The cast of Fendi’s 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Baguette pose for a photo at New York Fashion Week at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 9, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – You would have thought it was a movie premiere, with the hubbub converging outside of midtown Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom. But inside, despite the celebrity presence, the real star was a bag.
Not just any bag, but the “Baguette”, Fendi’s ubiquitous bag created 25 years ago and named for the long loaf of French bread and the way it is also carried under the arm of the discerning shopper. The Fendi show on Friday night was a huge birthday party for the bag and its enduring claim to fame in pop culture.
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But why New York, when Fendi usually shows up in Italy? The bag had early success and pop culture resonance in New York, most memorably immortalized in a 2000 episode of “Sex and the City,” when a thief had the temerity to try to take one from Carrie Bradshaw when it was apparently I didn’t know what it was called.
“Give me your bag,” demanded the thug in the alley. “It’s a baguette!” Carrie scolded him as he left with the bright purple version of her.
Designer Marc Jacobs, bag detail, is seen leaving the FENDI Spring Summer 2023 Fashion Show and FENDI Baguette 25th Anniversary Celebration during New York Fashion Week at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 09, 2022 in new york city
It’s safe to say that everyone knew their bags for their baguettes on Friday night, when some 600 people packed the ballroom, some on the main floor and others on high balcony seats, to celebrate the suitcase and its many iterations to over the years.
The evening marked a three-way collaboration. Fendi womenswear designer Kim Jones had brought in his friend and former boss, Marc Jacobs, New York’s quintessential designer, to lend his distinctive romantic streetwear vibe to a series of roughly 10 ensembles. starring, of course, the baguette. (“I’m never one to shy away from an iconic bag,” Jacobs said in a theater-style show.) And Tiffany & Co. jewelry store introduced its own baguettes in the signature robin blue.
Sitting in the front row was Kim Kardashian, with blonde locks and a figure-hugging sheer and sequined dress, but the baguettes were the center of attention on the runway. There were big baguettes, small baguettes, nano-sized baguettes. Bright baguettes, fluffy baguettes, bright and soft baguettes.
Bella Hadid walks the runway during Fendi de la Baguette’s 25th Anniversary Celebration at New York Fashion Week at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 9, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
There were fanny pack baguettes and sometimes double baguettes, two sizes stacked together. Pockets were reinvented as baguettes. There were little satin baguettes made into tube socks, a perfect place to put small gadgets, or if you wanted them closer to your head, attached to a satin baseball cap. The vibe was a mix of luxe and casual, sequins and sweats.
As the show began, a huge curtain on the wall fell to the floor to reveal a giant mirror, suddenly allowing the entire room, balconies and all, to see itself. The models meandered across the floor, but when they were done, the mirror suddenly disappeared and the models were standing in a huge display case, as if they were in a store.
Linda Evangelista, in an oversized cape and Tiffany blue dress, stepped out with the designers for a final bow. They applauded her, in what was a very public moment for the ’90s supermodel, now 57, after her recent ordeal with what she described as a disastrous body-sculpting procedure that left her disfigured.