Since 1997, the same year in which Silvia Venturini Fendi conceived and presented to the world what, according to fashion experts, was the first it bag in history, many things have changed. The idea of luxury, our desires and desires, purchasing habits. Others, however, not so much. The Fendi Baguette continues to be one of the most desired bags and its creator remains at the head of the artistic direction of accessories and men's fashion of the house.
His most special project has turned precisely that bag into the center of a story that, in addition to telling the story of Fendi, tells the eternal relationship of his country with traditional crafts.
“We are excited to showcase and pass on the core values of craftsmanship, the roots of our brand, artisanal savoir faire and the power of craftsmanship to the next generation. This will bring them closer to the attractive world of creation. It will also lead us to continually innovate and grow, while preserving our identity,” says Venturini Fendi.
“We need to make these jobs attractive to young people, convey the idea that they are not just about preserving ancient knowledge, but are also incredibly full of research and innovation.” As in 1997, the designer has her sights set on the future.
Hand in Hand, the name given to the initiative that has allowed twenty local businesses from twenty regions of Italy to create limited editions of the Baguette bag, presents to the general public the artisans of Perugia with their scenes from medieval history, the inimitable lace of Simona Iannini, centuries-old hand-weaving techniques from Umbria or unique embroidery processes from Marche. It has presented, in other words, a new dimension of the made in Italy concept: “We are supporting Italian excellence, promoting the unique savoir faire and craftsmanship behind each bag, the meticulous handmade arts transmitted only from generation to generation in villages. remote parts of our country,” emphasizes the designer.
She continues: “These local workshops and ateliers are at the very heart of made in Italy and I am eager to talk about them and show the world their talents and passion in preserving ancient handmade works.” Unintentionally, probably, she has stumbled upon the Italian version of French haute couture.
Also part of this project are Arazzeria Scassa, a workshop located in an 11th century monastery in Asti that is dedicated to reproducing painting masterpieces in the form of tapestries; or the factory near Turin where three artisans still embroider macramé just like in the 18th century. Small family businesses to which Fendi, which although has been part of LVMH since 2001, also keeps the family that created it at the center of its history (Silvia Venturini Fendi belongs to the third generation and her daughter, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, is the artistic director of jewelry), has taken them to different corners of the world, making them part of a book and an exhibition.
Hand in Hand still has chapters left: “I would love to take it to different countries, as we did at the beginning of 2023 with two special projects in Asia and Japan,” concludes Venturini Fendi. “With Hand in Hand we wanted to honor and support artisans around the world, who to me are more like artists, who have cultivated artisanal skills for centuries passing them on as secrets, and who today fight to keep traditional production methods alive.”