Prada Bags: The Unexpected Star of Men’s Fashion Week AW23

Prada Bags: The Unexpected Star of Men’s Fashion Week AW23

Impeccable tailoring, simple styling and pops of colour are what we’ve come to expect from Prada. Some call this a signature, others call it boring but one thing’s for sure; Prada knows what they do well.

Knits, blazers, and tailored trousers came down the runway. Sex appeal is the newest accessory in menswear so a few looks were paired with bare chests. That being said, what really took over the show were the bags and shoes.

The structured totes in shiny leather were in a word: breathtaking. Simple and rudimentary can often be misconstrued as synonyms but this was not the case with this bag silhouette.

Prada bags on the runway at Milan men’s fashion week AW23

Seen in a number of finishes from elegant black to blue to textured skin, they really were the star of the show. For the looks styled without bags, the shoes did the talking.

Chunky shoes are a trend that is here to stay, from menswear to womenswear. At times it can look clunky and clumsy, almost clown-like, but that wasn’t the case with Prada. The shoes featured brightly coloured stitching and three-dimensional elements on the topline, paired with zips over laces. The two looks styled with trainers were exceptionally dialled back and simple, allowing the shoes to be the star.

Models on the runway at Prada men’s AW23

Even though they simply built upon previous silhouettes, this collection had footwear that seemed wearable and on trend. Not trend leading, but meeting the customers where they are.

It is clear that Prada is in a transitional period with their menswear, trying to appeal to their classic, core clientele and at the same time attract the highly coveted newer generation of social media stars that have the funds and the cultural capital to drive trends and sales.

As a well known, historic brand, Prada has the benefit of name recognition but as societally we move away from brand loyalty and to item-based shopping, large brands like Prada find themselves at risk of being outdated and forgotten.

However, with this collection Prada menswear lives to fight another. Although the clothing feels uninspired and forceably sexy and thus lacking sex appeal; the accessories have saved the day. Sales wise this a great move (even if it was unintentional) as shoes and accessories are the most accessible pieces, with high profit margins.

Overall, Prada menswear clothing is unlikely to make any major cultural impact, but the accessories and bags are a sure winner for high sales.

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Jade Rozana