Hubert Burda Media


Beauty entrepreneur and style maven Helen Ma receives – and gives – the gift of a lifetime with her first made-to-order Peekaboo from Fendi.


When Italian leather goods house Fendi offered Hong Kong skincare guru and chic girl-about-town Helen Ma the opportunity to customise a bag, she had her eyes set on the label’s elegant Peekaboo line. Launched in 2009, the roomy carryall, now also available in cute mini versions, became an instant hit, thanks to its half-open and functional top flap that gave the bag its name.

As Ma explains of her choice when we meet her at the Fendi Landmark boutique, “If a bag is beautiful but you can’t put things inside and it’s not practical, I find it really inconvenient. I want a bag to be practical and of high quality. I like the Peekaboo because it’s classic looking. Fendi bags never go out of style; they stay relevant forever. They look classic but are playful and modern.”

When you look at Ma’s creation, it’s clear that she’s drawn to timeless pieces that defy trends. The black calf leather she picked for the exterior and the natural python she selected for the lining, a sliver of which is slightly visible as you carry the bag because of its unique shape, make it an evergreen that will last for generations.

This was evidently on Ma’s mind when she had to customise the gold tag hidden inside. Instead of choosing to inscribe it with her own name, she opted instead for that of her daughter, Shyme, aware that this piece is destined to become an heirloom to cherish in the future.

“I love [the fact] that I was able to personalise the tag inside with the name of my daughter,” says Ma. “It’s something very meaningful. I did that because I think that it’s a bag that’s going to last forever.”

As luxury lovers around the world are beginning to get tired of It bags, made-to-order creations are becoming increasingly covetable. Ma echoes that sentiment when she reflects on her customisation experience with Fendi. “The object really represents you,” she says. “It’s very you and very personal and everything you choose is really about who you are. If it’s trendy you don’t feel so special any more.”

And what could be more special than carrying a hand-me-down that was inscribed with your name when you were just a little girl? It’s a lovely gesture that Shyme will treasure when she grows old enough to carry this stylish symbol of motherly love.

Talk about a conversation starter!
Photography: UNTIL CHAN