Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons Make Their Menswear Debut

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Prada Autumn/Winter 2021
Prada Autumn/Winter 2021Courtesy of Prada

Debuted yesterday, the pair’s first menswear collection as co-creative directors explored our “intimate and personal wish for contact”

Yesterday, Prada revealed its Autumn/Winter 2021 menswear collection via a live-stream from Milan, marking Raf Simons’ debut men’s outing at the helm of the Italian house, at the side of Mrs Prada. One year into the isolating and often bewildering era of Covid-19, the collection focussed on the joy of touch, movement and physical freedom – described by Prada as “an intimate and personal wish for contact, our urge to exchange and relate”.

In the show, models moved purposefully through a series of brightly-, brilliantly-hued rooms conceived by Rem Koolhaas and AMO, which were crafted from the satisfying materials of marble, resin, plaster and faux fur. Labelled by Prada as “non-spaces” – allowing “absolute freedom of interpretation” – the inviting set evoked the contrasting sensations of “hard and soft, warm and cold”.

In these tactile rooms, footage of the models dancing frenetically in tight bodysuits – as if totally caught up in the moment – was spliced with more traditional catwalk scenes, while a hypnotic electronic soundtrack by Plastikman pounded overhead. Watched from individual homes from around the world, the multi-sensory production was, as intended by Simons and Mrs Prada, a brief reminder of the delight in human physicality.

Sensory too was the collection itself, which brought together an array of pleasing colours and textures in modern, angular silhouettes. Crafted in “a topography of feeling”, the collection was full of geometric-patterned jacquard knits and leathers; Prada’s signature nylon and bouclé tweeds; and classic pinstripe wool suiting. 

The show was followed up by a wholesome video Q&A with fashion students from around the world, who asked the co-creative directors about their working dynamic, the state of fashion, and their hopes for the future. “What I think is good, is the possibility to change your mind,” said Mrs Prada on the topic of compromise, having conceded that the collection is full of pinstripes despite her longstanding dislike of the style. “I always want to change my mind.” 

Watch the show and Q&A below.