They speak of design, of course: they are two designers, and it is clear that the accent is on the mood of the latest men’s collection presented in Milan. But in Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons‘ conversation with the New York Times there are also other interesting ideas, of an economic nature and of future prospects. Because the two of them, looking around, already foresee a fashion boom that will follow the end of Coronavirus. And they show all their perplexities (especially Miuccia) about the so-called “slow luxury”. In other words, on the idea that the top of the range must give up releases and collections to find a new balance on the downside on volumes. And, on the upside, hopefully, in quality.
They predict a boom
First, the expectations for the recovery. “I think that when the pandemic is over, people will really want to take their lives back – says Miuccia (in the photo on the right, taken from the screenshot of the NYT web page) to Vanessa Friedman, fashion director of the NYT -. We already see the signs of it. In China, they spend like crazy. Even in America. In Milan, there is a boom, like during prohibition. There are incredible parties”.
“If history repeats itself, and it often does, we are like in the 1920s – adds Simons -. We know what the 1920s were like: a boom in fashion, social life, sex. There is a possibility that it will be an exuberant boom. But it can be dangerously explosive. Everyone wants to recover. There is a lesson that fashion will not learn, the very one it should make its own, to be honest: that it should be less greedy”.
Here we see that in their point of view, now collaborating for the style at Prada, there is a small discrepancy. It will have to do with the fact that Miuccia, who is also the wife of Patrizio Bertelli, the company’s CEO, is used to thinking also about the financial aspects of her work.
While Simons, as a pure designer, prefers to have an abstract approach to the question. The fact is that the second, going back to the spring debate on “slow luxury”, proves to have an open mind about it. Fashion “has become an economic machine – he argues -. For the majority, the first goal is economic growth. Everyone has seen less growth, so everyone will try to fix it.
And you can’t do it with just one or two collections a year. The public is now more interested in the surface than in the depth of fashion. Fashion has become pop, and now the one who screams louder wins, not the one who speaks more intelligently”.
But who thinks about the jobs?
Miuccia Prada, however, brings the talk back to the theme of social responsibility. “They criticise fashion companies for doing too much, but we designers are judged on the money we make. I heard that designer is terrible, but he sells a lot, it means there is something good.
In recent years our numbers weren’t that good and that was the point in every discussion. So if you want to survive, with all the responsibility regarding your employees, I doubt you can do less. We are in a capitalist system. It is easy to say consume less, produce less, but then we must be ready to lose jobs”.
- Miuccia Prada is cautious regarding slow luxury: it’s “the end of the industry”
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