If you had any doubts that Fendi was one of the coolest brands on the block, they should be laid to rest. The house behind some of the most whimsical, luxuriously irreverent takes on fur around (coats dripping 24-karat gold and fur-embellished buggie bag charms, anyone?) is now collaborating with one very formidable group of power women on a series of DIY-styled, ultra-customized bags. The Peekaboo project—launching with an online auction this Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. GMT and the opening of a new London Fendi store on Friday—enlists the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Tracey Emin, Cara Delevingne, Adele, Jerry Hall, Georgia May Jagger, Zaha Hadid, and more to add their takes to the house’s Peekaboo purse, with the guiding design of Silvia Venturini Fendi.
“The Peekaboo has always been associated with strong iconic women since its creation,” Venturini Fendi told Style.com of the bag, which was introduced for Spring ’09. “We loved the idea to involve women, each of them an icon in her own field of competence. Iconic women working on an iconic bag.” Each of the custom bags—which range from a simple white crocodile version by Paltrow to actress Naomie Harris’ leather satchel imprinted with a butterfly-covered map of Africa (a “message of love and freedom,” said Venturini Fendi)—will be auctioned off to benefit Kids Company, a charity providing support to more than 36,000 inner-city kids in London and Bristol. “We wanted to do something special and unique on the occasion of Fendi’s new boutique opening in New Bond Street,” explained Venturini Fendi. “On one side, we wanted to give back to the British community, and on the other, to celebrate the iconic Peekaboo bag, a bag that since its creation in 2008 was conceived for a total customization, and even more so now with the new MTO service available in the New Bond Street boutique.”
“The main reason I was attracted to the project was because it was raising money for Kids Company, which I think is a fantastic charity,” related Adele, who created a rather cheeky take on this season’s Bag Bug Peekaboo. “The fact that I got to design a handbag was just an added bonus—I got quite carried away and could easily enjoy designing handbags forever.”
Architect Zaha Hadid saw the project as lending wings to her broader creative practice. “Designing these smaller pieces is of great importance to us, as they inspire our creativity, giving us an opportunity to express our ideas on a different scale and through a different media, while helping to raise awareness and funding for a wonderful cause that supports so many children in the U.K.,” she said.
“I really hope this joining forces between women—Fendi itself is also a company created by women for women, from my grandmother to my mother and aunts, now me and also my daughter—will bring amazing results and proceeds for the online auction to benefit Kids Company,” concluded Venturini Fendi. “We left [our collaborators] to express their own creativity without limits, and thanks to our amazing artisans, we were able to make their dreams become reality. Because at Fendi our motto is ‘Nothing is impossible.’”