The world of fashion is quite a tightly controlled one, where big brands like to influence their coverage in the press as much as possible to make sure it reflects them in as positive light, so we’re LOVING the power couple who run superbrand Prada spilling the fashion beans in a big interview this week.
In the world of high end there can be more protocol than there was at the court of Louis XIV, (Balenciaga deciding to ban French Vogue from their shows, for example) and plenty of subjects are taboo.
Top of the taboo list are: money problems (in particular; debts, buy outs and mergers), skinniness in fashion/models with eating disorders, and, to a large degree (Marc Jacobs notwithstanding) – their personal lives. Oh – and it’s kind of considered not cricket to criticise other designers on the record either.
Which is why nosy parkers and fashaholics alike have been pricking up their ears at the news of a ginormous and VERY candid interview in the Wall Street Journal with Patrizio Bertelli and his wife Miuccia – also known as Mr and Mrs Prada!
Among the subjects that would have other designers pecking at the lawyers’ numbers on their phones the couple cheerfully revealed:
* Details of their company’s debts – which was around a billion dollars by the end of the 90’s during which time they bought up brands such as Jil Sander and Helmut Lang.
* How they met – at a trade far each running a leather goods company in 1977.
* Their fiery relationship dynamic. Apparently, she is more than happy to shout as loudly as he does and they disagree so frequently that Mrs Prada has a ‘rule of three’ - ‘if he says something more than three times then I have to think about it’. Oh – and Patrizio sets the record straight about a rather Elton John-esque scenario, involving a mirror in the Miu Miu shop in NY. Yep, he did smash it up, ‘because it made people look too fat’ he explained.
* How they feel about celebrity endorsement - Patrizio is all for it and Mrs Prada, less so. As she put it “He says that we [her and her design team] are snobs and that we don’t understand pop culture” Although, as Grazia Daily has pointed out on more than one occasion, Brit superstar Carey Mulligan seems to be doing a sterling job as the Italian brand’s red carpet ambassador of late, so they can't all be clueless.
* AND Mrs Prada’s views on Facebook, Twitter and Burberry’s decision to stream their show live at the same time as putting up certain coats for sale, a whole season in advance - “I don’t get it. Why does someone showing a picture of someone in a trench coat online mean being open to the world?” Yikes!
* But, this is maybe our favourite quote of all... when Mrs P is questioned about her aversion to tweeting her thoughts to the world as a form of marketing for the brand, she says – “Well, what if we found out years from now that twitter is crap. Maybe, years from now we’ll have all been mistaken” Oh yes, (just like Marc “I don’t know how to use computers too well” Jacobs), Mrs Prada is a bit of a technophobe. Love love love the insider tidbits – they make us adore Prada even more.
- Naomi ATtwood