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Miuccia Prada: "With Clothes That Cost Little, You Need to Ask Why They Cost So Little. Because No One Ever Asks Themselves That."

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"Not doing shows would be very convenient," Miuccia Prada tells WWD. "For example, if I didn’t have to do shows, I’d be on vacation half the year."

In the second half of an in-depth interview conducted with the venerable Italian fashion designer, WWD asks her about fast fashion, celebrity clothing lines, and wait a second, did she just call Chanel and Louis Vuittton banal? Here are some highlights:

WWD: What do you think of the fast-fashion boom?

M.P.: I have never even considered it and I’ve explained why. It’s because I don’t like the idea of a bad copy of what one does for the main brand. If I had an ingenious idea to do fashion that costs less but that wasn’t a bad copy of something else, with completely different criteria and ways of doing things, I would do it. Also for myself, it would be an ingenious idea. For now, what I see more or less is the bad copy. Also with clothes that cost little, you need to ask why they cost so little. Because no one ever asks themselves that.

But it definitely is part of today so it’s all fine. I don’t have a problem with it. Everything that happens happens, so there’s no need to be against it. It’s logical that it’s like this.

WWD: What do you think of this trend of democratization of the industry with fashion and celebrities launching lines?

M.P.: It depends always on the content. If the content is intelligent and new, it provides value. If it retreads something old and it’s something people have already committed to memory but it’s just a matter of adding a name to it, I really don’t care. It always depends on what one does.?Perhaps only the Japanese have found a better way to make economical products that really make sense.

WWD: When I was interviewing Rei Kawakubo?

M.P.: What does she think of this?

WWD: She said that she did the collaboration with H&M, but in the end she discovered that the worlds were too different from one another and she doesn’t think she’ll do something like that again.

M.P.: It’s what everyone wants and I resist it because I want to be relevant in my own way.?I try to simplify my ideas and make them more simple but beyond a certain point, the simplification is not a positive thing.?So extracting the essence of a brand so that a brand is just a bow, the brand is just a heart, the brand is just black?everyone would want that. Even the customers would want that. The majority of people want to just sell and probably [Kawakubo] would have found this aspect negative. Because in the end she didn’t want to banalize what she does and almost become a caricature of herself.

It’s clear that Chanel is known for the little jacket and Vuitton for the LV and us? Nobody really knows what we are, which is fortunate. Because I try to resist making a banal product. It’s clear that, as the world continues to get bigger, a bit of simplification is necessary but not to the point where it becomes totally useless or uninteresting.

We also particularly enjoyed the interviewer cycling through all the things that Prada refused to talk about:
WWD: Can you tell us about any artists, books or films you find interesting now?

M.P.: These are all things I never talk about. These are things that I consider personal and I never name names.

WWD: Is there an artist in particular that you like?

M.P.: I never say. I don’t say because it creates big problems for me. [Laughs]

WWD: Do your sons want to go into the family business?

M.P.: I don’t want to talk about my sons. They have prohibited me from doing so.

WWD: What other designers do you admire or wear?

M.P.: The ones who are dead or don’t sell. [Laughs] I won’t say. I like the good ones. I’m not envious of the good ones. I like the good ones.

· More From Miuccia Prada [WWD]