Everything old is new again, including Prada’s It ’90s/early aughts nylon shoulder bags. After a brief retirement to the fashion archives, the iconic bags were revived by the Italian luxury house in 2019 to much fanfare. Quickly cementing itself (again) as a must-have, this time for the Instagram generation, the release came in tandem with the sustainability focused Re-Nylon program.
The forward-thinking initiative commits Prada to making its signature nylon items—which include Miuccia’s original backpack design from 1984, the Vela—with sourced recycled materials from plastic waste items found in landfills and oceans across five continents. The Milan-based company intends to stop using virgin-made versions of the silky fabric by the end of 2021, moving entirely to recycled materials created through a chemical depolymerization process.
To achieve this goal, Prada has struck up a partnership with textile producer Aquafil. The fellow Italian company developed a regenerated-nylon yarn called Econyl, which is used in Prada’s nylon collection. For every 10,000 tons of Econyl created, environmental emissions of CO2 are reduced by 65,100 tons. Prada’s Re-Nylon project also encompasses an entire collection of shoes, accessories, and ready-to-wear.
Enter the Prada Re-Nylon pop-up at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver. The immersive experience is a step into the future, with grey block tables showcasing the Re-Edition handbags (including its 2000 and 2005 variations), as well as throwback bucket hats and sneakers, all with a subtle rubber Prada Re-Nylon logo. Even the season’s must-have Monolith platform boots got a nylon makeover for this collection.
A dramatic archway covered entirely in TV screens takes centre stage in the marble-wallpapered space, which is located on the department store’s skybridge. A series of short black-and-white films produced in partnership with National Geographic plays on a loop, featuring the company’s recycling efforts in Arizona, New Zealand, and China.
The upcycled nylon collection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear includes jackets, dresses, and T-shirts—clearly inspired by the ubiquitous handbag—that hang on racks throughout the space. Luxury stationery lovers are also in for a treat with branded notebooks and gold logo pens shaped like nostalgic yellow school pencils.
Philanthropy remains at the core of the Re-Nylon program, with a portion of proceeds from every bag donated to an environmental sustainability project. Prada has also developed an educational partnership with UNESCO to further awareness among secondary school students.
The pop-up is on now until November 2.
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