With humour adopted as a balm in these trying times, the iconic Fendi bag with the smile takes on a fresh resonance.
Smiling in the masked world of Covid-19 often translates to smizing, or leaving your Peekaboo to convey the expression. Just like how fashion delights with the promise of happier times, spotting the cheerful smile of a Peekaboo leads to more smiles too.
Now let’s see them turn into grins as Fendi introduces the next generation in the Peekaboo line. Unveiled at the Autumn/Winter 2020 womenswear runway show, the Peekaboo ISeeU (isn’t the cheeky name an instant mood-lifter?) is the latest incarnation in the legend’s perennial evolution. Characterised by refined craftsmanship, luxurious materials, bold innovation and fun vibes, it takes what we love of the Peekaboo and gives it a clever twist.
A streamlined front flap makes it easier to create the “smile”. The dip is more open here, depicting a broader smile to reveal inner pockets that you can personalise with hot stamped initials. These pockets on the Medium size (fits a 13-inch MacBook Pro) are detachable, and come in a host of eight colours and leather options from lamb to exotic skins such as python, so you can change pockets as you like. Extra points for the ingenious side gussets that form a new accordion frame structure, devised to afford a more spacious interior.
The latest edition offers two other sizes, East-West (a smaller rendition) and Pochette (a mini variation that doubles as a clutch, with the option of a chain shoulder strap), underscoring the multifaceted versatility produced from a subtle redesign.
The original Peekaboo prototype arrived in Fendi’s studio in Rome on Sep 9, 2008 before making its debut in the Spring/Summer 2009 collection.
Silvia Venturini Fendi, Artistic Director of Accessories, had already scored a hit with the Baguette. The first accessory to have its own name was christened as it was designed to be carried under the arm like the long loaf of bread. The unexpected, witty moniker played a role in propelling the bag to international success and iconic status, while highlighting the house’s fun and fabulous characteristics.
Silvia followed this strategy with the Peekaboo, endowing a touch of whimsy to the top-handle bag with a classic uptown, ladylike swish by giving it the catchy name of the hide-and-seek game. It is an endearing description of the bag’s open flap that seems to let you in for a closer look into its contents. It also alludes to the captivating allure of a discreet woman who hides the most precious parts of herself, before a gradual reveal.
On the other hand, the bag – with its playful mix-and-match juxtaposition of interior colours and textures against the exterior – also aptly expresses the idea of dualism, a valued house code. Under Silvia’s visionary development, the Peekaboo has grown a thriving line of infinite styles in a buffet of sizes, colours and material combinations (includes Fendi’s distinguished Selleria leather, fur embellishments and even woven raffia) season after season for 12 years and running.
Five years after its launch, a Peekaboo for men was presented in Autumn/Winter 2014. Adorned with the signature metal fastener, this adaptation derived its design cues from vintage doctor’s bags. Fendi introduced the Defender in Autumn/Winter 2018, a protective cover for the bag. Think of it as a raincoat to guard your Peekaboo from dirt, scratches or rain.
That season also welcomed the minimalist Peekaboo X-Lite. A relaxed silhouette defined this single-compartment (instead of the usual two) iteration. Not only did it do away with the centre partition splitting the interior, it went easy on the hardware. A lighter canvas shoulder strap and side-mounted leather straps anchored to the back panel completed this sleek interpretation, which was extended to men with the Men’s Peekaboo X-Lite Fit in Spring/Summer 2019.
Its iconic status has also spawned creative reimaginings via collaborations with artists such as Mr Doodle, Joshua Vides and Nicki Minaj.
Along with these options comes a coveted sense of casual elegance that works 24/7, defying stereotypical categorisations such as “everyday” or “evening”, and ensuring the Peekaboo remains age-proof. The perception of the timeless Peekaboo as a heritage bag was beautifully portrayed in the #MeAndMyPeekaboo campaign that marked its 10th anniversary in 2018, kick-started by none other than Silvia and her daughters.
“It’s one of those objects you want to belong to your family. You buy a Peekaboo not only thinking that you will wear it now, but also that you are going to wear it in the future and one of your daughters will probably steal it from your closet,” she mused. Her daughter, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, agreed: “The Peekaboo is precious like a piece of jewellery, because it can be passed on from generation to generation.”
In July, Fendi rang in the new Peekaboo ISeeU with a first – a global video and image campaign starring a bag that also features a celebrity, American actress and producer, Zoey Deutch (opposite).
This month brings on another first. The Peekaboo Bar finally opens in Singapore, first at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, followed by Ngee Ann City. Till today, the Peekaboo remains the first and only Fendi bag to have its own made-to-order pop-up. The exclusive in-store customisation lets you create your own one-of-a-kind Mini Peekaboo and wear it after a two-step process of selecting the body and handle. Optional add-ons include a shoulder strap or a Defender.
Deftly converting a purchase into a high-value experience, it’s just one of the many ways that Fendi shows there’s a Peekaboo for every one.
(All images: Fendi)