Through the Lens

{editorial} Pamella DeVos Fendi Baguette Collection

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“I just bought three more! They’re limited editions, I was waiting for them, and they came today. One is yellow and beaded, one has mirrors on it, and one is black and ivory,” says Pamella DeVos rapturously, describing the latest additions to her stupendous array of Fendi Baguettes.

Some collections are built and developed in deliberate, almost academic ways; others are born accidentally from a joyous-bordering-on-nutty enthusiasm. DeVos, a fashion designer under the name Pamella Roland, whose gowns have been worn by everyone from Mira Sorvino to Jennifer Hudson, says she didn’t realize she had 72 baguettes until she counted them for this reporter. “I was kind of surprised myself at the number,” she confesses. “Actually I have 75 now.”

Though she and her baguettes live mainly in Grand Rapids, Mich., she bought her first one 14 years ago in New York City; her showroom is near the Fendi store on Fifth Avenue, and she rarely let a week go by without stopping by to check for new arrivals. She was not alone: since they were introduced in 1997, the Fendi Baguette has developed a cultlike following, not least because they were first seen by most of America dangling from the wrist of Carrie Bradshaw. (In one notable “Sex and the City” episode, Carrie shouts at a thief who is robbing her: “It’s not a bag, it’s a baguette!”) The purses are now the subject of an exhaustive Rizzoli-published retrospective, so massive it seems to weigh as much as 1,000 baguettes. Read more:

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