“It’s not a bag, it’s a Baguette!” The memorable dialogue from Sex And The City has long been associated with Fendi‘s iconic arm candy designed by Silvia Venturini, which is turning 25 this month. To celebrate, the fashion house has traveled to New York, home to SATC‘s Carrie Bradshaw, to present an exciting collection by Kim Jones, Fendi’s artistic director of womenswear. What’s more, the collection is a joint effort between Jones and Marc Jacobs, that honors both the Baguette and Fendi.
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Ahead of the show on September 9, Jones spoke to Vogue Arabia exclusively about the show, the Baguette, and its relationship with the Big Apple.
Manuel Arnaut: It’s like an army working here, it’s exciting to see everyone.
Kim Jones: Yes, it’s quite a lot of people. It’s quite funny because we’ve got my cabin, and his [Marc Jacobs’s] cabin working side by side, which is kind of like being in college again, since now you’re working with another designer.
How did you decide to work with Marc Jacobs on this project?
The starting point is the true focus of Baguette. The Baguette became famous from Sex And The City, which is a New York show. So, the hype of it came in New York, and then I thought, ‘Think big’. We’ll do a collection, Marc [Jacobs] will design a collection and then get Tiffany & Co. to do some things as well, because I like the fact that Tiffany is uptown, Marc’s is downtown. You know, New York for me was somewhere really exciting when I was young, and it’s just capturing that energy… and we really looked at the point in time of when Baguette came out so stylistically we’re looking at 1997, and that’s when the point came from.
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When you started at Fendi did you gravitate towards the Baguette immediately, or it was just something that was part of the DNA?
It’s one of the really strong bags, like when you hear the word ‘Fendi’, you instantly think of the Baguette. So, I thought it’s just something to play around with and, it’s just it’s there, it’s ever-present. It’s funny because we have got so many Baguettes in this show, it’s only Baguettes in those shapes and forms. Some looks have 12 Baguettes, so it probably gets a massive world record for the amount of bags in a fashion show. For the next show, we will probably show one Baguette.
What was it like to have Silvia Venturini also involved as a creator of the Baguette?
We worked directly with each other on everything. Silvia is a fountain of information and knowledge. I’ve worked for two houses, I’ve gone from Dior to Fendi which has a family there, an interesting way to work and think in different ways. So, we get on really well, we laugh a lot when we’re working and it’s just very straightforward.
It’s amazing how she kind of lets go and allows other people to come in and evolve what she worked on before.
Well, I think the fact that they had Karl [Lagerfeld] there for 53 years, she grew up with having someone else there. So I’m lucky I’ve got the two generations of Fendis to talk to, and Delfina [Delettrez Fendi] is a real muse for me. It’s how she wears her clothes and what she does, they inspire you.
Why do you think this bag is still not only a wardrobe staple, but also a pop culture phenomenon?
Clothes are quite emotional to lots of people, and I never really thought about how certain clothes make people feel good about themselves. I only realized that when I started at Dior and after years of working in the industry. So, I think people just fall in love with bags and items and pieces, you know, you gravitate towards them. It’s a weird gravitational pull, but it’s really practical and it’s a bag that’s really versatile, you can do lots of things to it.
Is there some sort of pressure you feel because it’s a bag with 25 years of history, and so people will, of course, be looking very closely at whatever you are going to showcase? Do you feel that pressure?
No, not really. There are so many good people around me in this space. My main critique for me is always whether people will buy it. And if people like it, they buy it. And seeing people buying lots of Fendi is a nice thing, it means that you’re doing your job properly.
Can you point out the looks from the show that you really like, and tell me why they’re special?
I love Look 1, I love the mix of the fabrics, and there’s a lot of different things going on there.
Fendi’s latest show celebrating 25 years of the Baguette will take place today at New York Fashion Week.