Baguette bag: the great story of the little it-bag

In denim, with sequins or with a buckle, the baguette bag is a key accessory of current fashion. However, it has already been adorning the wardrobes of the most fashionable among us for 26 years. Between eccentricities of the 1990s and popular culture of the time, let us tell you...

An extraordinary model

If someone says “baguette bag” to you, do you think of…? The most gourmands will answer "bread fresh from their favorite baker's oven", the most fashionable, the star bag of the 1990s. And that's the very one we're going to talk to you about today!

Designed in 1997 by Silvia Venturini Fendi, the granddaughter of the founders of the eponymous brand, the baguette bag is an oblong model (longer than wide) with a short handle. Its name clearly assumes its reference to the cliché made in Paris: the designer calls it so because it is worn under the arm, near the armpit, as one would carry a baguette in France. Yes yes baguette! The first it-bag in the history of fashion, this “fashion bag which launched the fashion for bags”, says Marnie Fogg, author, speaker and consultant for the British fashion media, the baguette bag nevertheless goes against codes of the time. With its small size (its historical dimensions are 26 x 14 cm) and its elongated handle, it is an “eccentric and unusual” bag according to Silvia Venturini Fendi. In 1997, the time has indeed come for large, minimalist formats used for their functionality. If the baguette stands out in the fashion landscape of the nineties , it is nevertheless part of the desire of the time to experiment with fashion through volumes (platform shoes, baggy pants), materials (PVC skirt, velvet) and unusual styles ( grunge , total denim look). From that moment on, the baguette bag has continued to reinvent itself, both in luxury houses (there are currently more than 1000 versions of the inimitable Fendi) and within fast-fashion brands. Today, there are mainly 3 sizes of baguette bags: the standard model, the “mini” and the “multi”. Enough to find a baguette on your arm, whether you like to carry only the essentials... or a little more!

A symbol of pop culture

Although it met with success from its creation, the baguette bag was propelled to the rank of fashion emblem thanks to pop culture. At the end of the 90s, it was worn by icons of the small and big screen, like Rachel Green in “Friends” or Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City”. The latter also utters THE phrase that will forever mark the fashionistas of the time: in an episode of the series, the character says “It's not a bag, it's a baguette!” » when she is robbed in the street, pointing out the singularity of the model. Versatile, the baguette bag is also seen in the high fashion sphere of the time, on the arms of Supermodels (Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, etc.) but also in everyone's daily life through streetwear and casual looks. And its popularity does not seem to stop in 2023: last August, the TikTok platform counted 1.5 billion searches for #sacbaguette. We tell you that it's not a baguette, it's a fashion phenomenon!