I Want A Glow-In-the-Dark Fendi Purse

...and fortunately the conceptual artist Sarah Coleman has me covered!

by Sophie Kemp
Dec 4 2020, 2:43pm

The artist Sarah Coleman is known for taking apart luxury handbags and transforming them into quotidian objects: a pill bottle, a kitchen chair, a lighter. Her work is sacrilegious, purposefully trashy, and drenched in irony. If the idea of splicing open vintage Louis Vuitton luggage or a Gucci handbag simulates an aneurysm for you—that’s the point. Coleman’s latest foray into the world of subversive bricolage is different—and not just because this time she is working with a luxury label’s blessing—but because among the many objects she reimagines are handbags, the very thing that is often the source of raw material for her work.

For Design Miami, Fendi has tapped Coleman to create a series of her signature one-of-a-kind items for their Miami boutique, but among the collaged chairs, and re-upholstered furniture, one piece stands out from the rest: a glow-in-the-dark version of their iconic PeekabooISeeU bag.

Made with phosphorescent beads and embroidery, Coleman’s raver-ready bag is campy, kitschy, and could definitely be used as a nightlight if you’re afraid of the dark. The artist has reworked Fendi’s iconic allover logo in a “squished version” which means that even when the lights are on, the bag still has a vibe that is fresh and weird as hell. But then turn off the lights and boom!, suddenly your bag is glowing an intense green like a radioactive can of green beans from the 1950s. Now, that’s what I call a statement bag!

You wouldn’t think that something as austere as a luxury handbag would be capable of being funny, but Coleman’s interpretation of a Fendi bag is funny. Funny meaning not obvious. Funny meaning playful. Funny meaning cool. It’s like a pair of light up sneakers or a Halloween decoration; it evokes childlike wonder in the best way possible. If this bag somehow made it into my life, I would call it my little haunted house and find a way to go to a black and white rave, or simply sit in my bathroom with the lights off and think about how much fun I was having at that very moment in time. That’s how fashion should be. It should be fun! It should make you laugh! It should make you not afraid of the dark! And yes, it should also make you think. 

sarah coleman