Miuccia Prada

Prada Appoints Three New Top Executives

Prada Appoints Three New Top Executives

MILAN — The Prada Group is bolstering its C-suite by appointing three new top executives, all of whom bring their extensive experience to the Italian luxury company developed in key sectors outside the fashion industry.Andrea Bonini was named chief financial officer; Cristina De Dona as general counsel, and Diego Maletto as internal auditing director.
Bonini will succeed Alessandra Cozzani effective May 2. Cozzani, who joined Prada in 2016, will exit the company on Sept. 30 “to embrace other professional opportunities.” Bonini will report to Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, who share the chief executive officer role, and will in charge of the group’s administration, finance, control, tax and investor relations departments.

Bonini started his professional career in Milan-based M&A boutique Gallo & C. In 2005, he joined the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs International, based in London, where he held the position of managing director since 2015. At Goldman Sachs, he was part of the Italy Coverage team until 2013 and subsequently joined the Consumer Retail Group, with responsibility for luxury and brands in Europe.

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De Dona will be in charge of the supervision, development and consolidation of all the company’s legal, intellectual property and corporate affairs, reporting to Prada and Bertelli. She recently held the position of international chief counsel at The Hershey Company International. Previously, she was deputy general counsel at multinational manufacturer of branded chocolate and confectionery products Ferrero and chief of staff for the Italian Ministry of Justice.

Cristina De Dona
image courtesy of Prada

Maletto will report to chairman Paolo Zannoni. An Ernst & Young alum, Maletto took on the role of group audit director at Autostrade per l’Italia, which manages Italy’s motorways. Previously, he was head of internal audit at Vodafone for Italy, Greece, Albania and Malta.

Diego Maletto
image courtesy of Prada

Prada has been bulking up its management ranks. In January, as reported, the group reinforced its commitment to sustainability and appointed two new independent non-executive directors, Pamela Culpepper and Anna Maria Rugarli, selected for their professional background in environmental, social and governance, or ESG.
The appointments also signaled the upcoming establishment of an ESG board committee.
Prada has reported a return to profitability in 2021 after a strong second half, driven by increased sales of handbags, footwear and ready-to-wear, which saw a 53 percent jump in revenues compared with 2020 and a 16 percent increase on 2019. In 2021, revenues totaled 3.36 billion euros, climbing 41 percent from 2.42 billion euros in 2020.

5 Things to Know About Prada’s SS22 Shows in Milan and Shanghai

5 Things to Know About Prada’s SS22 Shows in Milan and Shanghai

Photo: Courtesy of Prada
Taking the “less is more” route, Prada’s SS22 collection explored the idea of seduction but in a rather subtle manner. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons unveiled the collection titled Seduction, Stripped Down across two concurrent shows in Milan and Shanghai.
Here are five things to know about the Prada SS22 collection.
Photo: Courtesy of Prada
1. It is a reimagination of historical ideas around seduction
The collection features historically prominent clothing associated with seduction reimagined in a way that is less restrictive and more fluid. This is showcased through the use of deconstructed elements such as corsets with boning and laces across jackets, gowns, and the placement of bra-like padding and wiring on knitwear.
Photo: Courtesy of Prada

2. It juxtaposed eveningwear with daytime looks
The collection reimagines conventional evening wear while using elements central to it, to create a realistic contrast with everyday clothing. Think satin miniskirts with trains paired with jackets, pastel pink backless satin dresses, and fiery red lace gowns with corset bone detailing.
Photo: Courtesy of Prada
3. It marked Raf Simon’s first physical runway show with Prada
Raf Simons took on the role of co-creative director of Prada, alongside Miuccia Prada in 2020. Following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, all of the subsequent collections have been unveiled digitally. With Covid-19 restrictions being eased worldwide, this is the duo’s first full-fledged in-person show.
Above, Milan; below, Shanghai
4. The set material from the shows will be upcycled
Following both Milan and Shanghai shows, the materials used on the set will be upcycled. They will be donated to both Meta and the Dandelion Child Development Center. Meta is a Milan-based circular economy project that creates sustainable solutions for waste disposal and the Dandelion Child Development Center is a Shanghai-based nonprofit that recycles materials to build libraries for children in need.
Photo: Courtesy of Prada
5. Technology bridged the gap between the two concurrent shows
The collection was presented in two shows in Milan’s Deposito of the Fondazione Prada, and Shanghai’s Bund 1 with technology bridging the physical gap between them. “Synchronous and simultaneous views epitomize the modern world: we observe, interact and communicate in a multitude of manners,” the fashion house details in a statement. The unique unveiling of the collection brought two different audiences together as well as global audiences via the internet.
Read Next: 5 Things To Know About Fendi’s Studio 54-Inspired SS22 Show

