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How FENDI Plays The Peekaboo Game

Despite the fact that I had encountered the magnificent Fendi Peekaboo bag many times before – well,  always remotely, – the first time I laid my hands on one was relatively recently when I was paying a visit to my dear friend living in Rome.

When in Rome...

Everything happened in a sort of a rush and nonchalant spontenaity. No sooner had my plane landed and I found myself in my friend’s car than she whizzed me off to the centre of Italy’s capital. She couldn’t care less if I wanted to take a refreshing shower or catch a breath of repose. In no time did we appear in one of the most bustling areas of Rome in the vicinity of the Spanish stairs. As soon as I appeared there I surpressed all my previous objections and indulged myself in soaking in the unique atmosphere of the place. However, when I saw all the world-renowned brands flitting right there before my eyes, my overall post-travel discomfort had waned altogether! As my other friend puts it, I come to life the minute I get close to anything branded. 😅

This is actually not true, but let’s drop it. 

Soirèe at FENDI

We spotted a stunning palace towering over a little square with an eye-candy inscription of FENDI. And we’d arrived… (pun intended😅) Upon entering the boutique we were warmly greeted by some of the Fendi staff. As my friend was trying on some sandals which she’d been eyeing for a while I was offered something to drink. With a set of two glasses of champagne and coffee to boot we lost ourselves in a friendly conversation with the Fendi people. I felt like I’d known them all my life. We were courteous yet very open and the flow among us all was indescribable. Suddenly, one of the girls offered us to join a private “secret” party that was being held upstairs on the upper floor of the Fendi palace. Great was my horror as I came to realize what I must have been looking like in my travelling sweatpants and dubiously stylized hair. But the ladies assured me that I looked the part. 🙊 I surrendered to the temptation and we sheepishly  followed them across the whole store into the private lift that took us to the heart of the glorious edifice. The palatial room where we arrived was filled with gorgeous people, among whom were statue-like models, respectable guests, Fendi managers, photographers and us – two starry-eyed onlookers. All of them were conversing, tasting some heavenly snacks and helping themselves to the delicious cocktails made right on the spot by one of the most famous barmen in Italy. Having mingled with the crowd and somehow acclimatized to the ongoing ball my friend and I were soon enjoying ourselves immensely. We were then invited to take a closer look at the work done by a Fendi artisan in one of the corners of the room and there it was! A Peekaboo bag was being created right before our eyes in very meticulous steps. We were mesmerized. We were shown the parts used to assemble a bag, such as threads, skins, silver hardware, zips, handles and what not!

threads, awls, skins, silver hardware, zips, Fendi stitch

The rebirth of Peekaboo

One of my friend’s Fendi acquaintances approached us with two more Peekaboo bags and told us about the history of the now iconic accessory. I realized what it takes to create a successful bag in a world of hundreds of “it-bags” so that it would remain covetable and in fashion for years to come. It’s all about the alchemy of so many different factors. The Peekaboo, which takes its name after the children’s game of “peekaboo”, was born more than a decade ago in the moment when fashion was ostentatious and quite gaudy. Bags were all around and you could choose whatever you wanted. However, Silvia Venturini Fendi said to herself: “I want to go back to the classics, but give them a new, modern twist.” The Peekaboo was recreated on the basis of the concept of secret luxury, where the inside of the bag was made of more precious materials than its outside. Hence its name of Peekaboo reflected the idea of Silvia’s concept: to conceal from the general public a secret that only the owner of the bag could relish!

Fendi private event

 When I was holding the two bags in my hands I could feel the tangible embodiment of Silvia’s vision. Each and every minute detail oozed luxury and the deeper you delved into the bag, the more luxurious it felt. Thank God the Peekaboo comes in two versions for women AND men, and I truly believe this bag will outlive many of its contemporary rivals thanks to the prophetic perspicaciousness of its creator.

Andris Stern