Fendi asked 10 powerful women of British backgrounds to redesign their iconic Peekaboo bag in celebration of the fashion house’s new London flagship, which opens today, May 1. The women who participated came from a range of fields and industries including fashion, film, architecture, music, and journalism. What remained constant was that each guest designer created two copies of their personalized Fendi Peekaboo bag: One for herself, and one to be auctioned in collaboration with Sotheby’s for Kids Company, an advocacy foundation for abused and traumatized children based in the UK.
The Peekaboo auction enlisted Gwyneth Paltrow, Georgia May Jagger and her mother Jerry Hall, architect Zaha Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Adele, Naomie Harris, artist Tracey Emin, fashion illustrator Tanya Ling, and journalist Kate Adie.
For actress Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Kids Company was an important part of her decision to be involved. “Being in the public eye means you have a degree of influence that you can choose to ignore, abuse, or use to help bring awareness to issues close to your heart. My preference is for the latter, especially when it involves raising awareness about projects that help children, and in particular helping children who have been born into disadvantaged circumstances, which means that they haven’t had a fair start in life.”
Adele was excited to be designing her very own Fendi handbag, but her intent in joining the project was similar to Harris’s. “The main reason I was attracted to the project was because it was raising money for Kids Company, which I think is a fantastic charity. The fact that I got to design a handbag was just an added bonus.”
The nature of the “Peekaboo” design is well suited to mission of the Auction: namely, to incite intrigue and drive up interest and bidding. Adele said of her bag, “My favorite lip color is in the pocket with an extra surprise.” She featured her lashes on the exposed inner part of the bag as an ode to the brand’s existing Dracula prototype, and added the lego-esque detailing on the side panels as a nod to the newfound importance of maternity functionality in her life.
Harris’s bag was heavily inspired by the current events in her life as well, but in her case, that meant her latest project. “I wanted a bag that is a respectful tribute to Mandela and his legacy of integration and unity in South Africa.” Her bag’s black-and-white striped Africa print is supposed to symbolize unity of human rights on the continent.
Working with Silvia Venturini Fendi and FENDI’s Atelier, the women each produced a unique iteration of the same concept: Fendi’s tagline, “Nothing is impossible.” The auction—which coincides with the London store opening today—should generate a good amount of buzz for both Kids Company and the new boutique, and Fendi fans all over the world are able to bid on items.