Miuccia Prada: Made in Italy no longer guarantees success

In a rare interview, Miuccia Prada, co-owner of PRADA Group has spoken about the rivalry between Italy and France in luxury. With regret, Miuccia Prada said ”Made in Italy is no longer sufficient to guarantee international success, and can only contribute in part”, adding that ”Glamorous fashion has already said good bye to Milan, relocating to Paris, instead.”

Miuccia Prada at the Met in New York

”Success in fashion today very much depends on how connected the designer is to culture and the arts, and a social climate which sustains it” says Miuccia Prada. ”Here in Italy, we have an immense cultural heritage but the country has been failing to promote it abroad.” Asked about the changes in society, Miuccia Prada said she has been perceiving that glamour today comes from wealthy, from the mercantile power that money brings. I understand that but at the same time, I cannot feel guilty for investing in artworks for our Foundation (Fondazione Prada) instead of considering the financial difficulties worldwide, because this is the only way to progress and develop our society”.

When addressing the issue of leather manufacturing in which Italy excels, Miuccia Prada insists that the more Italian companies are bought by foreign investors, the more Italy risks to become a ”B series” manufacturer for the worldwide market (a third party manufacturer). Mrs Prada also added that there is an growing trend of artistic talents, especially designers to migrate from Italy to France and she provided the example of how Raff Simons has received worlwide recognition only after moving from Jil Sander (Italy) to Christian Dior (France). She also expressed her belief that Italian media is also, in part, to be blamed for not providing respect to fashion, as it does to other industries ”In Italy, media does not take fashion seriously…we are represented like something frivolous, like nudity and erotism. Media does not go deeper to analysis the subtle creative connections”

”Fashion shows and events are extremely important, unfortunately, in the past years, only the major luxury groups could afford such shows. It is important to give way and create a platform for younger, less known designers too”. Asked whether Italy has regain its once leading position, Miuccia Prada responded that ”not only there is less money but also those who have the money do not understand that fashion cannot exist isolated, but as part of an integrated system, which can generate ideas. We need to bring together philosophers, art curators, sociologists who can generate such ideas.

In order to promote Italy’s immense cultural heritage and to put it into value, Miuccia Prada suggests that some monuments such as Castello Sforzesco near Milan or other heritage sites in Italy can be developed into attractions ”which do not have to be the type of Disneyland”, adds Miuccia Prada. ”I understand the conservative approach of many Italian intelectuals who strive to preserve the patrimony, but resisting modernity can be as damaging. A system needs to be recreated, conceived.”

adapted from la Repubblica