MILAN — Silvia Venturini Fendi’s fascination with strong and independent women is escalating.
The designer allowed Chloe and Halle Bailey, artistically known as Chloe x Halle, to have full creative freedom in styling, producing and fronting the new #MeAndMyPeekaboo series of videos — a first for Fendi. In addition, the Rome-based luxury company is launching its first worldwide video and image campaign in honor of the Peekaboo featuring actress and producer Zoey Deutch.
“They are so talented but they are also beautiful and they represent today’s generation so well. They are professional, and active socially. They are examples of how young people are making their voices heard today,” Venturini Fendi told WWD.
The ongoing #MeAndMyPeekaboo series celebrates the relationship between the brand’s iconic bag, which this year marks its 12th anniversary with a new design — and family, with previous episodes featuring Kim Kardashian West, Kris Jenner and North West, sisters TK Wonder and Ciprianna Quann, and sisters and J-pop stars Ami and Aya Suzuki, to name a few.
The concept of the Fendi family and community remains key for the designer, who “liked [the Bailey] sisters’ relationship — they are strong and combative, they represent the women that I like.” She addressed Fendi’s fall show last February, when she put inclusivity front and center on the runway.
“These are women of the moment,” said Venturini Fendi. “They have addressed dramatic moments and issues and it is important to talk about these subject,” she continued, pointing to how the Baileys have spoken up about the Black Lives Matter protests that have followed the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
For the Fendi campaign, the duo chose to work with art director Andrew Makadsi, videographer Derek Milton and photographer Julian Dakdouk, selecting Los Angeles as the location, seen enjoying a day at the pool or prepping themselves before they perform their latest hit. The track is “Busy Boy” from their newly released sophomore album, “Ungodly Hour.”
The sisters, who wear Fendi’s pre-fall 2020 collection accessorized by the newest Peekaboo, tapped their personal stylist Zerina Akers, who is also Beyoncé’s wardrobe curator, for the campaign.
“I gave them carte blanche, their creativity is at work, this is not a marketing combination,” said Venturini Fendi.
Asked about the final result, she said she found it “poetic and strong at the same time, and sincere.”
Venturini Fendi is not new to working with different artists and acknowledged there is a risk in handing creativity over, but “you must know how to choose the people you collaborate with and I like this freedom.”
Deutch herself is a woman who takes risks, she said, citing her decision to wear a head-turner — a yellow jumpsuit at the Golden Globes last January.
Serge Brunschwig, chairman and chief executive officer of Fendi, was upbeat about the campaigns, which “empower people that we admire and appreciate. They bring energy and real authenticity to the projects.”
The executive said that, in this 12-year cycle of the Peekaboo, which he called “a major pillar of the brand,” with the Baguette, Fendi wanted “a new start at an interesting time to give it a new shape, colors and attitude.”
Called the Peekaboo ISeeU, the name refers to the accordion-frame shape, with a deep opening. “I like the fact that the Peekaboo, despite the fact that it has become a classic, manages to still surprise,” said Venturini Fendi. “We changed the construction, it has detachable inside pockets, in smooth leather or precious skins and personalized with one’s initials, so that it is multifunctional. The shape represents the brand, also without a logo.”
Brunschwig said the new version reflects the current trend of “going beyond appearances, to see more of a person.”
Asked about the relation with Chloe x Halle and Deutch, he said the decision to engage them took place before the COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring that it relies on a longtime relationship with the artists. “It’s important for a company like Fendi to be in sync with the zeitgeist and we want to touch the generations of today.”
The #MeAndMyPeekaboo campaign is set to launch globally from the end of July, while the new Peekaboo bag will hit stores from August.
Deutch in the campaign is seen embracing her Peekaboo, revealing its inside. The story follows her, cut into a short, chronological sequence that leads the viewer into the moment when she sits in the studio — ready to be photographed with the bag.
The soundtrack is the song “I See You” by The Horrors.