Prada "special order bag" SS24

aa_

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Jun 3, 2022
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I'm a long time Prada nerd, have been since the early 2000s when Vogue and Jak & Jill ruled street style.
Fast forward to a few years ago, I now have the financial ability to buy Prada runway RTW.

Got invited to the pre-order SS24 event and I fell in love with the "screaming man" bag. If you love fashion history you know that this bag is a re-edition of an iconic Prada bag from the 1920s. The bag was not available for pre-order but only for "wishlist" (taking queues from Hermes) at the event I was told a an approximate price of £2,500 The bag was the larger size than the runway and nylon.

I went to store today and my SA told me I had been "approved" by management to do a special order to buy the bag. ( Hermes playbook again) I could choose between the smaller or larger size in nylon or leather. The biggest surprise was not the "offer" it was the crazy price.

The small version in nylon which fits phone, keys and a lipstick is £3,500! The large one I tried at the pre-order event has a revised price of £4,500! And both of these are nylon! No leather body and the "screaming man" clasp is plastic. The leather versions went up to £5,900.

I'm honestly so disappointed. These prices are not justified in the craftsmanship or materials and trying to sell it as a "collectors" piece requires both! Its alarming that brands are so ready to overcharge by trying to create a scarcity game in the like of Hermes. I was not expecting that from Prada.

sorry for the long post. Would you to hear your thoughts
 

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I'm a long time Prada nerd, have been since the early 2000s when Vogue and Jak & Jill ruled street style.
Fast forward to a few years ago, I now have the financial ability to buy Prada runway RTW.

Got invited to the pre-order SS24 event and I fell in love with the "screaming man" bag. If you love fashion history you know that this bag is a re-edition of an iconic Prada bag from the 1920s. The bag was not available for pre-order but only for "wishlist" (taking queues from Hermes) at the event I was told a an approximate price of £2,500 The bag was the larger size than the runway and nylon.

I went to store today and my SA told me I had been "approved" by management to do a special order to buy the bag. ( Hermes playbook again) I could choose between the smaller or larger size in nylon or leather. The biggest surprise was not the "offer" it was the crazy price.

The small version in nylon which fits phone, keys and a lipstick is £3,500! The large one I tried at the pre-order event has a revised price of £4,500! And both of these are nylon! No leather body and the "screaming man" clasp is plastic. The leather versions went up to £5,900.

I'm honestly so disappointed. These prices are not justified in the craftsmanship or materials and trying to sell it as a "collectors" piece requires both! Its alarming that brands are so ready to overcharge by trying to create a scarcity game in the like of Hermes. I was not expecting that from Prada.

sorry for the long post. Would you to hear your thoughts
The shape of the bag is nice but the head is very ugly. Not sure why they couldn't refine it into a golden head sculpture. It looks a bit Hallowe'enish at the moment.

Dior is trying a similar sales tactic with their higher-end 95.22 bag. At one point, you had to order the bag because all the boutique pieces were "display-only" and not for sale. Not sure if it is still sold this way. I'm wondering if this type of pre-ordering is because these styles are not expected to sell that well, and will only ship to the boutique if someone orders them.
 
The shape of the bag is nice but the head is very ugly. Not sure why they couldn't refine it into a golden head sculpture. It looks a bit Hallowe'enish at the moment.

Dior is trying a similar sales tactic with their higher-end 95.22 bag. At one point, you had to order the bag because all the boutique pieces were "display-only" and not for sale. Not sure if it is still sold this way. I'm wondering if this type of pre-ordering is because these styles are not expected to sell that well, and will only ship to the boutique if someone orders them.
Agreed with the design. They could have refined the head into something that is better made.

I definitely think the process has to do with the fact that these items are not an "easy sale" and hence the pre-order. But the pre-order of runway RTW and shoes has always been quite straightforward, you get invited and you place an order. With this particular bag I had to wait 5 months from the pre-order event for management approval 🙄 whatever that means.

I guess I'm wondering if Prada has always worked like this or if this is a new tactic to build "exclusivity"
 
I'm a long time Prada nerd, have been since the early 2000s when Vogue and Jak & Jill ruled street style.
Fast forward to a few years ago, I now have the financial ability to buy Prada runway RTW.

Got invited to the pre-order SS24 event and I fell in love with the "screaming man" bag. If you love fashion history you know that this bag is a re-edition of an iconic Prada bag from the 1920s. The bag was not available for pre-order but only for "wishlist" (taking queues from Hermes) at the event I was told a an approximate price of £2,500 The bag was the larger size than the runway and nylon.

I went to store today and my SA told me I had been "approved" by management to do a special order to buy the bag. ( Hermes playbook again) I could choose between the smaller or larger size in nylon or leather. The biggest surprise was not the "offer" it was the crazy price.

The small version in nylon which fits phone, keys and a lipstick is £3,500! The large one I tried at the pre-order event has a revised price of £4,500! And both of these are nylon! No leather body and the "screaming man" clasp is plastic. The leather versions went up to £5,900.

