After cementing its title as one of the globe's biggest luxury powerhouses, Prada’s ambitions are going intergalactic.
On October 5, commercial space station Axiom Space announced that it would be working alongside the Italian label to design space suits for NASA’s 2025 moon mission. It wasn’t long before the news made headlines.
Axiom said that it and Prada would utilize "innovative technologies and design" to allow "greater exploration of the lunar surface than ever before" in a press release. The company has tapped Prada’s fabric know-how to help improve the flexibility and mobility of space suits, giving wearers greater comfort and an increased range of motion to explore.
The final design will be worn by astronauts during the Artemis 3 mission, which will see a capsule land on the Moon late next year, or early in 2025, marking the first crewed Moon flight since Apollo 17 in 1972.
Although the designs are yet to be released to the public, the suits will not feature any outlandish patterns or Prada logos. The Italian maison’s input will focus on technical materials and the composite fabrics necessary for space travel.
An initial prototype of the uniform was released in March this year.
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The project marks the first time an Italian luxury fashion house has partnered with a space company. While the concept may seem stratospheric, it makes sense and is a smart move.
Over the past decade, the establishment of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic – the world’s first commercial spaceline – has brought space travel again to the forefront of popular culture.
That means it’s a lucrative cultural area for luxury to work in, and Prada has claimed the title as first to do so.
Luxury fashion labels are no strangers to expanding into new arenas. This past year alone has seen brands dive deeper into the sports and beauty categories, and Web3 cosmos to boost their status.
This new alliance could help Prada reap huge rewards.
Though the news has only just hit headlines, there’s already scope to take the partnership to the next level, such as astronauts becoming luxury’s next in-demand brand ambassadors. In today’s climate, almost nothing is off limits.
The venture is also a chance for Prada to expand on its storytelling and reclaim its niche brand identity through innovation. In an increasingly saturated environment like the luxury battlefield, Prada’s latest plan could see the maison take its brand entity to new frontiers, quite literally, and overtake competitors.
Form and function are taking precedence over trends and stylishness as luxury leans further into areas like sailing, extreme sports, and F1 racing. Prada’s latest venture may seem worlds away from its runway collections, but it’s a testament to the brand’s cultural staying power and expertise.
One small step for Prada, one giant leap for fashion.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.