Prada’s treatment of synthetic fabrics can be traced back to 1984, when the iconic nylon backpack was released. Their collections have featured small technical touches several times ever since.
In 1997, with Neil Barret’s recent arrival as Menswear Design Director, Prada launched Prada Sport (renamed as Linea Rossa in 2009). Other fashion houses like Dior or Issey Miyake were also working in their own sports lines, but Prada stood out amongst every other brand implementing luxurious and unusual fabrics along high-tech sportswear.
SS99 and FW99 were probably Barret’s most notable collections at the Italian house, where he combined Prada Sport’s tactical accessories with the traditional cuts from the mainline, creating a perfect synergy. Prada’s SS1999 women’s collection followed this aesthetic as well. It is really interesting how these accessories blend with the garments without drawing much attention, giving the clothes a slimmer look.
Miuccia Prada took this hybrid concept to Miu Miu’s collections that same year, even creating the brand’s first menswear capsule. These collections featured tactical gear items such as chest-bags, waist-bags and functional utility belts. Sadly Miu Miu’s menswear line only lasted until 2008.
Written by Victor Espadas