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How The Bottega Veneta Sardine Became The Bag Of The Summer

It’s approved by Kendall Jenner, Dua Lipa, and more.

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Kendall Jenner rocks the no-pants trend and carries a Bottega Veneta Sardine bag.
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Last November, Kendall Jenner practically instigated a fashion revolution when she stepped out in a pantsless ensemble on a casual LA stroll. The look — straight out of Bottega Veneta’s Spring 2023 show — featured a chunky sweater over a white tee, paired with sheer tights worn underneath a pair of black undies.

The controversial look helped spark a swell of copycat ‘fits and no-pants ensembles on the red carpet, as well as campaigns, and magazine covers (Sydney Sweeney’s, for example). Aside from her radical decision to step out sans bottoms, the ‘fit expertly included a rising star in the fashion world: the Sardine bag.

Bottega Veneta is known for its woven leather pieces (it’s a shoo-in for the “quiet luxury” aesthetic) and this sculptural handbag is no exception. Boasting the label’s signature intrecciato weave, the bag features a shiny top handle, artfully fashioned after a slim, elongated sardine. (Yes, the fish.)

Tongue-in-cheek and surprisingly chic, the bag made waves when it made its debut on the Fall 2022 MFW runways last February. It foreshadowed where the newly-minted creative director Matthieu Blazy would later take the label. Though it’s almost impossible for a new design head to launch an accessory that immediately achieves hot ticket status during a debut collection. But, with the Sardine, Blazy accomplished just that.

Immediately, the bag was embraced by the highest level of it girl. Jenner has particularly taken to the style, carrying several different iterations, colorways, and sizes. She first rocked a dark chocolate brown Sardine while on a date at the US Open, then in black with her now-infamous no-pants look. Months later, she was spotted with a mini style, while wearing another full ensemble from the Spring 2023 runway.

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Other A-list fashion girlies have also been spotted clutching the fish-shaped handle in recent months. Dua Lipa and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley both posted their Sardines on main, while Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner each rocked the accessory while out.

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Though it’s a relatively new release, having only been in the market for over a year, the bag is already available in two sizes: mini and medium. The style is also available in multiple colorways, as Blazy added bright hues like pastel yellows and purples as part of the Spring collection.

The original size — as well as one boxier knotted style — are both meant to be held by their metallic hardware. The mini retails for $3,100 and the medium sells for $4,200. Prices get steeper for exotic skins, including an alligator leather bag worth $32,000, effectively putting the “wealth” in “stealth wealth.”

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