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons on Digital Shows, Inspiring Disciplines and Collaborations

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons on Digital Shows, Inspiring Disciplines and Collaborations

MILAN — Brands have been approaching the digital medium to present their collections in different ways and while the general goal is to return to physical runway shows, Miuccia Prada believes the efforts made so far should not go lost.
“Without a public, you need to be even more concentrated on what you say and to recreate an atmosphere. It’s much more difficult without people, and more difficult to show and then edit, find something that makes sense — before, it was like a promenade,” said the designer in a video conversation with Prada’s co-creative director Raf Simons and an eclectic group of talents and friends of the brand: Marc Jacobs; Academy Award nominated filmmaker, director, writer and producer Lee Daniels; electronic musician and DJ Richie Hawtin, or Plastikman; architect Rem Koolhaas, and actress and artist Hunter Schafer. Each was connected remotely and the virtual event, shown after the Prada fall 2021 show on Thursday, was moderated by Derek Blasberg, YouTube’s head of fashion and beauty.

“We will go back to reality, but we have to make sure this will not go lost and it will be interesting do both,” mused Prada.
“We were so used to having live shows and interaction, and we talked a lot with Rem about how to transport the feeling so that it looks like a show but we are not just filming a show, and how the space should relate to the clothes physically and psychologically,” said Simons.

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The designers reprised for the women’s show the same set used for the men’s fall show in January, conceived by Koolhaas and AMO — interconnected rooms, each wallpapered with different materials, from slick marble to fluffy eco-fur in striking color combinations.
“A show has a degree of premeditation and strong degree of improvisation and you can always play with the idea of originality,” contended Koolhaas.
Daniels, who directed “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and asked Prada to design a selection of costumes to be worn by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Andra Day in the title role, noted that in a show without a public, “you never take your eyes from the clothes, you are laser-focused on them” because there are no distractions like people-watching or front-row celebrities.
Asked about the evolution of the process since their first codesigned show in September, Simons said it has been easier now. “It was very difficult in the beginning” in deciding the format and whether to simply film a runway show or not.
Koolhaas said the video allowed the inclusion of different perspectives such as “opening with clothes shown from the back and disappearing in the distance.”
Hawtin said “thinking of the music, so very close to the fashion and the details, feels more intimate, rather than live. It’s symbiotic, we work on music as we are filming, it’s like Rem’s architecture, a framework that is there to support.”
Music can help build and retain the energy in a video, offered Simons, and contributes to hugely helping the end result.
Asked about his decision to work with Prada on his Billie Holiday film, Daniels said “outside of the work that is spectacular, she is a strong woman like Billie was a strong woman. I was nervous about asking her. She is an artist and she takes this very seriously. But I knew she would be fully committed, I couldn’t think of anyone else that could bring Billie’s style to life the way Mrs. Prada could.”

