Just weeks after the royal family of Qatar purchased Valentino, Miuccia Prada has voiced the concern that outsourcing Italian fashion brands can only dilute their strength.
"With the sale of our luxury labels to foreigners, our entire system risks falling into second league," said Prada in a rare interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. "Because if our brands cross our borders, the credit, glamour, fame, and decision making is in the hands of others, and we are abandoned, downgraded."
While Prada didn't mention the Valentino sale by name, she did say the impression of the Italian fashion industry is that it has "less resources, culture, protagonists, ideas, vitality, and money" than other countries, and that as a result "fashion goes elsewhere, looking for the best." Prada pointed to Raf Simons — who left Prada-owned Jil Sander for the top job at Dior in March — as evidence. For her part, Prada said she shows Miu Miu in Paris because she's "looking for that attraction that is called glamour."
"We live in a weak cultural world," Prada added. "We are a country that has never wanted or known how to protect and promote its immense landscape and artistic patrimony."
Showing in Paris isn't Prada's only connection to the world outside of Italy. When her company went public last Summer, she listed its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange.