For his debut ready-to-wear collection for Fendi, Kim Jones honored the house’s storied past while ushering in his tenure as the new artistic director of womenswear and couture. Models navigated a runway scattered with giant F-shaped glass structures, showcasing Jones’ looks inspired by the glamour of Rome. Silvia Venturini Fendi stayed on as creative director of accessories and menswear at Fendi. Her handbag know-how (she is responsible for the Baguette, enough said) along with Jones’ ingenious flair for design is set to make an exciting fashion partnership.
Fendi’s handbag offerings for Fall 2021 explore contemporary bag trends while celebrating the house’s iconic styles. Jones and Venturini Fendi continue with the concept from the Spring 2021 ready-to-wear collection of reinterpreting Fendi’s classic bags in captivating new materials. Like the clothes, the bags feature in neutral, earthy shades. But far from disappearing into the background, these designs stand out. Fendi favorites, including the Peekaboo, Baguette, Sunshine Shopper and Fendi Way tote are re-envisioned in textures fit for fall. The collection also introduces some classics in unfamiliar shapes.
New bag designs grace the runway too. Notable styles include a pouch with a chain which we suspect will make a strong contender for ‘It’ bag status come fall.
Here’s our take on the bags from Fendi’s Fall 2021 ready-to-wear show. From large furry totes oozing functionality, to Baguette bags made from solid wood(?!) Let’s go!
Fendi Banks on Big Bags For Fall
Moving away from the itsy bitsy mini and micro bags which have flooded the fashion scene in recent seasons, this fall, Fendi is banking on big bags. The house’s popular Sunshine Shopper is re-explored in a shearling type material with a fur trim on the edges. The words “FENDI ROMA” appear on the front of the bag in snakeskin print. Fur is a recurring theme for the bags in this collection. A smaller top handle design entirely covered in fur looks like a pom pom (only, one which can carry your essentials).
The use of fur is a clear sign of adoration to one of fashion’s greats, Karl Lagerfeld. When he began his 54-year long tenure as creative director of the house in 1965, he famously sketched Fendi’s iconic FF logo in seconds and declared it stood for “Fun Furs”. No doubt influenced by the pandemic-induced comfy dressing phenomenon, the snuggly material is shaping up to be a staple bag trend for fall 2021.
An extra large Fendi Way tote with narrower top handles made its way onto the runway. The double F logo in metal gold-tone hardware sits just below the handles. Appearing in a faded olive brown color with dark leather corner covers, the style looks effortlessly sleek.
Other oversized bags from the collection include a large boxy tote made from an unstructured material with visible stitching on the edges. The bag features in snakeskin print, rich shades of coffee and chocolate brown leather and a sand-colored fabric, all with a cutout handle.
There’s A New Pouch In Town
If there’s one must-have trend all bag lovers can agree on in 2021, it’s the pouch and chunky chain combo. First came Bottega Veneta’s fashion crowd-pleasing The Chain Pouch, and more recently Louis Vuitton’s Coussin bag, which seems to be everywhere on social media. And now the Fendi First. For its take on the trend, Fendi opts for a pouch in a slouchy coin purse shape. In lieu of a traditional ball clasp, the bag features an F-shaped clasp closure. Being a brand new design, it is no surprise that the Fendi First pops up in a plethora of materials, colors and sizes. Some appear with a chain while others seem to be clutches.
Smooth leather options feature in intense shades of honey, dark brown and black. The new bag also appears in different variations of snakeskin, as well as teddy bear shearling in hues of copper and muted ballerina pink. This again hints at the growing bag trend of using materials which evoke comfort.
One Fendi First bag even features the FF Karligraphy monogram which Lagerfeld designed for the house in 1981, another example of the designer’s significant contributions to the house.
Fendi’s slouchy pouch offering for fall is noticeably different from the pouch design featured on its Spring 2021 ready-to-wear runway which is made from a crochet material with a thick wicker handle. With more and more luxury brands scrambling to put their take on the pouch and chunky chain style, it looks like bag lovers’ obsession with this trend is not over yet.
Peekaboo, But Different
Fendi’s beloved Peekaboo bag is plentiful in the Fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection. All of the Peekaboos for the house’s fall offering are the ISeeU adaptation. Launched last year for Fall 2020, the Peekaboo ISeeU is an accordion style, more structured version of the original Peekaboo. It has a wide opening which allows you to easily see the interior of the bag – hence the name I See U!
Akin to the collection’s other handbag offerings, the Peekaboo ISeeU features in an array of tones and textures. Looks include teddy bear shearling, python print and grained leather. Some have visible stitching around the edges. A sand-colored style has a braided trim along the edges of the bag. Another Peekaboo ISeeU in teddy bear style shearling comes with a matching micro Fendi First pouch attached as a bag charm. Many of the bags from the spring collection also featured micro bags as charms, giving the appearance of the covetable multi bag look. The continuation of this for fall hints that the trend isn’t through yet.
Perhaps the most striking Peekaboo ISeeU bags for this fall are rectangular in shape. There is already a horizontal version of the bag known as the East-West but this new shape is more extreme. A much longer rectangular design, the bag is akin in shape and size to the Hermès Kelly Cut Clutch. Another new Peekaboo ISeeU shape for fall is a vertical rectangular style, spotted on the runway in what looks like dark gray suede croc.
Since Silvia Venturini Fendi designed the Baguette bag in 1997, it has been reimagined countless times. With the ‘90s and early ‘00s shoulder bag style as popular as ever this decade, the Baguette isn’t going anywhere. For fall 2021 the iconic design is reinterpreted in leather and shearling, in addition to a shaggy fur design with a python print tab closure and buckle detail.
One standout Baguette from the collection is furry and fringed. Fringed designs have been prevalent in the past couple of fashion seasons and we’re not alone in welcoming this swooshing trend for fall 2021.
Another Baguette in the collection is constructed from solid wood. Delicate ivory colored detailing featuring the FF logo is printed onto a dark chestnut shade of wood, complete with what looks like a leather shoulder strap. Beautiful, yes, but practical, we’re not so sure.
This is in fact not the first time Fendi has used solid wood to construct a Baguette bag. A mini trunk version of the Baguette made from natural oak also exists.
Sleek, Sophisticated And Ready For Fall
Another new design for fall 2021 is an accordion style bag. Complete with a long strap to allow crossbody wear, this ultra chic and functional design appears on the runway in an array of neutral shades. One white leather version features a snakeskin print strap.
Adorned with a subtle FF logo near the opening, it is the functional kind of bag many of us will be in dire need of when the world reopens!
What are your thoughts on Fendi’s new collection? Which bag trends will you be rocking this fall? Let us know.
Updated: March 4th, 2021