Highsnobiety / Julien Tell

This piece appears as part of “Not In Paris,” an online exhibition hosted and curated by Highsnobiety. Head here to see the full series.

Fendi’s botanical-themed menswear collection turned out to be more prophetic than it originally appeared back in June of last year. For SS20, the Italian label sent out a gamut of perforated jackets, latticed sweaters, denim overalls, sunflower hats, and a geometric print from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino.

Highsnobiety / Julien Tell

It was all about succumbing to the simple and earthly delights of horticulture — and looking chic at the same time. It is, after all, a fashion maison with just under a century of refinement under its belt.

“In a time where so much of what we encounter is so virtual, the feeling of wanting to be connected to nature is stronger than ever before,” says creative director of menswear and accessories Silvia Venturini Fendi. “In this hyperconnected world, people feel the need to go back to nature, to work with their hands, to slow down and reconnect with the real world and with simple things.”

Little did we know, that our whole lives would see a recentering of “the simple things” as society takes a step back, from, well, everything (Paris Fashion Week included) amid the disruption from Covid-19 — even plant care has gone through the roof.

Highsnobiety / Julien Tell
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell

For Fendi’s slot in “Not In Paris,” we’re looking at one of the stand-out pieces from the collection — the Peekaboo bag. Now produced for men, the success of Fendi’s leather accessories confirms what we anticipated back in 2018 — that the explosion of men’s handbags wasn’t just a cash-grab for that season’s “gender-neutral” buzzword, but a wider comment on how men’s and women’s products are not being split down the binary anymore.

“The Peekaboo is a timeless bag that relies on the concept of whispered luxury, creativity, hidden surprise, where everything has to be discovered,” Mrs. Fendi tell us. As seen in the Peekaboo bags below, some of them are embellished with lattice exterior structures to mimic a gardener’s trellis, others with a Fendi print, and finally, the classic brown leather bag styled with a few sticks of lucky bamboo.

Highsnobiety / Julien Tell

Are you also “Not In Paris?” Not to worry, you too can join in on the non-gathering with our exclusive set of merch. Shop the collection here.

Words by Max Grobe
Associate Fashion Editor