Miuccia Prada: 'Forget the Balance Sheet, Look at the Runway'

Miuccia Prada and the power of her brand will not be gauged by your penchant for numbers. Yes, there is more to the Milan-based brand than revenue reports, creative director Miuccia Prada said after her Spring/Summer 2018 show. With this in mind, the Italian design goddess would prefer you look to her designs, “which offer ideas to women of how to be strong and combative,” per Reuters.  Ms. Prada’s exact words: “I don’t want to be judged by sales, this is my love ... my life and my job (are) more important.”

Her comments come on the heels of seemingly endless reports of falling sales for the brand, which has taken the longest to return to grace from the mass downfall of high fashion brands during the Great Recession (and corresponding logo fatigue) in the U.S. and weak demand from the Far East, largely thanks to China’s campaign to end government corruption and extravagance.

Moreover, while all luxury-goods companies have been hurt by collapsing demand in China, the strong dollar and the terrorist attacks in Europe, Prada has been hit harder than most, at least in part because its handbag range is too expensive for most and it has been too slow to invest online.

Specific to Prada has been the fall out from overexpansion in retail and high exposure to Asia. The Italian company has responded by dialing back store openings and slashing costs, and pledged to increase prices in Europe. The house further plans to double its e-commerce sales over the next two years by increasing the number of categories it offers online, particularly shoes, and expanding its social media activities.

But any signs of an impending revamp have been nothing more than a glimmer to date. Just this month, Prada, which is publicly listed in Hong Kong, reported a sharp drop in profits and a 5.5 percent fall in revenues in the first half of the year, saying – yet again – that it would take longer than expected to complete an ongoing revival of the company. 

Maybe Spring/Summer 2018  will mark the brand's return to grace. There certainly was a heavy dose of modernity, or as Vogue's Sarah Mower put it, a "a terrific show of tailoring, from big overcoats with pushed-up sleeves to oversize jackets with lopped-off sleeves to slick plastic raincoats—and one example of the classic black nylon Prada raincoat. There were New Wave-y mash-ups of animal prints, cat-eye shades, zebra and leopard-spot prints, kitten-heel slingbacks, and pointy studded brogues." 

Mrs. Prada’s, herself, said she was designing for a woman "who can be active and present today.”