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Prada’s Guest Editor

Culture Watch
Edward Enniful's interpretation of the Harlem Renaissance for Prada.

Last week, during Prada’s runway collection in Milan, another dramatic presentation of Prada’s fashion debuted. While mannequins replaced models, and window displays replaced runways, the fashion was center stage.

A new chapter of The Iconoclasts opened with Edward Enninful’s original vision for Prada women’s and men’s Monte Napoleone stores, inspired by the energy and original thought of the ‘Harlem Renaissance’.

Prada’s The Iconoclasts series launched in 2009, when four leading fashion editors took over the visual identity of Prada stores in four fashion capitals around the world. Alex White re-dressed the New York Broadway store, Katie Grand cast her vision over London’s Old Bond Street, Olivier Rizzo transformed Milan’s Via Monte Napoleone store and Carine Roitfeld brought her fashion point of view to the Avenue Montaigne Boutique in Paris. Each applied their distinctive styling and storytelling vision to the presentation of the collection, a creative collaboration within the world of fashion at the most creative level.

An electric time of artistic explosion and cultural exchange for the African American community in the United States in the 1920s, the ‘Harlem Renaissance’ represented a new creative spirit. Stars such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker and Ella Fitzgerald were born, and the air buzzed and fizzed with jazz and ideas.

Taking this spirit of creativity as his cue, Enninful’s Prada women’s store is filled with a cast of black and white mannequins dressed in Prada SS14 and archive looks – guests at an imagined 1920s club – complete with glittering Art Deco bar, evoking the atmosphere of Harlem. The men’s store will host a cast of black and white mannequins dressed in Prada SS14 and archive pieces, set amongst game tables, 1920s food and cocktails, and the strains of a jazz blues trio. New fashion images shot by Emma Summerton and Enninful will be presented in both stores.

“Miuccia Prada’s work always begins with a conversation,” says Enniful. “Drawing from this notion, I looked to the ‘Harlem Renaissance’ for the SS14 installment of The Iconoclasts series. As the ‘Harlem Renaissance’ was a period of original thought – when creative minds inspired and embraced a new cultural identity – I felt that this was an appropriate narrative to incorporate into this season’s Prada collection.”

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