Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons talk fashion, art, business — and … – Vogue Business


Vogue: Because fashion is an art form, but with a commercial purpose?

RS: I think if this conversation is going towards art versus fashion…

MP: Then we are the right people!

RS: For me, art can be in the world for no reason or function.

MP: Because it’s for ideas.

RS: Yes. I think we both have a problem with seeing fashion as a form of art — but I do understand your point. And, I do myself think of certain fashion creators who are more like artists, almost. However, the core is what we just talked about.

Vogue: The most recent Italian culture minister, Dario Franceschini, published a book last year entitled Con la cultura non si mangia? (With Culture, Can’t You Eat?) that considers why states sometimes do so little to support cultural industries (including fashion) that generate jobs, exports, and also happiness. The industry supports hundreds of thousands of Italians — do you think it receives adequate support and respect?

MP: There are many different ways to look at this. The first is that people are scared to talk about fashion. Because that touches your intimate [nature]: you have to talk about yourself, your physicality, maybe even your weakness… All my life, I’ve asked myself why fashion is considered so cheap, and so trivial in many situations. And that is one reason. Another depends on how you position yourself in politics. But, I always forbade myself to talk in public about politics. Because being a rich fashion designer, I feel uncomfortable. Maybe I’m wrong, but still, I feel uncomfortable.

Vogue: Yes, but you are also a citizen.

MP: I know. And actually, I am not sure if I am right or wrong. But [with politics], you have to be free. Because if I am going to start sharing my opinion about a subject, people will say…

Vogue: This is hypocrisy?

MP: Aha!

RS: But don’t you think that perception has changed? Because fashion has become so democratic?

MP: Democratic, yes. And no. It depends. Because with fast fashion… it depends how you position yourself in the chain of fashion. We at Prada are in the expensive part. And there is nothing wrong with that. But, when people don’t talk about fashion, I think it’s because they don’t want to talk about their bodies, their issues, their fantasies.

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