LONDON, United Kingdom — As Miu Miu grows in size and scale, the need to clearly distinguish the brand from Prada has become a much-discussed topic at the company’s Milan headquarters. Over the past few seasons, there has been talk — as yet unfounded — that Miu Miu’s communications department and, crucially, its design studio were to move from Milan to Paris, where the label presents its runway shows.
Unlike, say, Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc, Alexander McQueen and McQ, or Chloé and See by Chloé, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious difference in terms of price point, creative output or customer demographic between Prada and Miu Miu.
So we put the question to Miuccia Prada herself: What’s the difference between Prada and Miu Miu? If, indeed there are differences, why not articulate them? Perhaps through a fashion shoot or a statement?
Mrs Prada agreed and issued the following statement:
"Designing for me is a very complex process. There are many ideas that I want to express in one object, very often contradictory. The creative process in Miu Miu is completely different from that of Prada. Miu Miu is not as complicated and though out as Prada. Rather than being young, Miu Miu is immediate. Prada is very sophisticated and considered; Miu Miu is much more naïve. The solution, when I am working on Miu Miu, has to come immediately, instinctively, spontaneously with whatever is available at the moment. If I think three times, I stop."
An accompanying fashion story, photographed by Willy Vanderperre and styled by Prada consultant Olivier Rizzo in collaboration with the two brands, was a question-and-answer affair; each double-page spread showing a Prada look opposite a Miu Miu look in a pictorial dialogue.
What the portfolio shows is just how much each brand references the other. A look or fabric or theme originally conceived for a Prada collection may be resurrected — but, in doing, so distorted or reinvented — several seasons later by Miu Miu. Or vice versa. Or not at all.
This statement and full portfolio both appear in the Autumn/Winter 2014-2015 issue of System magazine, which also includes interviews with Peter Philips, Cindy Sherman Serge Lutens, Alasdair McLellan, Pierre Cardin and Frank Gehry, as well as a four Juergen Teller covers and the cover bands impregnated with fragrances.