On Friday, the doors of the Prada flagship were unlocked, quietly announcing the Italian luxury brand had opened for business in Vancouver.
Associates in white gloves ushered in and welcomed those who were waiting patiently in the cool morning air. Located at 1098 Alberni Street, the Prada Vancouver flagship is the latest luxury brand to open in the city’s soon-to-be maximized ‘Luxury Zone.’
Designed by Studio Baciocchi, an architect registered in Italy, creator of worldwide Prada stores known for their elegance, clean-lines, and European aesthetic, the flagship’s facade features chrome and slim strips of black Marquinia marble, and the store’s ground floor features two entrances.
Mannequins featuring the latest women’s collection are featured throughout the space with patterns, stripes, and oversized paillettes in colour and black and white combinations.
The store features women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories, and footwear collections.
Signature black-and-white marble chequered flooring covers much of the store. As well, the store features steel and crystal display counters and the trademark Verner Panton “Clover Leaf” sofas sections, which have been distributed throughout the store as a full sofa is much too large to be accommodated on either of the floors.
The various departments are separated by mirrored and marble portals which reflect the flooring and the garments and give shoppers a sense of a continuous Prada-inspired fantasy. Walls are of green fabric (which has the texture of a coarse raw silk), which has been overpainted by a soft sea foam green. Precious leather goods and jewellery is defined by black Marquinia marble-clad walls.
The second floor features large floor-to-ceiling windows, sections of the “Clover Leaf” sofa, transparent perspex cases, skylights, and display tables.
Ascend to the second floor via hidden elevator or the black marble staircase and you’ll find women’s ready-to-wear, men’s wear, and Made-to-Measure – the only one of its kind in Canada for Prada.
The men’s section features a more masculine feel and the materials used reflect this with finishes like ebony floorboards and walls, metal and crystal display units, and ‘Wilson’s Purple’ ostrich leather sofas. There is strong contrast between the furnishings and the latest men’s collection which uses imagery of large eyes with fluttering lashes, rabbits, monkeys, and space shuttles.
According to a sales associate, pricing may reach up to $28,000 for a three-piece suit depending on the purchaser’s taste in fabrics, buttons, and stitchwork. The fabric selection is exclusive to Prada and includes various wools and combinations with mohair and other exotics.
The use of ‘Wilson’s Purple’ is a departure from the green furniture previously displayed in the renderings published by Prada.
Next month, Prada will be hosting an invite-only luxury workshop where shoppers looking for the ultimate heels will be able to ‘build their own shoes.’