I'm honestly so disappointed. These prices are not justified in the craftsmanship or materials and trying to sell it as a "collectors" piece requires both! Its alarming that brands are so ready to overcharge by trying to create a scarcity game in the like of Hermes. I was not expecting that from Prada.

sorry for the long post. Would you to hear your thoughts
Is it normally difficult to get a special order at PRADA? I just walked into the Paris flagship a few weeks ago. I was pretty well dressed (including PRADA shoes) but didn’t have a relationship with an SA or much of a purchase history with the brand. Without prompting they suggested a special order and I accepted (I am getting the largest version of the men’s Galleria bag with dark green leather and silver hardware). One of the things I liked a lot the experience was that there no “games” like at Hermes. They told me that the special order is a 30% mark up on a man’s large galleria bag that is part of a normal collection. I said fair enough, my dark green bag is going to be a stunner. I found their advice on the special order was sound, I liked a camel colour but my (new) SA said that a neutral like that is the sort of thing that appears in a seasonal collection and that it’s not worth doing a special order for it. Then there was a cherry red that looks amazing in crocodile (it looks more maroon) but in saffiano it’s too bright and would not look sophisticated in a large bag for a man.
 
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Prada is doing well at the moment rethinking its strategy. And, I really like their new makeup line and I loved the Women's AW24 catwalk show (although according to my friend that was entirely predictable because I already dress like the models were styled). I only have one Prada bag left from the last century (literally) and much of my other Prada was given away as it didn't age well (quality wise - not that it was dated).

@aa_ I support your evaluation that these prices are not commensurate with the bags they're for. This may or may not be because they are deemed an 'easy sell' but, I doubt that's the reason, it's just a marketing strategy, an SO/MTO/M2M etc is always marketed as an elevated product, as are some 'catwalk pieces'. If you look at the price-points of other Prada bags that are also overpriced IMO, but the 'elevated' positioning of the SO has to pin it noticeably higher. I also don't see anything in the bags that warrant that price.

In the 1920s it was not unusual to have mounded or carved fittings, perhaps the originals were bone/horn/stone/ivory or something similar, if they were moulded perhaps composites or resin. The point is the process of the contemporary re-issues could be the archival equivalents of yesteryear's. The price is to try to make it a collector's piece for the future and doesn't have anything to do with the materials. I just bought a barely usable Balmain evening bag, it looks great but it's just an expensive piece of fashion design, at least this Prada SO would be a fashion-nerd's archival reference.

Screenshot 2024-04-14 at 12.06.40.pngScreenshot 2024-04-14 at 12.06.52.png
 
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Prada is doing well at the moment rethinking its strategy. And, I really like their new makeup line and I loved the Women's AW24 catwalk show (although according to my friend that was entirely predictable because I already dress like the models were styled). I only have one Prada bag left from the last century (literally) and much of my other Prada was given away as it didn't age well (quality wise - not that it was dated).

@aa_ I support your evaluation that these prices are not commensurate with the bags they're for. This may or may not be because they are deemed an 'easy sell' but, I doubt that's the reason, it's just a marketing strategy, an SO/MTO/M2M etc is always marketed as an elevated product, as are some 'catwalk pieces'. If you look at the price-points of other Prada bags that are also overpriced IMO, but the 'elevated' positioning of the SO has to pin it noticeably higher. I also don't see anything in the bags that warrant that price.

In the 1920s it was not unusual to have mounded or carved fittings, perhaps the originals were bone/horn/stone/ivory or something similar, if they were moulded perhaps composites or resin. The point is the process of the contemporary re-issues could be the archival equivalents of yesteryear's. The price is to try to make it a collector's piece for the future and doesn't have anything to do with the materials. I just bought a barely usable Balmain evening bag, it looks great but it's just an expensive piece of fashion design, at least this Prada SO would be a fashion-nerd's archival reference.

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I agree with you that Prada does not maintain equal quality standards in all their departments. In fact I think beyond shoes and runway pieces, the other more commercial products are quite frankly very standard, commanding high prices due to the brand logo.

I see your point in that the bag is definitely being priced as a future collectibles with arguably today's interpretation of older techniques. But why not also match it's historic context of using precious materials....I don't mean ivory/horn or gold but maybe a special nylon or even Prada's famous metal and silk fabric... something that will make it stand out.

I agree that the brand is doing well in changing marketing strategies, it has been overexposed in some respects...but the client they are trying to target has the highest standards in craftsmanship - they also buy at Hermes and other Maisons of equal quality - so my dilemma here is that although a Prada collector myself, I am also highly discerning and design for the sake of design is not worth the price tag imo.

PS. I have no problem accepting their prices for runway pieces - the final look from the last runway show will retail for £8k - it's entirely made of nylon but when you put it on you just know that there is a synergy of quality and design that is unmatched by the likes of Hermes and Chanel.