Fendi has teamed with Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel Feinstein, Jourdan Dunn and Leandra Medine on a new charity project that will mark the official inauguration of the brand’s newest flagship on Madison Avenue in New York.
Fendi has asked the five women to personalize their own 3Baguette handbag — a style launched at the end of last year that reinterprets the Fendi accessory with a more structured shape and the FF logo becoming a lock rather than simply a decorative element. Parker, Rihanna and Feinstein have also designed micro-baguette models. The bags will be unveiled at a cocktail party at the new store on Feb. 13 hosted by Karl Lagerfeld, Silvia Venturini Fendi and chairman and chief executive officer Pietro Beccari.
This story first appeared in the January 16, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The bags will be on display at the New York unit from Feb. 13 to March 13 and available for purchase at the same time through a dedicated online auction site, launch3baguetteauction.fendi.com, which Fendi is launching at the end of this month.
Proceeds will be channeled to charitable organizations selected by each woman. Rihanna proceeds will benefit The Clara Lionel Foundation, which she founded in 2012 in honor of her grandparents, and which works to improve the quality of life for communities globally in the areas of health, education, arts and culture. Parker’s designs will benefit The Brain Trauma Foundation, while Dunn’s are aimed at The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. The Man Repeller’s Medine will support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and Feinstein has chosen to help the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
“The Fendi customer is active in different fields and engaged socially,” Beccari told WWD, explaining the diversity of the five artists. “There is not only one kind of woman and they are each excellent in their own field,” he noted, underscoring the personal relationships forged with Venturini Fendi. “It’s a celebration of femininity. After all, think of the five [Fendi] sisters. Karl and I are like brothers surrounded by all these women.”
The executive highlighted how personal the project was. “They had free rein, choosing their favorite colors, favoring their own personal tastes. It also shows that nothing is impossible with the incredible artisans at Fendi,” claimed Beccari. As an example, he cited Feinstein’s “work of art, similar to the Pompeii mosaics,” referring to the artist’s design, featuring different genres of fish.
Asked to explain the ongoing success of the Baguette, he said it “is a fantastic creative outlet in its essence and is easy to adapt to different styles. It’s perfectly in line with the more personal taste that is emerging today. The uniqueness, the differentiation, the variations and the customization perfectly symbolize the current trend.”
The new Peter Marino-designed flagship opened at the end of November. Speaking of the opening event, Beccari said “it had been a while” since the last big event in New York. “It’s a market that is greatly picking up for luxury. We are very happy with its performance and this is our homage to the relevance of this market now and in the future.”
Fendi last year launched a similar charity project to mark the opening of its London flagship collaborating with the likes of Tracey Emin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zaha Hadid and Jerry Hall, who customized the brand’s women’s Peekaboo handbag, raising funds for the London and Bristol-based Kids Co.