Contemporary life is shaped by technology. It has radically redefined our perspective on ourselves, and through that our collective perspective, on humanity. The Spring/Summer 2021 Prada campaign, documenting the first collection created in collaboration by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, explores these realities of living today – a reality echoed by fashion, visions of which have been uniquely framed by and mediated through technology during the past year. A reflection of a creative dynamic.
In a riposte to ideas of authorship and auteurship, the Prada Spring/Summer 2021 campaign is photographed by no-one. Instead, hundreds of cameras, circling models in 360-degrees, simultaneously capture a multitude of views. Technology determines our viewpoint on the collection – just as it defines the 21st century. The models, styling, and curation and selection of these images, however, rely on the human mind and eye – the process a study on the conversation between man and machine, and on technology’s role as a tool of unprecedented communication. These images represent those dialogues.
And, in themselves, they can also converse. Alongside each image, a question is posed, from Prada to the viewer, a subversion of traditional fashion advertising communication. Prada transgresses limitations to speak with its audience, drawing them into another dialogue that is an essential component of the campaign. The questions themselves meditate on these subjects: perceptions of self, views on technology, ideas of humanity – diversity, inclusivity, sustainability. These are the touchstones of the campaign and of the collection, but also of life. Democratic and universal, answers to each question can be submitted via prada.com – responses received will become components of the campaign’s continued rollout, vital parts of a dialogue that will continue.
Technology has been visionary. It has enabled people to communicate regardless of space and time, drawing individuals together in intimacies even when apart. If technology is a tool, fashion can be, too – it is a cultural barometer, a mirror, inevitably engaged in a constant rapport with its moment of creation. Here, that rapport is enhanced, and ongoing – fashion literally speaking to its audience, creating an actual document of its time.
The Spring/Summer 2021 Prada campaign is only the start of the conversation.
Creative Director: Ferdinando Verderi
Models: Vira Boshkova, Rolf Carmona, Alice Cooper, Ruben De Baecke, Taira Go, Evelina Grinberga, Dara Gueyer, Isa Gustafson, Greta Hoffer, Dija Kallon, Lydia Kloos, Lamine Niang, Fatou Samb, Sin Seungmo, Haroon Sherzad, Adrien Smarts, Jesse Spruit