Miuccia Prada delivered an unflinching defence Thursday of her creative leadership of the flagging luxury giant that bears her name, saying her work is more important than sales.
Her new collection had just gone down the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week, when the billionaire businesswoman and designer reacted to the lacklustre sales that have dogged Prada.
“I don’t want to be judged by sales, my life is much more important than sales,” she told reporters backstage at Prada headquarters.
The wider luxury business hit the doldrums in recent years due to a collision of culprits like a slowdown in Asia and currency volatility.
But houses like Gucci — which saw sales in the first quarter of 2017 grow at their fastest pace in 20 years — have bounced back, while others are struggling to find their mojo.
Still Prada hit the catwalk with a fighting spirit, showing a collection adorned with the studs made famous by punk rockers’ black leather jackets.
There was also a mash-up combination of flowing floral dresses, striped businessman-type shirts and skinny trousers which stopped at the calf.
– Holiday-ready clothes –
Karl Lagerfeld’s designs couldn’t have been more different, with a tropical chic collection that was all see-through and skin with colours cool enough to soothe your sunburn.
The latest designs from the veteran German designer emerged “in a swirl of Caribbean colour and flavour”, as he said in his notes on the Spring/Summer 2018 collection for Fendi at Milan Fashion Week.
Superstar models Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner helped show off the looks to the selfie-snapping crowd that included fashion godmother Anna Wintour in the front row.
To the sounds of jungle electro, there were stripes big and small on display as well as skin peeking out from just above the hip. Fringes fanned out like palm fronds on the strap of one of the bags — which are among the accessories the house is famous for.
There was not a dour trace in the collection, which comes just over three months after the death of Carla Fendi. She was one of five sisters who inherited a small leather goods workshop that they turned into a luxury juggernaut.
Lagerfeld, who has designed collections for the house for over 50 years, has often been referred to as the sixth Fendi sibling.
On the catwalk the gauzy skirts and coats came in colours of ocean blue, seafoam green and coral pink. Pin-striped cotton skirts hugged high on the waist.
Amid all the seaside holiday vibes, Lagerfeld sent down the runway a wide denim trench coat and a brown leather dress that looked fit for a frontierswoman.
The collection also saw Fendi unveil the latest addition to the eye-wateringly expensive range of accessories that drive the company’s revenues.
The Mon Tresor bag is leather with metallic pearls and the new Runway tote is transparent mesh with rattan handles.
French luxury group LVMH, which owns Fendi, said earlier this year that it was cautiously confident for 2017 after posting record results last year.
Bottom-line net profit grew by 11 percent to 3.98 billion euros and revenues were up five percent at 37.6 billion euros.