Press Releases and Documents


From Runway To Rostrum

September 16, 2020

Prada and Sotheby’s Unveil One-of-a-kind Items from the ‘Tools of Memory’ Auction To Raise Funds for UNESCO’s COVID-19 Global Education Coalition

Comprising Exclusive Fashion Items, Photography and Set Design From Prada’s Fall/Winter 2020 Fashion Shows 


16 September 2020 - Prada and Sotheby’s today unveil a selection of highlights from ‘Tools of Memory’, an online auction to raise funds for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and its efforts to safeguard learning for students around the world in the face of the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19. At the peak of the pandemic, school closures to contain its spread interrupted the education of more than 1.5 billion children and youth – 90% of the world’s students – disproportionately impacting girls and women, for whom education is often a lifeline.

Prada will donate its proceeds raised in this auction to specifically benefit UNESCO’s new campaign entitled Keeping girls in the picture and their Global Education Coalition’s Gender Flagship, which has been leading collaborative efforts to promote the continuity of learning during closures and ensure a safe return to school for all women everywhere.

An online sale like no other, every item featured is an original piece from the Prada Fall/Winter Men’s and Women’s fashion shows, including one-of-a-kind garments worn by the models, photographic prints of candid moments backstage, polaroid, seat cards and invitations, objects from the runway décor, and vinyl with the accompanying music for both presentations by Frédéric Sanchez. The sale features 72 lots in total and will open for bidding on Sotheby’s website from 2-15 October. Pop-up teaser exhibitions will also be staged at Sotheby’s in London and New York in the lead up to the sale.

Debuted in January and February this year, Prada’s FW2020 shows transformed the grand hall of the Deposito of Fondazione Prada into two piazzas, designed by research and design studio AMO. An equestrian statue and a representation of the Greek Titan Atlas designed by Rem Koolhaas formed the centrepieces of the Men’s and Women’s shows respectively, and will now appear as highlights of the auction.

From layered fringes to deconstructed pleats, geometric prints, knitwear and shearling-lined outerwear, ‘Tools of Memory’ features over 40 looks from the house’s FW2020 presentations. Comprising the clothing, shoes, and accessories worn by the models only for fittings and on the catwalk, each outfit is presented as an individual lot. Further items include unique garments, footwear and eyewear, handbags and jewellery, which will not be available to purchase in Prada’s stores but will be offered exclusively here. A one-of-a-kind pastel blue dress with an embellished beaded fringe neckline also joins the line-up. Making its debut appearance, the dress was originally created for the show but the same prototype in a different colour featured on the final catwalk.

Photographic prints by Daniel Arnold, Phil Meech and model Gigi Hadid capture moments before and after each presentation backstage. Totems to the season, these shots as well as polaroid records of the models Kaia Gerber and Mensah Benjamin’s fittings, immortalise the backstage process and on-stage performance of the fashion experience.

Detailed information about the online auction can be found on as well as on


London 16-23 September

New York 18-22 September


#PradaSothebys #PradaToolsOfMemory #PradaFW20



Since 1913, Prada has been synonymous with cutting-edge style. Its intellectual universe combines concept, structure and image through codes that go beyond trends. Its fashion transcends products, translating conceptuality into a universe that has become a benchmark to those who dare to challenge conventions focusing on experimentation. The Prada brand is part of Prada Group, a global leader in the luxury goods industry, which owns the Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe brands as well, and produces and distributes luxury leather goods, footwear and apparel. It also operates in the food sector with Marchesi 1824, and in the eyewear and fragrance industries under licensing agreements. Its products are sold in 70 countries worldwide through 641 directly operated stores as of December 31, 2019, brand’s e-commerce, a selection of luxury department stores and multi-brand stores in the most prestigious locations as well as the most important e-tailers.


Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as Advisory services for collectors, museums, corporations, artists, estates and foundations. Sotheby’s presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including three retail businesses: Sotheby’s Wine, Sotheby’s Diamonds, and Sotheby’s Home, the online marketplace for interior design.

*Estimates do not include buyer's premium or overhead premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer's premium and overhead premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.

Stream live auctions and place bids in real time, discover the value of a work of art, browse sale catalogues, view original content and more at, and by downloading Sotheby’s apps for iOS and Android. 


UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Founded in 1945, it seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. Political and economic arrangements of governments are not enough to secure the lasting and sincere support of the peoples; peace must be founded upon dialogue and mutual understanding. Peace must be built upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity. In March 2020, UNESCO established the COVID-19 Global Education Coalition to safeguard learning for all as educational institutions around the world closed to contain the spread of COVID-19. At the peak of the pandemic, closures interrupted the education of more than 1.5 billion - 90% of the world’s students - disproportionately impacting the education of women and girls, for whom education is often a lifeline. The Coalition’s Gender Flagship has been leading collaborative efforts to promote girls’ continuity of learning during closures and a safe return to school once these reopen. A new campaign was launched last week to ensure #LearningNeverStops for every girl everywhere. The benefits of girls’ education are well-known. One additional year of school can increase a woman’s earnings by up to 20%. In short, when women and girls are educated, their lives, the lives of their children, families, communities and countries improve. UNESCO believes that education is a fundamental human right for all and has the power to transform lives.


Thank you for signing up