On the final day of Milan fashion week, Miuccia Prada held a press conference at the brand’s headquarters announcing some truly unexpected news – AW 20 would be Mrs. Prada’s last solo show for the foreseeable future, and innovative and iconic Belgian-born designer, Raf Simons, would be joining Prada as co-creative director. Despite the initial shock, we’re eager to see these two opinionated and iconic designers in their own rights unite for a long-term collaboration.
There have always been parallels to be drawn between Simons and Prada’s work, more so than ever in Simon’s recent menswear collections and Prada’s AW 20 ready-to-wear show. Whether by intention or coincidence, both featured focussed tailoring throughout, intercepted with aligning palettes of greys, blacks, reds and purples. Both champion the ‘stompy’ boot and explore their classically extreme layering, cinched waists and expressions of artistic vision. In any case, there are many points of creative connection between Prada and Simons, and this new coupling feels like a necessary and relevant progression for both creatives in a time where evolution is paramount, and the demand for the volume of collections is larger than ever before.
When we think about possible changes, we don’t predict it will be drastic (drastic being Hedi Slimane’s first ready-to-wear show as creative director of a post-Phoebe Celine). What we do anticipate will be a merging of talents that have always respected and paid homage to one another. Perhaps womenswear will err on the ‘cooler’ side, and we will see classic structure brought to life by fluidity. We’re also forecasting no lack of print or allusions to contemporary art, both in menswear and womenswear.
Two iconic fashion names collaborating on limited-edition collections is nothing new, nor is the execution. This partnership, however, takes things to new heights. It is, in this case, literally levelling-up. The realities of two fashion powerhouses with a long-standing friendship (in a fairly competitive industry) coming together to produce work that will, no doubt, inspiring in both calibre and direction, will be realised on April 1, with the first collection debuting in Milan for Spring Summer 2021.