Fashion is getting weirder, and I'm not talking about the clothes. Nearly a month after Balenciaga debuted its Fall 2021 collection through a video game, Prada is taking a more rudimentary but perhaps even stranger approach to virtual engagement.
For its Spring / Summer '21 campaign, Prada is soliciting responses to a variety of heady questions on creativity, the future, technology, and other topics suited for broad interpretation. Select answers will be chosen for publication in a book that presents the new collection.
Dubbed "Dialogues," the campaign follows themes from and Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons' debut collection as the co-creative chiefs exploring how technology affects our perception of the world. After the runway show — which was sort of a Prada's greatest hits as seen through Simons' industrial and minimalist lens — the two designers sat down to answer questions from fans around the world.
A prime opportunity for trolling — Without knocking Prada and Simons' first campaign together — it's a fun way to foster engagement without any barrier of income — I'd be remiss not to point out how much more fun it could be if you don't take it seriously. Some of these questions, like "Is nature in there or out there?," are not unlike the musings of a stoned person. And because the two designers aren't without a sense of humor, perhaps you can joke your way into putting ink on the page.
If you don't have the same proclivities for mischief, many of the questions also serve well as personal litmus tests regardless of if you choose to submit a response. I lament over anyone who chooses the former option for the question, "Does 'cloud' make you think of data or sky?" and yet I fell into a brief moment of dismay pointed inward when considering if I look at the weather app or the window first.
"Photographed by no-one" — No one gets photo credit for the campaign because Prada instead utilized hundreds of cameras to simultaneously capture 360 degrees of views. A similar setup was used for the runway show to bring attention to how we view just about everything in the 21st century through one piece of tech or another.
"Technology has been visionary," Prada said in a release for the campaign. "It has enabled people to communicate regardless of space and time, drawing individuals together in intimacies even when apart. If technology is a tool, fashion can be, too — it is a cultural barometer, a mirror, inevitably engaged in a constant rapport with its moment of creation. Here, that rapport is enhanced, and ongoing — fashion literally speaking to its audience, creating an actual document of its time."
Such corporate statements are more often than not self-aggrandizing, but I have to admit my mind is chewing over this campaign more than any other in recent memory.