Schafer said acting in “Euphoria” made her realize how much clothing and makeup “accentuate elements of a scene, contrast in a cool way or bring something out. It was a massive learning experience.”
Prada was interested in finding out the disciplines that are more relevant to the panelists, just as movies or literature, for example, are to her.
Hawtin cited sculpture and Koolhaas anthropology, which helps him “understand the people we work for, their aspirations, habits, culture and aesthetics, as if you come from a different planet and interpret what you see and what it means.” In particular, he said he has enjoyed collaborating with fashion because of its “incredible speed, you can assemble something sublime in 15 seconds. Mixing the meticulous part of anthropology and the intuitive flashes of fashion is very crucial.”
“The art of living,” responded Jacobs, while also citing movies, art and music. “You need to be present and experience life on all levels. What we do is just one more aesthetic component of a beautiful life, like beautiful interiors and all of this.”
Blasberg’s request to define “Pradaness” sparked a few chuckles from Prada herself.
“Pradaness is Mrs. Prada,” said Jacobs. “No, don’t laugh Mrs. Prada,” he teased. While understanding the “intrinsic collaboration” with Simons, Jacobs cited her “incredible taste and eye for so many different things, it’s culture, intelligence, a sense of style, love of fashion. I see it as in a film of Antonioni, Fellini, Visconti. This is a mind that takes in anything, and you cannot put your fingers on it, it’s every gesture, everything.”
Koolhaas, who has long collaborated with Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli, said he was “fascinated by the way that, when she dislikes something, it’s a very different form of disliking, it’s different than simply rejecting, it’s exploring every aspect of what you dislike and then you do something with that energy,” prompting Prada to laugh in the background and Simons to concur, saying, “It’s so true.”
“Fashion is a field that requires inspiration and life, as Marc said very well,” observed Prada. “We have to deal with architecture, music, with people performing and basically we have to somehow tell a story. Ultimately, it’s about life, we need all these other people’s intervention.”
Jacobs has not held a show yet this season and defined the conversation as “an interesting and educational creative outlet.” He admitted it was “difficult and weird to take time off, complaining in the past about the calendar and how it was like a hamster wheel and we could never take a break and now that we get a break we complain.” [Prada laughing]. “I miss the hamster wheel and the calendar and what I’ve been doing is paying close attention to the people I admire. This is why this is a very interesting and engaging conversation.”
Koolhaas then noted that the urgency of global warming and sustainability and collaborating with scientists, “with little sense of aesthetics and patience for formality,”  have accelerated a generally slow-paced architecture, causing a “really drastic necessity to change. We have to throw all our priorities overboard, there is a sudden sense of urgency. It’s refreshing and we all need collaborations.”
“I totally agree,” said Prada. “We talked about light matters in this meeting, but in this moment, there are so many relevant political points, challenging the responsibility of the industry to behave well, to contribute to change and really be involved in matters such as diversity, gender, ecosystem. We can’t solve everything but it’s so important to be proactive and responsible and I really believe it’s so important to push on those subjects and take a step [in the right direction].”
The conversation, called “Prada Intersections,” is the third of the series, pointing to Prada and Simons’ curiosity and desire to open up to other communities to create a larger creative moment, aiming to challenge themselves with input from fresh voices. In January, following the fall 2021 men’s show, the designers engaged in a conversation with select students from international universities and colleges, each connected remotely. In September, the conversation between Prada and Simons was triggered by questions posed by the audience in advance of the show and submitted on prada.com.

Your Virtual Front Row Pass to Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ First Fall Show Together

Your Virtual Front Row Pass to Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ First Fall Show Together

Prada ready-to-wear spring/summer 2021. Courtesy of Prada

Milan Fashion Week kicked off yesterday with Kim Jones presenting his first ready-to-wear collection for Fendi. Today, February 25, designers Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada will debut their fall/winter 2021 womenswear collection for Prada.
The show is set to take place at 5pm GST today from an unknown location housing a set designed by Rem Koolhaas of AMO. The architect was also enlisted to design faux-fur-covered geometric rooms for Prada’s fall/winter 2021 menswear show, so viewers can expect a similar abstract set concept today. Like other shows this season, Prada will also not have a live audience. However, viewers tune into a conversation between Prada and Simons as the duo dives into the third installment of Prada Intersections. The conversation will feature virtual appearances from close friends of the fashion house like designer Marc Jacobs, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Lee Daniels, musician DJ Richie Hawtin, as well as Koolhaas, while YouTube head of fashion and beauty, Derek Blasberg, will moderate the event.
Tune in via the live stream below today, February 25, at 5pm GST, to watch the Prada fall/winter 2021 show in action.

