A model presents a creation for Prada Men's Spring - Summer 2024 fashion show as part of the Fashion Week in Milan, on June 18, 2023.
Image: Andreas Solaro / AFP
Iconic designer Miuccia Prada teamed up with Raf Simons in Milan on Sunday to present their new men's collection, combining elegance and comfort with an aim to "free" men's bodies.
It was one of the most highly anticipated collections on the third day of Fashion Week, which focuses on the spring-summer 2024 period. Their show took place in the austere surroundings of the Prada Foundation, setting the scene for a sober but refined men's wardrobe.
The starting point was "the simplest white shirt". From this base, said Prada, "you can do whatever you want" and modify it according to the individuality of each person.
The freedom of the body is reflected in the ubiquitous pair of shorts, available in an infinite variety of colours—black, white, beige or grey—matched with shirts and jackets in the same shade.
Ties appeared to have been banished, unlike at other labels that have been bringing them back. The Prada silhouette was streamlined, the cuts supple and the fabrics fluid, in cotton, denim or leather.
Shirts were tucked into shorts or trousers, and the waist was tightened, in contrast to the width of the shoulder pads.
Revisiting the classics
The traditional shirt was dusted off—sometimes sophisticated, sometimes nonchalant—with ultra-long sleeves and whimsical touches such as floral motifs, fringes and a multiplicity of pockets.
"When you follow the show, you see a classic men's suit," said Simons. But on closer inspection, he added, it turns out to be "completely different".
Instead, he said, it "allows the body, which is always moving and changing, to feel free".Also read: Sustainable fashion influencers take on fast fashion giants
This collection applied the same formula to a whole range of clothing, including mackintoshes, waistcoats and sportswear.
But Prada has not abandoned classics such as its loose-fitting double-breasted coats in white, topped with a small collar in the same colour, revisited for the occasion.
Simons, a 55-year-old Belgian designer who has already worked with Jil Sander, Dior and Calvin Klein, has been co-creative director of Prada since 2020.
The label was founded in 1913 by Miuccia Prada's grandfather and is 80-percent owned by her family.
In January, Andrea Guerra, former head of eyewear giant Luxottica, took over the reins of Prada for a transitional period until Lorenzo Bertelli, 35—the eldest son of 74-year-old Miuccia Prada and former CEO Patrizio Bertelli, 77—transitions into the role.Also read: Ultra-fast fashion charms young despite damaging the environment
Fighting 'fast fashion'
Talking to AFP in January, Lorenzo Bertelli said he wanted to continue his mother's fight against "fast fashion"—the rapid renewal of clothes on sale. Miuccia Prada is instead an advocate of "sustainable" fashion.
The mass production of clothes by certain brands has harmful consequences for the environment, and the textile industry is one of the most polluting on the planet.
As for Prada's pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Lorenzo Bertelli said the group hoped to make progress and interim targets were "on track".
The luxury house says it plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent by 2026 compared to 2019, for its production sites and vehicle fleet, as well as electricity and gas consumption.