The iconic Fendi baguette is going Tiffany blue.
The Tiffany & Co. x Fendi capsule collection includes a medium baguette in crocodile, smooth leather or silk satin, and a nano size in smooth leather or silk satin with a sterling silver chain handle. All styles come with the special “Return to Tiffany” charms. Baguette-shaped enamel charms will also be on offer as part of the collection, priced $2,350 to $140,000, which lands in stores in January.
This marks the first partnership for Tiffany since LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton brand completed its $15.8 billion purchase of the U.S. jeweler last year. Fendi is also owned by the group.
It represents another chapter in fashion’s recent collaboration story, which has seen Dior linking up with Nike, Gucci with Balenciaga, and many more.
Last September in Milan, Donatella Versace designed a Fendi collection and Kim Jones, Fendi’s artistic director of womenswear, created a Versace lineup. The creative swap was dubbed Fendace. Fendi also linked up with Kim Kardashian’s Skims.
“I think collaborations are amazing, as long as they’re super authentic to both brands and to the clients which I believe this one is,” said Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president of product and communications at Tiffany & Co., who has been helping to lead the brand’s new direction, including the second advertising campaign with Beyoncé released last week on the heels of her album “Renaissance.”
LVMH has flagged Tiffany’s strong performance — with high jewelry as the fastest-growing category. Revenues in the group’s watches and jewelry division, which also includes Bulgari, Tag Heuer and Hublot, jumped 13 percent in the second quarter.
“The idea of paying homage to the Baguette through a Tiffany design made a lot of sense for us for the obvious reasons, and the fact that they decided to do this in New York. It’s the 25th anniversary of the Baguette bag and we’re experimenting with a lot of new techniques and innovations on jewelry and handbag design,” Arnault said.
“It was great to bring the teams together and I’ve known Kim [Jones] for a long time. And Silvia [Venturini Fendi] as well. I interned at Fendi for a short time when I was 21, and it was it was great to be reconnected to the team again on this project. It’s their vision that we really tried to bring to life as much as we could.”
The executive would not comment on the size of Tiffany’s accessories business other than to say “it’s an important category that has a lot of unique opportunities for us to create new things and reach new areas,” he said. “What I can tell you, though, is the partnership between these brands offers us the opportunity to really stay relevant through innovation and apply a lot of our savoir faire to handbags.”
With their long, baton-like silhouettes, Fendi baguettes were inspired by the way French women carry loaves of bread under their arm from the local bakery. First introduced in 1997 by Silvia Venturini Fendi, artistic director of accessories and menswear, the Baguette has been a canvas for many creative iterations over the years, including denim, embroidered jacquard, sequined, fur-accented, hand-painted versions and even a scented one introduced in 2019.
The Baguette reached pop culture fame thanks to a cameo in the TV series “Sex and the City.” In the episode, Carrie Bradshaw has her shimmering purple sequined-style stolen, delivering the famous line: “It’s not a bag — it’s a Baguette.” The same purse appeared on Sarah Jessica Parker’s arm in last year’s follow-up, “And Just Like That,” and the style has been enjoying a resurgence with men and women as part of the Y2K trend.
Another pop culture icon, Tiffany Blue’s origins are more mysterious. While there is no definitive answer as to why Tiffany founder Charles Lewis Tiffany chose the distinctive robin’s egg blue color for the brand and its packaging, according to company lore, it may have had to do with the popularity of turquoise in 19th-century jewelry. Turquoise was a favorite of Victorian brides who often gave their attendants dove-shaped brooches of turquoise as wedding day mementos.
Since 1998, Tiffany Blue has been registered as a color trademark by Tiffany and, in 2001, it was standardized as a custom color created by Pantone exclusively for Tiffany and not publicly available.
For now, there are no other Tiffany team-ups planned, Arnault said, adding, “but never say never.”
The pieces will be sold through both Tiffany and Fendi channels, with a limited marketing campaign for the collection featuring Linda Evangelista.
“We reach more American customers and they reach more European customers, so this definitely targets consumers that all share an interest in modern high-end and high-quality products…but it might also allow us to reach new clients,” Arnault said.
Tiffany & Co. has a long tradition of bringing jewelry making techniques to accessories, including belt buckles, minaudieres and more.
“It’s definitely something we’re interested in exploring. Jewelry design shouldn’t be limited to just pendants and bracelets. We even use our hollowware shop to create the NBA trophies, so the possibilities are endless when combining both worlds.”
So will we be seeing a crocodile Tiffany blue Baguette on Beyoncé’s arm? “She makes her own decisions,” Arnault laughed. “But it would look great.”