Style Highlight: Prada Nylon
Understated yet bold, utilitarian and chic, Prada nylon bags have dominated the fashion landscape for decades. From day-trip backpacks to dainty baguettes, Prada nylon shows that high-fashion handbags do not need to be made from fine leathers. But how did the Italian fashion house come to use nylon and how has it changed throughout the years?
A Brief History of Prada Nylon
When Miuccia Prada took over in the late 1970s, the company was in somewhat of a decline. Established in 1913 and famed for luxury leather travel goods, Prada’s wares were no longer as popular in an era where travel and fashion were rapidly changing. Miuccia, the granddaughter of the brand’s founder, had a doctorate in political science and had trained as a mime before taking the helm of the company. Wanting to reinvigorate the fashion house, Miuccia began experimenting with nylon, a fabric that was previously used by Prada for making protective covers for steamer trunks.
Miuccia introduced her first standout piece in 1984, an industrial weight nylon backpack with utilitarian buckled pockets and the brand’s signature triangle logo. This backpack took the fashion world by storm. The use of nylon made it stand out among a sea of high-fashion leather handbags, and its blatant functionality allowed the wearer to embrace everyday luxury. The success of the backpack catapulted Prada nylon into the fashion mainstream. Prada launched its first womenswear collection in 1988, and began making clothing from nylon. Water-resistant and extremely durable, nylon proved to be an ideal fabric for luxury goods. Speaking about the material that would come to symbolize her brand, Miuccia Prada states, “Suddenly nylon started to look more intriguing to me than couture fabrics. I decided to introduce it to the catwalk and it challenged, even changed, the traditional and conservative idea of luxury. I am still obsessed with it.” This passion about and devotion to nylon is reflective in Prada’s commitment to quality pieces that continually reinvent the terms of fashion.
Prada nylon thrived during the height of 90s minimalism and the smaller baguette-shaped bags were beloved fashion must-haves in the 2000s. In recent years, Prada has smartly reintroduced these iconic bags by slightly reworking them for a newer generation. The Re-Edition 2000 mini nylon bag is simple and fun, expertly melding the nostalgia for past decades with a thoroughly modern sensibility. The Re-Edition 2005 nylon bag combines Prada’s undeniable style with functionality -- the removable chain link handle, adjustable shoulder strap, and removable mini pouch make this bag ideal for the modern city dweller. In reintroducing these classic bags, Prada proves that nylon has a lasting place in the high-fashion world.
Re-Nylon and Sustainability
Prada nylon continues to evolve. In 2019 Prada introduced a capsule collection that debuted Re-Nylon, a more eco-friendly version of the fabric. Using Econyl®, a regenerated nylon yarn that can be recycled indefinitely without sacrificing quality and is made from discarded plastic from landfill sites and oceans, Prada Re-Nylon is an effort of the brand to adopt more sustainable practices. Prada’s goal is to convert all virgin nylon to Re-Nylon by the end of 2021, and we can rest assured that the quality and enduring style of Prada nylon will never waver.
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