Prada was founded in Milan in 1913 as a luxury leather goods enterprise by Mario Prada, but it had little influence on the world of fashion until Miuccia Prada took over her grandfather’s company in 1978. Prada has launched Frames, a multidisciplinary symposium that digs into the intricate interplay between nature and design. Formafantasma, a research and design company located in Milan and Rotterdam, curated the symposium. Have a look!
Miuccia Prada’s first big hit was a black nylon bag with a silver triangle label. Her shoe and handbag designs quickly became the center of a fashion cult in Europe, America, and Japan. Miuccia Prada and her husband and business partner, Patrizio Bertelli, have a tight grip on the company. They launched a ready-to-wear brand in 1989 and the younger, somewhat less costly Miu Miu line in 1992, followed by Prada Sport, whose signature red line is almost as well-known as Nike’s swoosh in some circles.
A series of stores and boutiques developed in conjunction with architect Rem Koolhaas in Paris, New York, and San Francisco became instantly famous. In the late 1990s, Prada also participated in a series of intricate ownership maneuvers, purchasing and selling holdings in Gucci, Fendi, and other firms, and creating a collaboration with Azzedine Alaa in 2000.
Prada clothing and accessories have been described as traditional and unconventional, frumpy but edgy, and characterized by an ambiguous techno-retro aesthetic. Prada’s style is contemporary on the one hand, drawing on northern Italian traditions of understated elegance and superb craftsmanship. However, as Miuccia Prada stated in 1995, “I make ugly clothes from ugly material. Simply bad taste. But they end up looking good anyway.”
She might have been alluding to that season’s “poor taste” collection, which included trends like a Formica check motif that resembled 1970s polyester. She stated some years afterward, “I have always thought that Prada clothes looked kind of normal, but not quite normal. Maybe they have little twists that are disturbing or something about them that’s not quite acceptable. … Prada is not clothing for the bourgeoisie.”
Brand Eccentricity: Texas Art Installation
Miuccia Prada’s eccentricity and intellectual purity attract intellectuals and artists, while fashion editors are captivated by her continual experimentalism. In 2003 and 2004, Prada delivered extremely impressive collections that reaffirmed both her own aesthetic sensibility and the grandeur of her brand.
The Prada Marfa permanent artistic installation was created in 2005 by the Scandinavian pair Elmgreen & Dragset and is located 37 miles from Marfa in the middle of the Chihuahua desert. A faux store created in the visual guidelines of Prada boutiques and provocatively designed to decay organically over time without any exterior repair or restoration.
Today’s House of Prada
Miuccia and Bertelli married in 1987 and continue to run the Prada family company. Smaller brands in the Prada business include Miu Miu, Church’s, Car Shoe, and Pasticceria Marchesi. The Prada brand remains at the center of the company. The vintage Prada Linea Rossa was reintroduced to widespread appreciation in 2018. Prada is unmistakably here to stay. Despite Prada’s extensive history, we know you can’t get enough of the House of Prada even now.
Prada, the luxury fashion company, has launched Frames, a multidisciplinary symposium that digs into the intricate interplay between nature and design. Formafantasma, a research and design company located in Milan and Rotterdam, curated the symposium. It focused on the historical, political, and social aspects of design and took a critical approach to materials and their application in manufacturing processes. From the 6th to the 8th of June, Prada Frames was hosted in Milan at the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, and it included six discussion sessions: contextualizing, narrating, designing, perceiving, controlling, and living.
Formafantasma created the visual identity for Prada Frames by altering a Lidar scan of an oak forest. Lidar is a laser technology that is used to scan objects of any sort in order to create a digital replica of the original. It is also used in forestry to determine which trees to take down. Lidar technology creates the appearance of knowledge, even if what is displayed is merely the surface of trees, a ghostly picture. The symposium’s goal is to explore deeper and beyond the visible in order to comprehend the intricate interactions between design and the natural environment.