When Prada used their Fall/Winter 2018 presentation earlier this year to announce the relaunch of their popular Linea Rossa collection, it marked the return of a contemporary fashion originator.

Fusing Miuccia Prada’s vision of modern luxury with industrial, functional garment design, Prada Linea Rossa encapsulates the forward-thinking ethos that underpins much of the contemporary fashion lexicon right now — right down to its creation of unisex garments that transform to the wearer’s body. But this is much more than the latest iteration of a current trend. The legacy of Linea Rossa runs much deeper.

Prada Linea Rossa
Prada / Rita Lino

First launched in 1997 and commonly referred to as Prada Sport, the Linea Rossa collection offered a sportswear-infused takedown of the original Prada aesthetic, uniting the brand’s longstanding penchant for modern fabrics and technical precision with a pared-down, monochrome color scheme. Though plenty of luxury and sportswear labels had dabbled with the idea of making fashion more sporty, or sportswear more fashionable, it was Prada Linea Rossa that aspired to a true unity of the two.

Prada Linea Rossa
Prada / Rita Lino

The label’s fluid ingratiation with both form and function freed Prada to do things that no other fashion label might have dared to try. Even Linea Rossa’s trademark rubber and glossy plastic logo-marks ran counter to the elevated mentality of high fashion materialization, but when presented in the context of Prada’s own legacy of experimentation and innovation in textiles, the move made perfect sense. That same ethos continues in the new collection, with the Linea Rossa emblem rendered in latex, and heat-sealed into the garment through a cut window. Technicality is more than a process; it’s part of the branding of Linea Rossa itself.

It’s a process that empowers Linea Rossa to use the textures and techniques of both sport and fashion, claiming the fashion-forward aesthetics of the latest trends without being seen as a follower or copycat, but also exploring tech-savvy techniques like heat-sealed constructions, tricot nylon weaves, GORE-TEX® technology and durable hardware without any question of credibility.

As a result, the new Linea Rossa collection is both groundbreakingly modern and true to its past. The implementation of futuristic technology like Graphene padding, Gore-Tex Pro® lining, seamless, heat-sealed constructions, and even updates to Prada’s own Tela Tecnica fabric into each garment in the Linea Rossa line is an act of progression rooted in an enduring legacy.

For more on Prada, check out how the full collection here.

Words by Gregk Foley

Gregk Foley is a writer based in Berlin whose work explores the intersections of style, culture, politics and identity.