Prada says no to high street collaborations

Designer high street collaborations were at fever pitch with the recent Lanvin for H&M collection, but some luxury brands refuse to have their product diffused by teaming up with the high street’s fast fashion groups. Viktor & Rolf, Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld all caused a stir when their cheap and cheerful designer collections launched at H&M, however have you ever wondered why luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Prada refuse to go the route of bargain basement designs?As explained by Miuccia Prada in a recent interview, Prada will never do a cut-price version of her luxury brand. Speaking to WWD, Prada stated she didn’t like the idea of a bad copy, and that with clothes that cost so little, you must always ask why. ‘I havenever even considered [fast fashion] and I’ve explained why. It’s because I don’t like the idea of a bad copy of what one does for the main brand. If I had an ingenious idea to do fashion that costs less but that wasn’t a bad copy of something else, with completely different criteria and ways of doing things, I would do it. Also for myself, it would be an ingenious idea. For now, what I see more or less is the bad copy. Also with clothes that cost little, you need to ask why they cost so little. Because no one ever asks themselves that.’ She continued to explain how the oversimplication of a brand could turn it into a caricature of itself. ‘It’s what everyone wants and I resist it because I want to be relevant in my own way. I try to simplify my ideas and make them more simple but beyond a certain point, the simplification is not a positive thing.’ The grande dame of Italian fashion also cast her verdict on celebrity clothing lines. ‘If the content is intelligent and new, it provides value. If it retreads something old and it’s something people have already committed to memory but it’s just a matter of adding a name to it, I really don’t care.’ The interview also saw Mrs Prada speak in defence of the high cost of designer products. She emphasised luxury products cost more due to the amount of research involved in designing them, as well as the higher cost of manufacture in Europe. ‘It’s clear that these things cost money,’ she said. ‘It’s not like the owners of luxury brands make enormous profits. Probably the mass market players earn much more.