Read Next: Now Available in Dubai, Miu Miu’s Upcycled Vintage Dresses are Wardrobe Treasures

Now Available in Dubai, Miu Miu’s Upcycled Vintage Dresses are Wardrobe Treasures

Now Available in Dubai, Miu Miu’s Upcycled Vintage Dresses are Wardrobe Treasures

Seven out the 80 unique dresses at the Miu Miu boutique at The Dubai Mall. Photo: Courtesy of Miu Miu

Anyone who loves sourcing vintage clothing knows that wearing an item with history is a feeling unlike any other. Vintage finds are also the building blocks of a sustainable wardrobe, and when upcycled, can be pieces to treasure forever. Miuccia Prada is of the same mind, as she continues to champion sustainable fashion with the Upcycled by Miu Miu collection.
It is made up of 80 one-off vintage dresses that are reworked while still keeping the “memory” of the originals intact by preserving the fabric. The dresses are anonymous finds from the 30s and 80s, carefully sourced from vintage clothing stores and markets around the world. Every piece was then transformed as per the Miu Miu DNA, reflected in the use of the brand’s signature collar, bows, and embellishments. No two dresses are the same, and this is ensured by the painstaking hand-work on each of the pieces.

The collection is available across nine selected Miu Miu stores worldwide, however, seven out of the 80 dresses are being sold exclusively at the label’s boutique in Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall throughout February. If a shopper wishes to buy a dress outside of of the local selection, the boutique offers the option of placing a special order and then transferring the piece.
The designs were unveiled towards the end of 2020, following the sustainability initiatives of a number of designers and labels including Maison Margiela’s upcycled ‘Recicla’ pieces, Gabriela Hearst’s appointment as Chloé’s creative director, and Coach’s reworked 70s bags to name a few. The collection is also one of Mrs Prada’s steps in maintaining a circular fashion system, with the designer launching the Prada Re-Nylon collection in 2019, which used econyl — a regenerated-nylon yarn crafted from reclaimed ocean plastics, and fishing nets.
Read Next: 10 Things Every Fashion Enthusiast Should Know About Prada’s Iconic History

The Designer Shuffle

The Designer Shuffle

While the pandemic put many recruitments on ice, creative renewal was still very much part of the fashion picture in 2020.
Mere weeks before Europe plunged into lockdowns, Prada surprised the fashion world by revealing that Raf Simons would become co-creative director alongside Miuccia Prada — igniting a trend toward coed duos that would unfurl throughout the year.
The move put the Belgian designer — one of fashion’s most acclaimed modernists, and a hero on the streetwear scene — in a position to help shape one of Italy’s biggest brands, and one he had long admired, often sitting in its front row.
In a livestreamed conversation following a digital showing of their debut spring 2021 collection during Milan Fashion Week last September, Prada said it was a spontaneous decision to work together, brewing over time “and suddenly it happened.” Simons said they had “always been interested in each other’s work.”

Having closely observed Prada for 25 years, Simons chose to focus on the uniform. “The idea of a uniform is a representation of longevity. In all honesty, I have been looking at Miuccia, how she is dressed, her uniform. It is what she finds important,” he told WWD.
Two more high-profile designers came together in September when Fendi said Kim Jones would work beside Silvia Venturini Fendi as the Roman house’s artistic director of haute couture, ready-to-wear and fur collections for women. Jones, who remains at the creative helm of Dior Men, succeeded the late Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi, which put him in a rare league straddling two marquee luxury brands.

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Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini Fendi  Jones photo by Nikolai von Bismarck; Venturini Fendi by Simone Lezzi/WWD

Venturini Fendi, who had soldiered on as the main creative force and media figurehead following Lagerfeld’s death in February 2019, will continue to head the accessories and men’s collections at Fendi. Jones is to unveil his first collection for the brand on Jan. 27 during couture week in Paris, with Venturini Fendi and daughter Delfina Delettrez Fendi, jewelry creative director, also involved in the show.
This marks Jones’ first real foray into women’s wear, and adds to a list of men’s wear mavens that have made their mark on women’s fashions in the new millennium, headlined by Simons and Hedi Slimane.
Jones should bring considerable heat to Fendi, given his formidable design chops, flair for unexpected collaborations, and his wide circle of famous friends, which includes Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Donatella Versace and David Beckham.
Industry experts suggest that the onerous demands on today’s creative directors is perhaps better shouldered by two people, with a dialogue between male and female talents fostering more dynamic and nuanced designs in tune with today’s fashions, less gender-specific than ever, and shifting values and priorities.
To wit: In September, Faith Connexion appointed Alexandre Bertrand and Myriam Bensaid as its first creative leading duo. The two 32-year-olds are described as “best friends” and had worked on-and-off for the brand in recent years.
Then in October, Joseph named husband-and-wife team Anna Lundbäck Dyhr and Frederik Dyhr as co-creative directors. The former joined Joseph in November 2018 after holding senior design roles at Bottega Veneta, Lanvin, Uniqlo and Cos, while the latter was previously creative director for men’s wear at Tommy Hilfiger.

