Fashion Test Drive: Fendi's Raffia Peekaboo Bag

“You buy a Peekaboo not only to wear now but to wear in the future."

Fendi Raffia Bag
(Image credit: Future)

They say all roads lead to Rome, and in the fashion sphere, that’s undoubtedly the case for many of the industry’s most notable design houses—Fendi included. For this Italian heritage brand, the story began in 1925, when founders Adele and Edoardo Fendi established their roots in Rome’s city center, and unbeknownst to them, would grow to become a beloved Maison worldwide, best known for their innovative accessories and dedication to craftsmanship. In 1965, Karl Lagerfeld, then a sprite, young German designer, joined the company as artistic director, helping launch some of the house’s most iconic handbags to date, including the house’s now iconic Peekaboo bag style—initially created by Silvia Venturini Fendi, granddaughter to Adele and Edoardo’s who debuted it on the runways in September of 2008. Ahead of her time, Silvia notes the Peekaboo silhouette was born to embody the concept of whispered luxury—not flashy but perhaps easily recognizable to those in the know.

This spring/summer, 15 years after the Peekaboo’s launch, the iconic peek-a-boo has been given a warm-weather update, crafted in a hand-braided natural straw fabrication that still hits all of the classic notes of the original leather Peekaboo. 

I gave the latest Peekaboo a test drive while traveling in Mallorca—but you don’t have to be on a European holiday to make the bag work for your lifestyle. The roomy interior perfectly suits a work bag and it’s a pretty practical accessory choice if you’re running around getting things done. Read on to see how the bag fared in our latest test drive.

Fendi Peekaboo on Fashion Director Sara Holzman

(Image credit: Future)

The Craftsmanship:

When Venturini Fendi created the Peekaboo bag, named after the famous children’s hide-and-seek game, the bag was designed with a draped front flap construction that can be folded down to appear open or smiling, revealing the leather lining and a whole host of interior pockets designed and assembled by hand at Fendi’s factory in Tuscany. The signature draping also means the bag is inherently easier to get in and out of—a huge plus. The sleek gold hardware comes in a classic twist lock on both sides of the bag, also representing duality—an intrinsic Fendi house code.

Fendi Test Dive diagram

(Image credit: Future)

While the signature Fendi Peekaboo is crafted from leather, this braided straw construction is a great summer take on a classic silhouette. Unlike other straw bags that can fall flat and flimsy, this one keeps its shape and your essentials intact with its structured construction that has two interior compartments separated by a sturdy middle partition. Inside, a removable leather pocket will help you stay organized. 

The Function:

With a Russian doll offering sizes, colors, and styles, you can choose a Peekaboo that best suits your aesthetic and needs. My medium-size bag (a favorite among industry icons like Naomi Campbell) is the ideal in-between size, especially if you like to tote around more than just your phone and chapstick. The dimensions come in at 25.5 cm in height, 13 cm in depth, and width of 35.5 cm, i.e., there’s some pretty good real estate for all of your things. I could fit my current summer read, sunglasses, a wallet, SPF, and a handy hair clip—with ample room to spare.

What's in Sara's Bag: Book, SPF, Sunglasses, Wallet, Hair Clip,

Fendi Peekaboo bag, Mrs. Dalloway, SPF 50, Sunglasses, iPhone 14, Wallet, France Luxe Hair Clip

(Image credit: Future)

A detachable, adjustable strap also comes in handy for crossbody wear, but its top handheld option is grippy, giving it a usable comfy hand feel. If you’re thinking about taking the bag out for a spin in inclement weather, the bag comes with a transparent raincoat cover to keep everything nice and dry.

This raffia Peekaboo style, available in both a medium and petite size offering, is for certain a chic bag to add to your collection, but do keep in mind it’s more of a warm-weather purchase due to its straw fabrication. If you take the Peekaboo plunge, the style is a pretty steadfast investment with a consistent rise in popularity and price tag since they were first available in the early aughts. “You buy a Peekaboo not only to wear now but to wear in the future,” says Venturini-Fendi. “One of your daughters will probably steal it from your closet!” she laughs. The mark of a good bag indeed!

Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director for Marie Claire, where she's worked alongside the publication for eight years in various roles, ensuring the brand's fashion content continues to inform, inspire, and shape the conversation about fashion's ever-evolving landscape. With a degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara is responsible for overseeing a diverse fashion content mix, from emerging and legacy designer profiles to reported features on the influence of social media on style and seasonal and micro trends across the world's fashion epicenters in New York, Milan, and Paris. Before joining Marie Claire, Sara held fashion roles at Conde Nast's Lucky Magazine and Self Magazine and was a style and travel contributor to Equinox's Furthermore website. Over her decade of experience in the fashion industry, Sara has helped guide each brand's style point of view, working alongside veteran photographers and stylists to bring editorial and celebrity photo shoots to fruition from start to finish. Sara currently lives in New York City. When she's not penning about fashion or travel, she’s at the farmer’s market, on a run, working to perfect her roasted chicken recipe, or spending time with her husband, dog, and cat. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork