Miuccia Prada is one of the longstanding gems of the fashion industry. Yes, her house, Milan-based Prada, may be struggling to weather the storm of decreased luxury spending, currency changes, terrorist attacks, and consumer fatigue (none of which bode well for high fashion houses) – just as other similarly situated brands are, but innovation and subtle boundary pushing garments loaded with intellectual exploration are in no short supply. On the heels of her Fall/Winter 2016 show, Prada sat down with Luisa Zargani of WWD to discuss the collection, the See Now-Buy Now trend, being copied and more. Here are some of key takeaways …
On change: What I am interested in is changing things without being too provocative or obviously political. Politics and fashion too directly linked, I don’t like that, or to make statements on clothes, [such as ] “no to war.” That is too serious. Maybe I’m wrong, but I like to be subtly political. Fashion must do its part, but infiltrate the spirits, rather than making big declarations with no result … New comes from the change in society and fashion reflects it. Fashion is attentive to changes; maybe now the real revolution is the closeness between men’s and women’s wear.
On See Now-Buy Now: So far, we don’t see any sense to it. In six months everyone knows everything. Surely, the way we work, with fabrics made for us, it takes two months for the fabrics, two months for the production…it takes around four months from the presentation to the store, to do it well.
On being copied: That is my problem [being too ahead of the curve] and my husband says we can’t be too ahead. I always am, then people copy us. For example, with the Hawaiian shirts, we did them three years ago, and everyone started doing them, so I decided to put them back on the runway [laughing] … If a copy is sly, it bothers me. Otherwise it doesn’t create any problem. There are the sneaky ones that copy from me and from others and nobody sees that. That irks me. Those designers that have spent their life copying a little bit here and a little bit there and pass as creatives, well, that bothers me.
On what in fashion bothers her: It annoys me when something that has no value is successful, I confess. I have never been jealous of those that are talented — on the contrary, I appreciate them and recognize them. But when someone or a brand that I don’t respect is successful, that bothers me. Because I regret that people don’t understand the differences, or the superficiality. I like a risk, I like intelligence.