“Hand in Hand”, Fendi’s ambitious tribute to Italian craftsmanship
With the “Hand in Hand” project, Fendi celebrates the variety and quality of craftsmanship in Italy. The Italian House has invited twenty workshops representative of the twenty regions of the country to reinterpret its iconic Baguette bag, created in 1997 by Silvia Venturini Fendi, Artistic Director of Accessories and Men’s Collections. An unprecedented project that the designer wants to renew and extend internationally to celebrate craftsmanship around the world.
Twenty regions, twenty interpretations of the Baguette bag. For the launch of “Hand in Hand”, twenty selected workshops in Italy have deployed all their talent to transform the famous handbag into a jewel of craftsmanship. Each “Baguette” is stamped with the name of the workshop as well as a golden logo created for the occasion, “Fendi Hand in Hand”.
During the Fall-Winter 2020-2021 show, this first collaboration between the artisans of Fendi and those of the Florentine workshop Peroni, in Tuscany, was unveiled. Under the skillful hands of these leather sculptors, the “Baguette” appears, from its shape to the clasp, dressed in a single piece of vegetable-tanned leather without seams. A technical feat called “cuoio artistico fiorentino”. From one region to another, skills follow one another but are not alike. The hands alone tell the story of an art defended with passion.
In Veneto, “Hand in Hand” emphasizes time. Teaming up with the Venetian masters Bevilacqua, specialists in jacquard for five centuries, Fendi has chosen to go back in time. The son are woven on wooden looms of the XVIII th century. Just a few centimeters of the floral brocade bloom every day, every millimeter of the pattern requires extreme meticulousness on the part of the craftsman. The silk details on the strap, lizard and jasper inlay on the clasp are a showcase for the jacquard. The result is equal to the patience, the experience gained and the historical beauty of Venice: breathtaking.
In the city of Perugia in Umbria, craftsmanship is written in the feminine at the heart of the family business Giuditta Brozzeti. The looms of the XIX th century reproduce patterns inspired by medieval history and its bestiary. For their vision of the “Baguette,” the workshop chose to associate the horse, the peacock, the unicorn and the dove in a color chart of blue and white. A luxurious simplicity that hides the secrets of generations of weavers in its threads.
In the heart of Rome, cradle of the emperors and of the Maison Fendi, lies the workshop-boutique of the jeweler Massimo Maria Melis. The history of ancient Rome blends with that of the contemporary fashion house to create a leather bag adorned with two bronze pieces bearing the effigies of deceased emperors. The glorification not of a political past but of ancestral Roman goldsmithing techniques which regain all their former glory.
The Abruzzo region, represented by the artisan Simona Iannini, highlights the fragility and power of “tombolo aquilano” lace. Flax son interlaced form without being cut or sewn, an art of almost magical precision transmitted from the XV th century. To recreate the shape of the Baguette bag with this centuries-old technique, 100 hours of work were necessary. The starched lace obtains its rigid hold after 72 hours of drying on a wooden form.
By going to meet these proud craftsmen of Made in Italy , Fendi wishes to promote a living heritage and the recognition of talents too often overlooked. “Each bag is special because the imperfection of the hand-made is what makes it so inherently beautiful. Often fashion focuses on the designer, and I think it’s time we revealed the community behind it, ”says Silvia Venturini Fendi. This concern for the preservation and transmission of artisanal heritage is a cultural duty that Fendi is delighted to take in hand: Fendi Hand in Hand!