For Spring/Summer 2019, Prada has released a collection of bags envisioned by a trio of leading female architects – Cini Boeri, Elizabeth Diller and Kazuyo Sejima. The collaboration, which is called Prada Invites, tasked each to create products from Prada’s black nylon. Inspired by the qualities inherent in the fabric itself, and its place within Prada’s heritage, the items represent a new evolution of ’Prada Invites’, a series of collaborative projects with leading proponents of design revolving around the universe of Prada nylon first unveiled at the men’s and women’s Fall/Winter 2018 show. The notion of ’Prada Invites’ encompasses an examination of the intersectionality of design, exploring unexpected conversations between different disciplines.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro has designed two items: The Envelope and The Yoke. “The distinction between garments and accessories has always seemed odd to me,” said Diller. “Why are they considered, displayed, and sold as two separate categories in two parts of the store? I love when the two have a bit more room to flirt and cross-pollinate. Can luggage be worn? I’d like to change that paradigm.”
The Envelope bag is an underutilized piece of luggage that could have a double life as protective outerwear. This variation on the iconic garment bag could utilize both the durability and suppleness of Prada Nylon. The “Envelope” would protect clothing for travel and then be worn over the clothed body as a raincoat. Utilitarian zippers and adjustable buckles facilitate a metamorphosis from bag to coat, from shapeless to self-tailored, adjusting to all body types. Invisible pockets store a hood and essentials for women who travel light.
The “Yoke”, meanwhile, is a modern re-interpretation of the shoulder-centric device, liberating it from associations with hard labor, hanging pails and baskets, to an epaulet of convenience, carrying sketchpads, sandwiches and lipstick. The pliability of Prada Nylon allows the Yoke to operate as a utilitarian, hands-free piece or collapsed, as a hand-held clutch with a buckle strap. With the Yoke, women can work dirty and play clean.
Sejima’s bag similarly loops around the shoulders, with two large, detachable zip pockets at each end. The user can take these extra pockets off and carry the bag with a pair of handles coloured blue and pink. Boeri’s design uses the fabric to create a more traditional, over-the-shoulder bag.