PRADA'S V for VENDETTA
I've had a love-hate relationship with Prada. There are seasons when they floor us spectacularly with divine pieces seemingly taken from the fashion heavens. Recent examples that have made their mark in my heart would include the avant garde golf-inspired menswear collection from SS12 or the RTW Japanese-flower-power fabulosity from SS13. Then of course there are the numerous blasé seasons where they churn out pieces that are so basic - yet the bevy of fashion hoarders still drink them in bucket loads. Recall menswear collections from AW2009, SS2010 and more recently AW2013. With this vicious cycle of normalcy vs. fabulosity, I've learned to be discerning of my "treatment" when it comes to being bitten by the Prada shopping bug. Well based on the recent information I got, it seems as if they've given me a permanent reason to exclude them from my consideration list.
Recently, I was informed that Prada has made some changes in terms of how their runway collections are made accessible. Beginning SS2015, Prada runway pieces will now only be available in a select few locations. For someone like me who adores runway pieces - driven by the unique design aesthetic on top of the idea of exclusivity - this was a devastating blow. Especially considering how when a Prada collection is truly spectacular I can't help but shop till I drop. Thinking about their footprint, it's highly possible that in Asia alone this means runway pieces will potentially be available in one, maximum 2 stores - if not none at all - depending on how strong sales are in China. Highly likely runway pieces will be sold mostly in North America and Europe. And as such, would mean long distance travel is required to attain the unattainable.
With this shift in Prada's selling model it seems they're going for the route of extreme exclusivity at the risk of alienating access of coveted runway pieces to those of us far away from the epicentre. In today's world of fashion accessibility this seems like an unwarranted business decision - especially since Prada counterparts are constantly expanding access to runway pieces at an unimaginable rate to ensure stronger reach in all corners of the world, more crucial in developing markets. Doing this allows extended availability of brand crown jewels when it comes to design aesthetic to ensure it reaches the hands of the select few "style stewards" in all corners of the world; driving the influential cycle of "who wore what" to purchase.
I'm truly intrigue by this business decision and at some point the rational part of my mind will come to the conclusion that this is a sound strategy for such an influential brand. That said, at this stage I'm emotional with the news and sour graping is the way to go. This change forces me to relish whatever past runway pieces I have to their fullest in my sartorial choices lest I travel thousands and thousands of miles to attain the now even more unattainable. The beast has chosen to live a life of exclusivity at the expense of accessibility. I can only pray that our part of the world will someday be blessed once again with the lure of runway access but till then Prada becomes but a runway myth.
OUTFIT 1: Emporio Armani Hat, Prada Shirt, Dries Van Noten Culottes, Isabel Marant Sneakers (worn throughout).
PHOTOGRAPHY: Creative Brew; STYLING: Aela Abalos