Translated by
Nicola Mira
Apr 8, 2019
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Prada continues its forays into design and art

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Apr 8, 2019

The Milan design week is only a few days away, and Prada has launched the second edition of the ‘Prada Invites’ programme, introduced in January 2018 with designers and architects Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Herzog & de Meuron and Rem Koolhaas. This time, Prada turned to three women, architects Cini Boeri, Elizabeth Diller and Kazuyo Sejima, asking them to reinvent a series of fashion accessories using the label’s signature black nylon fabric.

The Prada handbag designed by Cini Boeri - Prada

The three architects have worked on modular, customisable projects. Milan-based Cini Boeri, who began her career with architect Gio’ Ponti and collaborated with Marco Zanuso before opening her own studio, developed a “versatile” handbag that can expand and shrink as needed.

Kazuyo Sejima, from Japanese architecture studio Sanaa, dreamed up a sort of bolster-shaped pillow/handbag, consisting of a series of clutches zipped to one another and integrated with colourful accessories which morph into handbag handles. A unique creation that can also be worn around the neck, like a shawl or a boa scarf.

Finally, Poland-born US architect Elizabeth Diller of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro studio, which notably designed New York’s High Line linear park, devised two hybrid objects. The Yoke, half shrug, half life jacket and overflowing with pockets, and The Envelope, a large handbag that can be worn like a cape or a gilet/dress.  

These unique items made their first appearance in September, at Prada’s Spring/Summer 2019 show, and will be presented at Milan’s Furniture Show. They will be then commercialised as limited-edition items at select Prada stores. From April 4, they will be available at the label’s avenue Montaigne store in Paris.

The hybrid handbag designed by Elizabeth Diller for Prada - Prada

The ‘Prada Invites’ initiative has also been presented at the Prada Mode club in Hong Kong, an itinerant club focused on contemporary culture, functioning as a private salon staging special events organised by the label. It opened at the end of March in parallel with the Art Basel Hong Kong show, in the historic Barrack Block building in the Tai Kwun district. The club’s first session was held in Miami in December 2018, during the Art Basel Miami show.

Another major Prada event will be the Jannis Kounellis exhibition curated by Germano Celant and organised by the Prada Foundation at its Venice venue, the Ca’ Corner della Regina palace, from May 15 to November 24 2019. It will be the most comprehensive retrospective on the Italian-Greek artist, who died in 2017.

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