When Miuccia Prada gives an interview, she’s known to speak her mind. Her interview with Italy’s La Repubblica over the weekend is no exception. In a frank chat, the designer dropped some controversial quotes about Italy’s place in the fashion map and why Milan may be losing its cachet. Despite Italy’s continued dominance in production, she may be right. After all, in recent years, Milan’s show schedules have been pushed around to accommodate upstart London, and Anna Wintour famously spends as few days as possible at Milan Fashion Week.
But why? As more and more labels sell out to global conglomerates, Prada says, Italian labels are falling behind, and designers like Raf Simons—who, just months ago, left Jil Sander for Dior—are lured to the French capital from Italy. “You can’t blame them,” Prada says, adding that she shows Miu Miu in Paris precisely because of the city’s je ne sais quoi.
Part of the problem, Prada claims, is Italy’s reluctance to see fashion as a serious art form, especially from the media and political elite. The result is a brain drain, with Milan’s best talents pulled towards Paris, and a vacuum of ideas left behind. Without support, “fashion goes elsewhere, looking for the best.”