PRADA Spring Summer 2021 – Feat. RAF SIMONS – Text by Ivo Barraza Castaneda.


The collection everybody in the fashion scene was waiting for this season was the Prada Spring Summer 2021. In early spring Prada announced the addition of Raf Simons to the creative direction of  the brand, joining mythical creative director Miuccia Prada.

The collection for the first time at the Italian fashion house was very coherent. Prada is known for the fact that the runway collection is almost inexistent in stores or “the real world” at all, so it’s great to see a more honest collection on the runway. Not that I have anything against conceptual collections in shows. All the opposite, but Prada never felt sincere about it, in my opinion.

I think this season is really focused on establishing the Prada codes further in a more solid way.  Or in more specific terms: The Triangle Prada Monogram. Featuring in almost all the pieces of the collection. The looks on the runway also seem to be almost archival, making Prada transition into a more “brand-based speech” than an author one. Although, my idea is perhaps debatable if you consider Raf Simons’ deep reflection into the conception of “uniforms”. Or at least that’s what he said during the after-talk live stream. Maybe it’s a seasonal thing? Maybe it’s a conceptual idea?

To be honest the most exciting thing about this season’s presentation was that little talk streamed after the show. Where Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons answered to questions posted by people on their website days earlier. The questions weren’t particularly or generally interesting… They seem to have been selected with care by the marketing team so that the answers would serve as a sort of rational for the Spring Summer 2021 presentation. But, If I stay true to my words and thoughts, coherence between life, speech and work should be fundamental in any form of creation (or life path).

“The collective unconscious*” is where Raf Simons states to start his creative thought, which is music to my ears. It’s refreshing to hear a conversation about fashion that refers to something more interesting than “if prints are on trend this season or not”. It also reminds me to an interview I read about Jeff Koons**, which seems natural to connect with Raf Simons and his well known passion for contemporary art.

I took over the @ASVOF Instagram during the launch of the collection, to record my immediate reactions to the show. During the live coverage, I kept repeating “this and this feels very Raf”. Speaking of the very minimalist attributes on the looks and silhouettes. I wonder how right I am when I think that the aesthetic of this new Prada is “very Raf” , how much of it comes from Raf Simons himself, and how much of  it is the intention of Prada as a company to put on the Raf costume.


Final notes:

*This makes me think about Carl Jung, a psychoanalyst friend of mine, Jeffrey Levy (Jeff <3), thinks that Jung’s theories are not necessarily clinically correct but do seem to be an amazing source of understanding and inspiration for creatives and artist.

**Jeff Koons: Conversations with Norman Rosenthal, 2014.


Ivo Barraza Castaneda

Hello, my name is Ivo. My three favorite things in life are: Thinking deeply about visual creation, and almost anything in life. But I like to focus in visual creation. I like having long discussions of ideas that might reinvent the course of history. And finally, spending time with the people I love. Since I was a child, I was always involved in some activity around plastic arts, music and literature. That’s how I learned to sew by hand at the age of five, which later led me to focus on my main proffesional media: Fashion Design.