Mytheresa for Prada

LONDON — Mytheresa is looking to the past — and the future — for its first effort in the men’s arena, a collaboration with Prada inspired by the early Aughts, and the trend for fusing tailoring with streetwear.

Mytheresa for Prada is the first in a string of collaborations leading to the launch of Mytheresa Men on Jan. 27. The Prada collection will land on Jan. 8, followed by similar collaborations between Mytheresa and brands including Valentino and Thom Browne.

Last summer, when he first spoke about launching men’s wear, Mytheresa’s president Michael Kliger talked about delivering a new elegance to the category, complete with a lineup of luxe brands and tailored clothing, mixed in with street pieces.

While Mytheresa’s offer will include sneakers and lots of casualwear, anyone looking for pure streetwear will be let down.

“It’s high-fashion, post-streetwear,” said Kliger, who hired Chris Kyvetos as men’s wear buying director for the site. “The tailoring, the suiting, the appreciation of classic fabrics, will be different from what we had before streetwear. It will be the next evolution.”

The Mytheresa approach to the Prada collaboration — with its zip-front tracksuit tops in technical fabrics, bucket hats and tailored jackets in stretch poplin — encapsulates that idea and mirrors what’s happening in fashion right now.

Brands and designers are working tailoring into their collections and mixing it up with hoodies, T-shirts, sneakers and soft, sporty trousers.

The 41-piece Prada collection includes nylon puffers, dégradé tracksuits and bonded ripstop coats in colors that range from the saturated to the muted: red, pink, turquoise, burgundy, khaki and beige.

Prices range from 450 euros to 1,950 euros.

The clothes and accessories take their inspiration from a previous Prada spring collection from the early Aughts. The collaboration also includes Prada America’s Cup sneakers, hats and bags, styles from the late Nineties made to mark the Italian brand’s debut in the world of competitive international sailing.

In 2000, Prada’s Luna Rossa syndicate lost — valiantly — to defenders New Zealand in the America’s Cup final. Prada is now back in the race — big time — as the title and presenting sponsor of the 36th America’s Cup and the Challenger Selection Series for the competition that will start in January 2021 in Auckland.

In an interview, Kliger reiterated that Mytheresa Men will be positioned to reflect “a post-streetwear era that really focuses on time-honored luxury. The Prada capsule collection is a great example of our edit, as it combines tailoring with modern casual silhouettes. We aim to reinforce Mytheresa as a leader in the luxury sector, while offering a curated edit of women’s wear, men’s wear and kidswear collectively on one web site to our global customers.”

He said the Mytheresa team worked closely with Prada, looking back at previous collections to see where they could draw inspiration. 

“Prada has always been a key driver in shaping the modern zeitgeist of men’s fashion, and we wanted to celebrate this by presenting a collection that is directional, strong — but also timeless. The 2000s collection has many elements which we believe will be picked up in the evolution from the current streetwear trend.”

Although this is the first men’s wear collaboration for the two brands, it is an encore for Mytheresa and Prada.

In 2018, Mytheresa delved into the Prada archives to bring back some of the Italian brand’s most recognizable prints — notably the flame and the banana — for a 20-piece women’s capsule collection. The range also included accessories such as Nineties-inspired bucket hats and Prada’s flame wedge sandals, reworked in white and neon pink shades.

At the time, Tiffany Hsu, fashion buying director at Mytheresa, called the collection “nostalgia for a new generation,” and added that resurfacing archival prints is “very relevant to a younger customer who is interested in a vintage appeal — and a streetwear aesthetic. Ultimately, Prada prints never go out of style.”

Kliger believes Prada resonates with customers because many of the pieces “are timeless, not vintage. Sometimes it actually takes a couple of seasons to really understand how modern and forward-looking the collections were. Prada’s success lies in creating seasonal collections that often have longevity, so it’s never a bad idea to look back at their archive.”

The original America’s Cup sneakers, he added, were a must.

“They are iconic shoes for Prada, so it only made sense for them to form a part of the collection. It was important that the collection presented an entire concept, including signature footwear and accessories,” Kliger said.

Having sneakers in the Mytheresa mix is also important for the Italian brand.

In the late Nineties, Prada was a sneaker pioneer, one of few fashion labels to jump on what would become a tidal wave of a trend.

The brand was slow to fulfill the sneaker’s potential.

In 2017, company chief Patrizio Bertelli admitted that Prada had underestimated the shoe’s popularity, and was working hard to catch up on the lucrative business. To wit, last November Prada and Adidas announced they were teaming for the first time, initially on two limited-edition Prada for Adidas styles, made by Prada in Italy.

The Prada collection is just the beginning for Mytheresa.

Kliger said fashion and luxury brands have been supportive of the men’s wear project from the get-go.

“We not only had great response from brands that we already partner with for women’s wear,” we also had positive response from new men’s wear-only brands, as well, he said.

At launch, Mytheresa Men plans to deliver a portfolio of about 120 brands and said the designer collaborations are a reflection of where the site wants to go.

“They provide our customers with first glimpse into what they can expect from the fashionable, elevated and time-honored luxury of Mytheresa Men,” he said.

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