According to a tabulation by WWD, coed duos head up 7 percent of the brands listed on the official fashion calendars for New York, London, Milan and Paris. Of the 265 fashion houses listed, 51 percent are led by men, 38 percent by women, with the balance a mix of male duos, female duos and collectives or studios.
Matthew Williams  Courtesy of Givenchy

Singular talents prevailed in the other key hires of 2020.
American designer Matthew Williams, whose roller-coaster buckle is one of the hallmarks of his edgy 1017 Alyx 9SM brand, brought his flair for hardware and icy, industrial-tinged glamour to Givenchy, where he succeeded Clare Waight Keller. A ringleader of the burgeoning luxury streetwear scene, Williams was named the French house’s seventh couturier last June and declared that his tenure would be based on “modernity and exclusivity.”
His debut for the spring 2021 season ended up being a showroom affair due to the pandemic, but was still one of the most anticipated events of Paris Fashion Week. His graphic tailoring announced sleek, sharp and modern as the house’s new fashion territory, alongside extreme textile research on casual basics, including jeans coated in resin and paint and triple baked for a cool, crackled finish.
Speaking of jeans, Diesel selected Glenn Martens — prized for his experimental approach to denim at his Y/Project brand — as its new creative director.
Italian industrialist Renzo Rosso, whose OTB group controls Diesel, called the Belgian designer the “perfect fit” for the brand. “I love the way he can pick iconic pieces and reinterpret them, denim in particular, with modernity,” he enthused. “I am happy to hand it over to someone who will carry it forward with new energy and a fresh vision.”

Glenn Marten  Courtesy of Y/Project

Martens’ impact on Diesel is to be fully felt with the spring 2022 collections.
Chloé, which is transforming into a purpose-driven company focused on social and environmental sustainability, took a big step in that direction by recruiting Gabriela Hearst — already synonymous with honest luxury — as its new creative director, succeeding Natacha Ramsay-Levi, who brought an edgy élan to the brand over a four-year tenure.
Hearst is expected to unveil her first collection for the storied French brand in March for the fall 2021 season, and to continue as creative director of her namesake, New York-based fashion house.
Hearst started her label in fall 2015 after taking over the operations of her father’s sheep ranch in Uruguay, and built a luxury women’s rtw and accessories business on the principles of timelessness, quality and sustainability. 
Gabriella Hearst in Paris.  Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

Wilder creatures are synonymous with Roberto Cavalli, which recruited Fausto Puglisi to helm all design functions and put a new spin on its animal prints. Since the exit of Paul Surridge last year, an in-house design team had filled the gap.
“I am honored and proud to carry on the legacy of this extraordinary brand and, above all, to continue to support Roberto Cavalli’s image of glamour and refinement,” said Puglisi, who is to unveil his first collection for the brand in January.
Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton, both a repository and magnet for talent, was implicated in several of the year’s other noteworthy designer moves.
In September, Nicolas Di Felice became the latest member of Nicolas Ghesquière’s inner circle to be put in charge of his own designer brand when he was named artistic director of Courrèges, where he succeeded Yolanda Zobel. His first collection for Courrèges is due in March. (Julien Dossena, another designer who learned the ropes under Ghesquière, helms Paco Rabanne, another Space Age label.)
Vuitton’s formidable leather goods department was involved in a trio of appointments.
In July, Nicholas Knightly, Vuitton’s design director for leather goods since 2004, took up the design helm of Moynat, another 19th-century trunk-maker controlled by luxury titan Bernard Arnault.
Around the same time, acclaimed leather goods designer Johnny Coca joined Vuitton as women’s fashion leather goods director, a new post working as part of the team lead by Ghesquière. Coca had previously wrapped a successful five-year stint as Mulberry’s creative director, and is known for his work under Phoebe Philo at Celine, which became a major player in elite handbags and accessories.
Finally, in an internal promotion revealed exclusively to WWD in November, Vuitton said a seasoned talent in its leather goods department, Darren Spaziani, would expand his role at the luxury giant and take the creative helm of men’s leather goods, in addition to his current responsibilities.

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