Behold, the return of the Fendi Spy bag: this tote is shaped like a plum with a low rounded handle. While these bags were big in the mid-00s, they’ve made a comeback this past year. Rihanna was spotted wearing an extremely rare velvet and sequined “squirrel” version. Just a few weeks ago, avid reader Bella Hadid wore a boho version of a red-orange leather bag with a cross-hatched leather handle. Then, actor Tommy Dorfman took to Instagram with her neat Nantucket version of a roomy Noughties sack adorned with preppy pinstripes with creamy white handles. “Go big or go home,” Dorfman said. “It’s made from sustainability and it’s perfect for my water bottle, camera, electronics and pet treats.”
The Fendi Spy fits neatly into the ongoing revival of the buzzy-but-unmarked bag of the ’00s. Twenty years ago, they were carried by IFKYK-minded insiders who wouldn’t carry bags with such a large fan base as Louis Vuitton’s Murakami pieces. In addition to Spy, there’s Chloé Paddington, Marc Jacobs Stam, Proenza Schouler PS1, Saint Laurent Mombasa, and to some extent, Balenciaga City, which is making a comeback in all of them.
The Spy bag was founded in 2005 by accessories expert Silvia Fendi and has taken off from there. In a short excerpt from the November 2005 issue of Vogue, Miami-based real estate and marketing professional Criselda Breene noted that Miami’s outfits were “casual”, so she outfitted her outfit with a £26,000 periwinkle blue crocodile leather bag. In the April 2006 issue, actress Kristen Bell showed off her £1,660 white leather Fendi Spy bag.
The list of celebrity fans goes on: Gwen Stefani (in mocha), Nicky Hilton (chocolate brown), Heidi Montag (dazzling West Coast metallic gold) and Sarah Jessica Parker (snakeskin). After years of falling out of favor, they became a hit. The pieces currently sell for anywhere from £200 to £520 on resale sites (I tried to snag a delicious velvet version of Rihanna on The RealReal for £420, but it was sold).
The renaissance of the Fendi Spy bag feels in sync with the current world. People commute and return to work. Small bags from a few years ago seemed heavier than anvil-sized bags. The real world is all around us! So buy yourself a Spy when the price drops.