A First Look Inside Prada’s Upcoming Auction for A/W20

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Daniel Arnold, Pre-show photograph of Gigi Hadid a
Daniel Arnold, Pre-show photograph of Gigi Hadid and Rianne Van Rompaey. Large format fine art printCourtesy of Prada and Sotheby’s

Raising funds for UNESCO’s Covid-19 Global Education Coalition, Tools of Memory is an auction of one-of-a-kind pieces and ephemera from Prada’s A/W20 shows, produced in collaboration with Sotheby’s

In July, Prada released its Autumn/Winter 2020 campaign – not just a campaign, as it turned out, but a collaboration with Sotheby’s on an auction of pieces from Prada’s A/W20 collections. As such, the Italian fashion house released a campaign that partly resembled an auction catalogue, featuring images from its A/W20 men’s and women’s collections alongside still-life photographs hinting at what would feature in the October sale. Today, Prada and Sotheby’s have released a first look at what will feature in the sale, titled Tools of Memory, bidding for which starts on October 2.

Every item up for sale in Tools of Memory is taken from the Autumn/Winter 2020 men’s and women’s fashion shows, shown in January and February this year at the Fondazione Prada, Milan, in a space designed by studio AMO inspired by “palaces and grand interiors”. As well as clothes and accessories – some of which are one-of-a-kind, made only for the A/W20 shows – a variety of other ephemera will also feature among the auction’s 71 lots: from a vinyl of the Frédéric Sanchez-conceived show soundtrack and invitations to prints of backstage photography, Polaroids of fittings and objects from the runway set. Sculptures designed by AMO’s Rem Koolhaas which stood in the centre of the A/W20 showspace are described as “highlights of the auction”, and many of the looks and pieces from the collections will only be available to buy in Tools of Memory and not stocked in Prada stores.

Tools of Memory will raise funds for UNESCO’s Covid-19 Global Education Coalition. “Prada will donate its proceeds raised in this auction to specifically benefit UNESCO’s new campaign entitled Keeping girls in the picture and their Global Education Coalition’s Gender Flagship, which has been leading collaborative efforts to promote the continuity of learning during closures and ensure a safe return to school for all women everywhere,” reads a statement released by Prada and Sotheby’s today.

Just ahead of Tools of Memory’s opening – the auction can also be previewed via teaser exhibitions in Sotheby’s London and New York – Prada will debut its Spring/Summer 2021 show digitally at the end of September, its first collection created under the joint stewardship of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, after the Belgian designer was announced as Prada’s co-creative director in February. 

Prada Tools of Memory launches at Sotheby’s online on October 2, 2020, with a pop-up exhibition at Sotheby’s London from September 16 – 23, 2020.