RUNWAY

Fendi Introduces Handbags Touched
by Artist Antonio Lopez

By The Rebag Team, Sep 24, 2021

Rebag x Virgil Abloh

Kim Jones
brings Fendi
full circle.

For his second ready-to-wear collection for Fendi, artistic director Kim Jones looked to the artwork of Antonio Lopez, an old friend of Jones’s predecessor Karl Lagerfeld. A Puerto Rican fashion illustrator who socialized in fashion’s most exclusive circles complete with a cadre of It girls like Donna Jordan, Jessica Lange, and Jerry Hall, Lopez made his name through electrifying images highlighting the energy of the era.

 

Antonio Lopez met Karl Lagerfeld in 1969 when French Elle called on the former to travel from New York to Paris to sketch the Chloé collection that season — Lagerfeld was the label’s creative director at the time. “‘Antonio wanted everybody to be beautiful — himself included,’” said Lagerfeld, wrote Alicia Drake in her 2006 book The Beautiful Fall. The two would become friends for decades, until they had a falling out and communication ceased. When Lopez fell sick with AIDS, Lagerfeld didn’t reconnect after Lopez reached out. The illustration succumbed to AIDS in 1987 at 44. With this collection, Jones reunited the two friends, brining Lopez to the house that Lagerfeld helmed until his death in 2019. 

Jones followed in the footsteps of countless designers with the art and fashion fusion. Elsa Schiaparelli collaborated with Salvador Dalí on the now-famed lobster dress in 1930. Yves Saint Laurent placed the work of artists like Piet Mondrian, Tom Wesselman, and Vincent Van Gogh on various collections throughout his career. In more recent years, Kenzo used Lopez’s work for Spring/Summer 2017. This isn’t Jones’s first art collaboration; for Dior Men, he’s worked with Amoako Boafo, Daniel Arsham, and KAWS on different collections. 

Jones’s Fendi and Lopez amalgamation came at time when the Italian house is shedding its identity as a fashion brand whose primary medium is fur; Fendi announced it would stop using fur. Lopez’s colorful illustrations brought a wonderful vibrancy to the collection; Jones put them on several looks and on to tote bags, as well as versions of the Baguette, Croissant, and Peekaboo. There were also several iterations of the First bag, which, as the name implies, is Jones’s first major handbag at the house. Scroll below to see the bags of Fendi’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection.

Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rebag x Virgil Abloh
(Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)