baguette.” Its inverted “FF” hardware capitalized on the rise of logomania through the aughts, inspiring shoppers to wear the bag as a status symbol.
A few years later, Fendi briefly discontinued the Baguette—but the return of the vintage silhouettes (such as the Dior Saddle Bag) prompted the label to reintroduce the bag in 2019. To speak to the contemporary shopper, Fendi rolled out Baguettes in a variety of new fabrications, such as shearling, sequin, and classic leather. The Baguette’s continued popularity is rooted in its versatility (you can wear it with a party dress or just jeans and a shirt), its many celebrity endorsements (courtesy of Gigi Hadid and Priyanka Chopra), and its timeless appeal. It’s the type of bag that only gets better with time.
Now you’re familiar with the Baguette’s iconic history, why not treat yourself to a new everyday companion? Below, we hand-picked the best Baguettes on the market (Nappa leather classics; newer embroidered silhouettes), so you can focus on what’s important.