Text by Sadaf Shaikh
The fashion world came under scrutiny once again when the pandemic broke out and people began self-isolating at home, alone with their thoughts, the internet and a lot of time on their hands. It wasn’t long before a stronger surge of accountability passed through the collective global consciousness and individuals began paying more attention to how their rampant consumption of trend-based fashion was affecting the planet. By extension, this also led many to question the frequency of the fashion week cycle and conclude that brands hosting four fashion weeks in four cities each, besides launching resort, cruise, pre-fall, menswear and haute couture collections, is a burden on our resources and the environment, in addition to being an excessive tool to pander to a small, privileged section of society.
Designers and creative directors have been swift in rectifying their squandering ways and are already making sweeping changes to the existing fashion week/season model. Held two months before the coronavirus altered our way of living forever, Prada’s Fall/Winter 2020 show in January was an emphatic nod to trend-less fashion and saw a return to some of the brand’s most recognisable styles like geometric prints, intarsia knitwear, and shearling-lined outerwear.
If Prada’s latest initiatives are anything to go by, co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons have been putting in the work to earn a seat at the green table. After announcing its Re-Nylon initiative — where the Italian fashion house pledged to phase out its use of virgin nylon by 2021 — and becoming the first luxury brand to sign a loan tied to sustainability-related conditions, Prada also forged a partnership with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission to develop an educational programme focusing on sustainability and the circular economy which will be implemented in schools across the world.
In a move that will further cement its position as a brand with a strong conscience, Prada has partnered with Sotheby’s to auction artefacts from the aforementioned Fall/Winter 2020 men’s and women’s shows, which will include clothes, accessories and shoes worn by models on the runway, as well as photographic prints, show invitations and pieces selected from the ramp décor like the atlas statue and anti-hero figure featured in the images above. Proceeds generated will be donated to UNESCO’s projects which seek to expand inclusion in education for vulnerable populations across the globe.
On 20th July, a small number of items from the auction were unveiled on sothebys.com/prada. Details of further items will be released over the coming months, before the full auction catalogue is published online in time for the launch of the auction on October 2, 2020. For more information, visit prada.com/auction.