A cinematic context, a language of film, a mystery to be solved, a narrator reading words that the images bring to life - the Prada 2020 Holiday campaign is photographed by Steven Meisel and based on an original short story conceived and written for Prada by the best-selling author Candice Carty-Williams. It proposes perspectives - different angles, views and cuts around the protagonists of an unfolding narrative: Prada’s accessories, jewelry and leather goods. Each image, like movie stills, proposes a new panorama - like fragments of a story, about to unfold.
In the tradition of film noir, the campaign reconnects with early Prada moments pioneering the aesthetics of cinematic drama. A language then new for fashion, it now becomes layered with historical references - revisited through digital exchange with the audience.
Five characters, five faces cast from the universe of Prada - Freja Beha, Maty Fall, Mao Xiaoxing, Rudolfs Valbergs and Merlijne Schorren - populate an isolated villa in Italy, namely Villa Gnutti, made famous through a 1981 shoot by Helmut Newton. The stills are inspired by the moving, campaign imagery underscored by the esthetics of cinematic drama. Photographed in black-andwhite, the fragments presented in the print campaign become the door to a living narrative that develops online. Jump shots from an imaginary film offer a sense of tension, sometimes of contradiction.
Cinema suggests shifting focus and points of emphasis: here, details of Prada accessories are pulled into macro-scale. Like plot-points, or clues to an unknown mystery, they dominate the frame, drawing attention - before Meisel’s lens, they become characters in themselves.
A focal point is the new Prada Cleo handbag, debuted in the Prada Multiple Views SS21 show and featured in the Spring/Summer 2021 womenswear collection. The Cleo line draws influence from archival Prada styles and traditional craft techniques, a synthesis of classicism and futurism. Precious jewels for her, in silver or gold with tourmaline, reinterpret the iconic lines of the Prada triangle, like facets of a gem abstracted, the emblem appearing as delicate chain necklaces, lariats and chandelier earrings. The Prada Galleria handbag, the Vanity compact-bags, Saffiano and nylon travel accessories and men’s jewelry all feature.
Heroes and heroines, protagonists and antagonists. A play between the still and the animated, this campaign - and these Prada accessories - explore emotion, intrigue, attraction and, ultimately, desire.
The campaign will preview on prada.com and Prada social media channels starting November 2. The narrative will continue to develop online through unexpected layers.
Photographer: Steven Meisel
Creative Director: Ferdinando Verderi
Cast: Freja Beha, Maty Fall, Mao Xiaoxing, Rudolfs Valbergs, Merlijne Schorren
Story by Candice Carthy-Williams
Location: Villa Gnutti, Italy