>> Miuccia Prada, politician? "Yes, it's true," the designer confirmed when asked if it was true she'd like to enter politics one day. And is she considering the path seriously? "Probably, yes," she replied. "Politics have always been a little of my passion. And now I [could] use my work as a tool to do things other than fashion."
But for now, she's still focusing on fashion, which she says has been made more difficult — creatively — by globalization: "I always say that up until the '70s, fashion was white, Catholic, Western. Now fashion embraces the whole world with [different] religions, costumes, et cetera, et cetera. Before, it reflected the spirit of a small group. There is just one collection, and we don’t make specific things for specific markets, but [the clothes] try to accommodate a world which has become a lot bigger. It’s a lot more difficult in this sense…[but] I think it enriches [the design experience] because it’s bigger."
Because of this need to be in touch on the global scene, Prada is opening design studios in both Hong Kong and Paris this year: "We decided to do this because not everyone wants to live in Milan.…I made a curious twist on the French word flâner, which means that when the people wanted to understand what was happening, they strolled the city. Now people travel the world . . . I’d say it was almost a practical necessity…also it’s clearly an opportunity to get some young minds, fresher minds."
Prada also reads blogs to stay in touch — but not on the computer: "I have reports sent over. Every week I have a summary sent over of the positive blogs, the negative blogs and the interesting blogs. I read them on paper. It’s interesting to see what is making the rounds, what people are talking about. All of our work as designers is to understand what people are thinking, where the world is going, how things work. It’s one of many sources of information.…It’s not that I do it to do my job better. I do it because it interests me.…Definitely everything that leads me to know more about what’s happening probably makes my work more interesting. At least I hope so."
And despite the fact that she doesn't seem to mind the immediacy the Internet brings to information, it doesn't sound like Prada will be pulling a Burberry and selling clothes straight off the runway anytime soon: "I think that, for now, this is the way it is. You can’t avoid it. It’s like being in denial about the future. The future will be even more like this because it’s an opportunity that’s so big and convenient. I don’t use a computer, but I see everyone around me using them. It’s immediate access to information, a way of communicating. I think it’s a real, great revolution, perhaps bigger than the Industrial Revolution . . . Sometimes people criticize us because we aren’t technological enough, because we don’t sell on the Internet…but [to have people] click on a runway show and sell it, I don’t think that’s the essence of the change."