Just don’t call it a retrospective. That was the message at the Prada store in Soho today, as a new book documenting the world of Prada was unveiled to members of the press. Formally launched at an event earlier this week at the Prada store in Milan, PRADA was conceived and edited by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli in collaboration with designers Michael Rock and Sung Joong Kim of New York City design firm 2×4. Rock, who was on hand for the event this morning, explained that the book’s 708 pages can be broken up into two separate investigations, Inside and Outside. The Inside sections of the book trace Prada’s history, document the design and production process, and catalog the product Prada has introduced in the years since Miuccia Prada took over the company’s helm. (There are 3,885 thumbnail photos of the “looks” at Prada runway shows since 1987; bring your own magnifying glass.) The Outside section of PRADA, meanwhile, covers Prada’s various engagements with the worlds of commerce and culture, including stills from videos such as Trembled Blossoms, documentation of projects such as the Prada Transformer in South Korea and Double Club in London, photos of Prada on the red carpet and on the street, and even descriptions by eBay sellers of the Prada objets they are putting up for auction.
The book also gives much love, naturally, to Rem Koolhaas, revealing the ruminations on the meaning of “luxury” that led to the launch of the Prada “epicenter” stores. Mediating the Inside and Outside sections is a chronology of Prada campaigns—images from every womenswear and menswear campaign from 1987 to the present. Prada COO Sebastian Suhl, offering remarks on the book this morning, said that the book’s focus on Prada’s accomplishments over the past 30 years does not make the book a retrospective, or a summing up; rather, he said, when you look at all that’s been done, “you see how much can be done.” “This book,” Suhl underscored, “is about the future.” At present, PRADA is available at Prada stores worldwide and via www.prada.com.
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