Miu Miu Launches Matelassé Campaign With Gigi Hadid


MILAN — It’s safe to say that Miu Miu is sizzling hot at the moment, but chief executive officer Benedetta Petruzzo underscores that the brand’s current success, hinging on Miuccia Prada’s creativity, is the result of seeds planted long ago and much team work.

This effort was addressed by newly installed Prada Group CEO Andrea Guerra as he commented on the first-quarter results of the company earlier this month, remarking on the “great job” done at Miu Miu over the past 12 to 36 months, as the brand is “well-received, visible and [enjoying] a much bigger retail success.”

Compared with the same period in 2022, retail sales of the Miu Miu brand accelerated in the first three months of 2023, rising 42 percent to 129 million euros.

In the latest quarter of the Lyst Index’s hottest brand list, Miu Miu climbed to second for the period between January to March, which is the brand’s highest ranking since the list began. Prada nabbed the first spot.

Among the contributing factors to this growth, the rise in popularity of Miu Miu can be largely attributed to the high demand for the Pocket bag, a second collaboration with New Balance and a trend-setting Paris Fashion Week show featuring Emma Corrin, Zaya Wade, Mia Goth and Ethel Cain on the catwalk.

Ready-to-wear and shoes have always been strong categories for Miu Miu, growing across the board in all geographies, Petruzzo said in an exclusive interview, and leather goods are now increasingly becoming “a pillar” also through the launch of the new Pocket bag.

Petruzzo said “there is a new impulse” in this segment with a new campaign celebrating its signature matelassé series. The matelassé is a special craftsmanship where panels are doubled with wadding and elastic cloth and then quilted.

Miu Miu is celebrating the matelassé in two styles, the Wander, and the newly debuted Arcadie — in a campaign for spring fronted by Gigi Hadid and photographed by Steven Meisel, bowing on Thursday.

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Gigi Hadid fronting the spring 2023 Miu Miu campaign.

First launched during the fall 2006 show, the matelassé has been revisited in terms of size and design during the years and is by now so central to the brand’s handwriting that it barely needs a logo to be recognized, the executive contended.

“The Wander already made a statement, as the matelassé craft has become iconic for us, and it expresses brand continuity,” she continued. Drawing from ancient mythology, the name Arcadie evokes an idealized and idyllic natural location, observed Petruzzo.

For the campaign, Meisel was inspired by Margaret Keane, paying tribute to the late American artist as she reflects Miu Miu’s attitude, independence and character, noted the CEO. Keane was known for her distinctive paintings of melancholic women, children and animals, often referred to as “big-eyed waifs.”

Her husband Walter Keane took credit for her work for years, before losing a legal battle to his wife. The Keanes’ story was adapted by director Tim Burton in his “Big Eyes” film in 2014. There are references to Keane in Meisel’s photos in terms of colors and the set, as well as the overall mood and Hadid’s stylized poses.

Miuccia Prada is one of the most inspiring and iconic women in the world — because she explores all of her loves and interests to their fullest potential,” Hadid said. “It is an honor to see her work, work with her and to experience someone full of knowledge and powerful yet still down-to-earth and kind. She does so much to create spaces to celebrate others. I think of the Miu Miu woman as someone who has similar qualities to Miuccia…playful but calm, classic but cool, in-charge but grounded.”

Asked about Hadid, Petruzzo acknowledged that “we are interested in her attitude through the lenses of Meisel” and how “immediate and intimate, as well as evocative” the images are.

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The Miu Miu Arcadie bag.

While an established brand, “with a clear identity and positioning, we invested in making [Miu Miu] increasingly more visible and with an always growing community,” Petruzzo said.

The identity reflects that community, “distinctive, a bit irreverent, radical, disruptive and authentic, we speak of women’s empowerment to free and independent minds, women who refuse to be labeled, and this is visible also through the Miu Miu Women’s Tales or the collaboration with artists, continued also in the last fashion shows. The brand is contemporary and immediate, it lives in the current times.”

Beginning with spring 2022, Miu Miu has been collaborating with artists and performers on show content, adding a layer of culture to fashion, in line with Miuccia Prada’s sensibility. For example, in March the designer unveiled her latest tie-up for her Miu Miu show at the Palais d’Iéna in Paris. She linked with South Korean choreographer and performance artist Geumhyung Jeong, who is known for her manipulation of mechanical objects and her edgy, sensual staging.

Prada previously worked with artists Meriem Bennani on the Miu Miu spring 2022 show and with Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg on the fall 2022 show. For Miu Miu‘s spring 2023 show, the designer collaborated with Chinese artist Shuang Li, who conceived a video and set installation.

Last year, Miu Miu sales were up 20 percent to 432 million euros, recording a sharp acceleration in the second half.

The sales growth is based on full price at retail and e-commerce, a key channel for the Gen Y and Z customers of Miu Miu.

Miu Miu’s miniskirts and ballerinas have also sparked trends, Petruzzo observed, but she noted that “we have to always find a balance with fresh new ideas to be relevant season after season, while also strengthening the icons.”

Petruzzo was “optimistic about the future” and the strategies for the brand.

While “very satisfied” with the performance in Europe and Asia in the first quarter, where the company registered “a very strong rebound,” the executive believes there is growth potential in the U.S., where “we are still small, but Americans are looking for us.”

“We have optimized the network and I am confident this is the right strategy for the future. I don’t expect drastic strategic changes. We are investing in brand retail excellence, and focusing on the existing network,” Petruzzo said.

Asked about the new Prada Group governance, which saw the arrival of Guerra as Prada Group CEO in January and Patrizio Bertelli becoming chairman and executive director of the group, Petruzzo said that “within the new organizational structure, [Guerra] is another fundamental support in achieving our ambitions as a brand and in our growth path.”

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