As the pandemic ruptured the very seams of society, Prada announced in July that it would be partnering with Sotheby’s – a first for the Italian house – to auction off collectible fashion items and raise money for Unesco. Now, the sale of fall/winter 2020 menswear and womenswear pieces and props is here. The landmark collaboration between broker and brand is not only an opportunity to help vulnerable people around the world, it is a chance to secure a slice of fashion history: Miuccia Prada’s final Prada collections without her newly instated co-designer Raf Simons.
Bids for the lots from Prada: Tools of Memory are open until 15 October, and items including a fabulous wool coat with beaded fringing are already drawing in thousands of pounds from investors. The 72-piece edit spans backstage photographs, invitations, runway décor, and a vinyl LP of the show’s soundtrack. Saffiano leather handbags abound, and there’s a handful of the vanity case bracelets up for grabs (translation: catnip for handbag collectors). The prize ticket – a full look comprising a hand-sewn organza dress, choker, metal headband, bracelet, and leather Mary-Janes – is expected to raise over £12,000. Photos of Gigi Hadid and Freja Beha Erichsen backstage prior to the fall/winter 2020 presentation will surely fetch close to that.
On her decision to partner with Sotheby’s and rehome her beloved brand artefacts, Mrs Prada told British Vogue: “I think that in this moment what I can do with my work is do something that is meaningful, real, that can express various intentions, different meanings. The collections are about personality, craft, a creative contribution. The meaning and usefulness of fashion today: use and utility, function. Clothes as tools, tools for life – fashion with a purpose.” You heard it from the legend herself, these fall/winter 2020 pieces are not just investment buys, they are tools for life.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk