Rumours have proliferated since late last year that a succession plan was being put into place at Prada, but now, we have it in writing: Raf Simons is joining Miuccia Prada as co-creative director.
The announcement came at a hastily called press conference in Milan on Sunday 23 February to an assembled group of journalists. As of 2 April 2020, Simons will work in partnership with Mrs Prada “with equal responsibilities for creative input and decision-making”. The first collection co-designed by the duo will be the spring/summer 2021 collection, shown in Milan in September 2020.
A press release issued by the Prada Group sought to emphasise the fact that the collaboration was the result of ongoing mutual admiration. “This partnership, encompassing all creative facets of the Prada label, is born from a deep reciprocal respect and from an open conversation – it is a mutual decision, proposed and determined by both parties,” it read. “It opens a new dialogue, between designers widely acknowledged as two of the most important and influential of today.”
The mood at the conference, where Miuccia and Raf appeared side by side seated on green mid-century velvet chairs, was one of happy surprise: despite numerous reports that Mr Simons – who has not had a high-profile job in the fashion industry since he departed Calvin Klein in 2018 after just two years at the helm – would be taking the reins at Prada, many placed blind faith in Miuccia’s supernatural ability to power on and continue to reset fashion’s seasonal agenda.
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