Miuccia Prada Covers System Magazine Interviewed Alongside Raf Simons
Obsessed. Queen Miuccia sitting upon her throne (desk) wearing a flurry Miu Miu slider as she covers the latest issue of System Magazine, lensed by Mr Juergen Teller. Because, as the byline rightfully says: Everybody loves Miuccia. Obviously a statement that gets full approval from Ten Towers – I mean, as you probably know, we undertake a bloody ritual sacrifice to the Church of Prada every Monday morning. It’s starting in ten minutes. But this is not Mrs Prada alone. No, this one’s a BOGOF situation – Miuccia invited Raf Simons to join in on the interview, conducted by Jonathan Wingfield in the house’s Milan headquarters. Consider it an intellectual fash threesome. And, here’s an excerpt, taken from systemmagazine.com…
‘There’s something wrong about this idea of big brands.’
The inimitable Miuccia Prada.
By Jonathan Wingfield
Few, if any, designers match the mind and mindset of Miuccia Prada.
At a time when fashion houses seem increasingly judged on their financial form – like some kind of results-based sporting contest – we can sometimes lose sight of just how unique a voice she is. Intimate yet operating at scale, never afraid to contradict or backtrack, and offering a female presence that’s defined only by its wonderfully unpredictable nature – formidable one moment, frivolous the next – there has always been more than one Miuccia Prada.
Which is why we drafted in a few friends – super-stylist Katie Grand, writer and actress Tavi Gevinson, and photographers Juergen Teller and Norbert Schoerner – to help us explore her world and her work, and listen to the designer in her own words.
Meanwhile, in June, we invited Raf Simons to Milan to chat with Miuccia Prada about what it means to be a fashion designer today. The honest, outspoken and revealing three-hour conversation they had covers topics such as self-censorship, scale of operations, the merits of running your own company, and why Miuccia Prada, Raf Simons and Marc Jacobs should all swap brands for a season, just for fun.
(At the time, Raf only had eyes for his own label, but his subsequent appointment as creative director at US giant Calvin Klein now adds an interesting perspective – and frisson – to this unique on-the-record meeting).
Let’s start the interview by discussing interviews. Love them? Loathe them? Necessary evil?
Miuccia Prada: I generally have a problem with doing interviews because the only way I can talk is if I say what I really think, otherwise it’s impossible. But sometimes what I think – and therefore what I say in interviews – is not always deemed politically correct.
Raf Simons: That’s one of the things I think we should talk about today; I think that designers should be freer to say what we really think. These days, we are no longer able to; we’re supposed to always self-censor ourselves. People express such extreme opinions online about our collections, yet if we dare say one thing that is not politically acceptable…
Miuccia Prada: …we are killed!
Raf Simons: And I find that very problematic.
Miuccia Prada: Me, too. I sense this so much, and I always find myself self-censoring because anything interesting that I want to express no longer seems possible. [As a designer] you don’t always have the time to explain what it is you want to say; you might be thinking about a complex conceptual idea but you want to be lighter, what you say might come out like a boutade, but that boutade becomes the headline – one word becomes your mantra. So you feel you don’t have any control over your thoughts, and very often – sometimes in a good way, sometimes bad – there is less possibility to answer. You can’t say this, you can’t say that, so it is better not to talk. The last interview I did, I took out 80 percent.