In an era dominated by Demna, Virgil and Alessandro, it’s felt like Prada has recently, well, lagged behind a bit. The legendary Milanese house was slow to adapt to e-commerce and has since reported dwindling sales, while its collections tended to feel a bit too dense and academic for a menswear climate that’s all about logo-mania, irony and retina-assaulting aesthetics. You couldn’t help but think that Prada was just a bit out of touch with what people want from their clothes these days.
All that looks set to change though, as the house’s FW18 show in Milan went full-throttle on the ’00s-era sportswear vibes, culminating with what appears to be an official relaunch of the cult Prada Sport label. Running from 1999-2006, Prada Sport was a diffusion line of high-tech athletic gear that revolved around performance fabrics like nylon and Gore-Tex, with clean silhouettes broken only by a thin red branding stripe.
Hooded parkas and anoraks (#10-13) appeared on the runways with Prada Sport’s distinctive red band intact, while the rest of the show was awash with nylon — used on boxy outerwear, chunky track pants and utilitarian bags. Nylon bucket hats — a ’00s roadman essential — appeared on every single look in the show. This double-whammy of athleticism and nostalgia hits all the right buttons for younger audiences who came of age in an era where sportswear was the defacto way of dressing.
Elsewhere, flame-adorned shirting and boxy tailoring topped off a collection that looked like it’ll capture the hearts of Millennials when it drops later in the year.
The Prada comeback is happening — you heard it here first.