And Just Like That, The Baguette Bag Is Back

When Carrie Bradshaw returned to television in the Sex and The City revival And Just Like That…, we couldn’t help but wonder if her signature bag, the Fendi Baguette, would make a cameo. The fictional-turned-real-life style icon’s look has (naturally) evolved over the years, but after all, so has Carrie herself. Luckily, it wasn’t long before the style very much made a comeback in Carrie’s wardrobe, and those appearances have prompted somewhat of a Baguette renaissance among shoppers. 

Turns out, there are serious numbers behind the Baguette’s resurgence: Fashion experts at Boohoo recently found that searches for “Baguette bag” on Pinterest alone are up 170%. Some of those searches may be due to nostalgia, however some SATC fans who didn’t grow up when the show originally aired in the late ‘90s and early 2000s might be getting in on the looks — Baguette included — for the first time. So if you find yourself asking what a Baguette bag is, and why it’s considered an iconic accessory, allow us to explain.

What Is a Baguette Bag?

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Cara Benevenia, the founder and designer behind the namesake luxury handbag label, explains that the Baguette is the handbag equivalent of tucking a fresh-out-the-oven French baguette under your arm. 

It’s a “small, soft handbag with a flap, short shoulder strap, ultra-feminine embellishment, and a cheeky nod to the French bread,” Benevia tells InStyle. The original Baguette Bag was designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi, the third-generation matriarch of the Fendi dynasty, and was introduced to the market in 1997. At the time, Venturini Fendi was the luxury brand’s Creative Director of Accessories, and Karl Lagerfeld was its artistic director

Carrie Bradshaw with an actual baguette on ‘Sex and the City’.

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“After World War II, when the five Fendi sisters took over their parents’ leather and fur workshop, the bags on the market at the time — although beautiful — were rigid and inconvenient, like portfolio cases with handles,” explains Benevenia. Fast forward half a century, when women of the ‘90s were looking for something new, and the Fendi Baguette offered women both “status and street cred,” according to Benevenia.

The Fendi Baguette Bag on ‘Sex and The City’

Carrie Bradshaw’s Fendi Baguette on view during the “Bags: Inside Out” exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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The Baguette flourished once Carrie Bradshaw brandished the bag in the illustrious Sex and The City episode titled What Goes Around Comes Around. In the forward Sarah Jessica Parker penned for Rizzoli New York’s 2012 coffee table book, Fendi Baguette, the actress revealed Fendi’s contribution to the show was as much of a defining moment for the series as it was for the bag. “Once Fendi loaned us items, everyone was willing to do so,” she wrote. 

Of course, one of the most memorable Fendi Baguette cameos saw Carrie being robbed “somewhere south of Houston Street.” The mugger demanded she give him her bag, to which Carrie rebuked “it’s a Baguette” (and had us flashing back to that time Clueless’s Cher Horowitz told her mugger, “This is an Alaïa,” when instructed to get on the ground and ruin her designer dress in the process). The Baguette in question was a purple, sequined style.

To this day, the bright magenta Baguette might be Carrie’s most notable Fendi, but it was just one of many the character would carry throughout the series: a brown leather design the fashion-forward columnist paired with a red tank top and low-rise jeans is another that comes to mind. A sparkling pink Baguette, a floral design, and a snakeskin number were also styled throughout the show.

The Baguette Bag in the 2000s

Thanks in large part to Carrie Bradshaw’s influence, the Baguette became the It accessory of the early aughts. “Flip open any late magazine from that era, and you’ll surely see it on the arm of everyone from Kate Moss to Maggie Rizer to Paris Hilton,” says fashion historian Julie Ann Clauss, founder of The Wardrobe, an archiving studio and storage facility. “Even Liz Taylor famously had a huge collection of Baguettes.” What’s more, SATC was just the start of the bag’s television placements; the bag also made appearances on Gossip Girl, as well as SATC’s prequel series, The Carrie Diaries — fashion anachronisms be damned.

Fendi has gone on to issue its Baguette in a variety of colors, fabrics, and embellishments. And though it has always remained “in fashion,” it wasn’t necessarily trendy. Clauss credits the bag’s timelessness to its “distinctive shape and ease” but notes the luxury house is masterful at reimagining the accessory so that it stays modern and fresh. An example of this, Clauss continues, is with its reissue in 2019. “[Fendi made] them even more functional: They have additional straps that enable them to be worn as crossbodies, or even as a pouch.”

How Old Is the Baguette Bag?

A Baguette styled with mini Baguettes at the Fendi 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Baguette.

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The Baguette celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022. To honor the accessory and all its success, Fendi hosted the first-ever fashion show dedicated to a single bag during New York Fashion Week. But the celebrations didn’t stop there: Fendi also collaborated with Parker on a limited-edition collection of bags inspired by the decorated style her character made famous on the HBO series. The exclusive capsule included a sequined Baguette that came in either purple, coral, blue, or acid-yellow colorways, with a customizable FF-logo plate.

The Baguette Bag in 2023

Following the bag’s 25th anniversary, the Baguette had the full-circle moment SATC fans had all been waiting for in season two of AJLT. Eagle-eyed fans saw Carrie holding what appeared to be the very same sequined Baguette that was once stolen from her (a sign that she either found it or purchased a new one). And in season two, she wears a micro Baguette, styled as a necklace.

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The pieces serve as a reminder of Carrie’s fashion and personal evolutions. Looks from the ‘90s and early aughts might be trendy at the moment, but they’re also being reimagined in a way that feels fresh for 2023, and Benevenia says the Baguette bag is no exception. 


“In 2023, the styling combinations [for Baguettes] are limitless, from the brilliant styling juxtaposition of cargos and stilettos, whimsical dresses and sneakers, ballet flats and ripped jean shorts, or men’s blazers and trucker hats,” Benevenia tells InStyle, adding that brands like Tod’s, Prada, Tom Ford, and of course Fendi are also targeting men with unique takes on the style, which has garnered a “genderless appeal” over the years.

Even the unlikeliest of brands are hopping on the Baguette bandwagon — Panera being the most surprising of all. The bakery-cafe added the BAGuette bag to its merch menu ahead of Fashion Week this past February, designed to hold an actual sandwich. The 12” Panera version — adorned with a custom metal “P” buckle and gold hardware — has sold out twice since.

Fashion lovers are eating up the re-emerging trend in 2023, and according to Afterpay ambassador and fashion and beauty expert, Zanna Roberts Rassi, the data shows this accessory isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. “We see it everywhere — on the Oscar’s carpet, at airports, in nightclubs, at the office,” says Roberts Rassi, who notes that Afterpay data shows that Millennials are leading the charge, with Gen Z close behind. 

The expert says part of the appeal is that it’s the bag version of the “going out top” — a Millennial favorite. “There have been thousands of iterations  — bedazzled, jacquard, croc, PVC, woven, utilitarian hardware, etc.,” says Roberts Rassi.

But at the end of the day, the stylist gives credit where it’s due: “The return of Carrie’s infamous FF purple Baguette bag 15 years later is a testament to its timeless presence and longevity in anyone’s closet.”

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