Highsnobiety

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As Kanye West once rapped, “Praises due to the most fly: Prada.” And indeed, the label has consistently proven that God is in the details. Long before casual sportswear and ready-to-wear runway staples were par for the course, Miuccia Prada had the foresight to see the track before it was even paved. Today, Prada Linea Rossa’s signature thin red line has become a status symbol and street style mainstay of the global cognoscenti — which is the reason we’re incredibly excited to partner with the brand for our first drop.

The Linea Rossa story begins with a little black backpack. In 1985, Miuccia Prada zagged Prada, a purveyor of leather goods, by making something novel: a non-leather product. Introducing nylon into the brand’s oeuvre, the designer changed the game with a streamlined backpack made from sleek black pocone nylon. The material remains in Prada’s quiver today and rose to greater prominence with Prada’s Fall/Winter 1994 collection, where it was used on utilitarian trench coats with plenty of storage, collarless vests inspired by the MA-1 bomber jacket, belted military coats with an elegant edginess, and even of-the-moment miniskirts with zippered pockets.

Prada’s first men’s collection debuted in 1995, built on codes that mixed military style, sportswear, and classic menswear in a way that toed the line between casual and dressed-to-the-nines. Prada’s appeal lies in the quiet je ne sais quoi of its execution — garments that look luxurious, but you can’t quite put your finger on why. It’s the reason a person can wear something by the brand and instantly feel 10 times richer.

Prada Spring/Summer 1999 Menswear
Prada
Prada

Initially released under the Prada Sport moniker in 1997, the codes that would become Prada Linea Rossa redefined the uniform of the jet set. Part-aprés-ski, part-competitive sailing, Linea Rossa distilled ’90s leisure-class recreation into minimal clothes that over-delivered on performance. It brought weatherproof materials such as GORE-TEX to the Milanese runway, while the America’s Cup sneaker became an in-the-know grail among street culture and fashion enthusiasts alike. Prada’s quietly elevated yet extremely functional garments became a wearable membership card for a global class of high-taste individuals — a reputation it still carries today.

In many ways, Prada Linea Rossa set the course for modern streetwear. It isn’t far-fetched to think that if you follow that thin red line from inception to today, you might run into Supreme’s red box logo. And that’s why we’re proud to partner with Prada for our first drop. It encapsulates the forward-thinking ethos that underpins much of the contemporary fashion lexicon right now and is a testament to Miuccia Prada’s prescience.

Words like “authentic” and “timeless” have become tired marketing buzzwords, but Prada Linea Rossa truly does stand on its own merits. So much so that when it was reintroduced last year, its soul remained relatively unchanged. The proportions have shifted (earlier items were almost unforgivably slim-fitting) and the array of colors on offer now ranges from classic black and stark white to high-vis green and safety orange, but it’s still built on the same balance of technical prowess and design excellence.

It’s that same sentiment we hope to offer with our new drop model. We want to highlight the labels that set trends rather than following them, to shine a light on high-caliber brands delivering objects you can’t help but desire.

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Words by Jian DeLeon
Editorial Director

Jian DeLeon is the Editorial Director at Highsnobiety. He is based in New York.