Amanda Gorman for the jewellery collection Eternal Gold by Prada
Maya Hawke for the jewellery collection Eternal Gold by Prada
Somi Jeon for the jewellery collection Eternal Gold by Prada
© David Sims for Prada
Eternal Gold, Prada’s first fine jewellery collection
This Wednesday 12th of October 2022 marks a turning point in the history of Prada. Within the walls of its first boutique in the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery in Milan – now a Marchesi café –, the Italian house founded in 1913 officially entered the world of jewellery. In a space caulked with beige and almond green carpet and decorated with designer furniture, over thirty pieces out of a total of forty-eight are on display. Together, they form Prada’s very first collection with the evocative name Eternal Gold. On the walls, the campaign photographed by David Sims featuring poet Amanda Gorman, actress and singer Maya Hawke, and Canadian-Dutch-Korean singer Somi Jeon, beautifully reflects the collection’s pure and radical aesthetic.
Yet, marvelous creations and polished images are not enough to make a name for oneself in the very exclusive world of jewellery, ruled both by rigid codes and demanding expectations. Making a name for oneself is no easy task, especially next to the greatest from Place Vendôme, such as Cartier, Boucheron, Chaumet, or even the Italian Bulgari, the Swiss Chopard, V an Cleef & Arpels, and the Americans Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co, whose history sometimes goes back to 150 years or more. However, the Italian house of Prada has met this challenge, joining the short list of fashion houses offering exceptional jewellery, alongside Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci.
It took the Italian fashion house almost fourteen months to develop the concept and its creations. Led by Timothy Iwata, the new director of jewellery appointed in 2021 and Cartier’s previous director of innovation, in close collaboration with the house’s co-artistic directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, and Prada’s head of corporate social responsibility Lorenzo Bertelli, this ambitious project owes its undeniable success to the collaboration of these three parties.
Prada’s fine jewelry made of 100% recycled gold
Before even showing the pieces, Timothy Iwata proudly displays a fundamental pillar that not only feeds this first jewellery collection, but also emphasizes a general commitment of the house regarding eco- responsibility. Pioneer in the luxury industry with the introduction of regenerated Nylon in 2019 – 100% of Nylon used since 2021 –, the Italian house is striking a blow today by announcing that its jewellery is entirely made of recycled and ethical gold, certified by the Responsible Jewelry Council. A first for a major luxury house.
In addition to carefully selecting a handful of suppliers, subject to strict specifications, especially regarding the history of the materials, Prada claims to use industrial gold, similar to the one used for computer processors, which comes from the post- consumption of precious objects. This iconoclastic approach is not surprising for a fashion house that designs luxury accessories in Nylon and transformed a distillery into a revered contemporary art foundation, the Prada Foundation in Milan.
This principle also applies to the precious gems, even those smaller than 0.5 carats, which was impossible to do before. The luxury house is demanding and committed to absolute transparency. It records the verification of every stage of the sourcing and manufacturing on the blockchain platform Aura Consortium, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting luxury brands in their eco-responsible transition, which is accessible to customers.
Prada’s jewellery classics
While the Italian accessories brand has been around since 1913, its current influence and success is due to the founder’s granddaughter Miuccia Prada, who has been at the head of the company with her husband Patrizio Bertelli since 1978. Ten years later, the Italian designer unfolded her avant-garde vision with her first ready-to- wear collection, which translates into a non- conformist philosophy coupled with a powerful reflection on femininity that is still relevant today. When rumors spread that Prada was launching its first jewellery collection a few months ago, the excitement was palpable. Who knew what the Italian house had in store? Indeed, the result lives up to our expectations.
Infusing its jewels with the rich conceptual approach that irrigates its entire universe, Prada reinvents the archetypes of jewellery. Each component is a treasure trove of know-how, combining cutting-edge technologies, such as 3D design, with incredibly precise handcrafting, such as this chain whose large links combine rounded and obtuse shapes. An imposing hollowed- out heart with exceptional brilliance hangs on it, its curved upper half extending into an oblique surface that takes up the emblematic triangle of the house. A choice that frees this iconic motif from its usual meaning to give it a realistic significance. More than an alienating feeling, love must be experienced as a challenge. The snake bracelet, a classic with ancient origins, symbol of rebirth and fertility, embodies Prada’s disruptive vision for this collection once stripped of its embellishments. The necklace and chain bracelet are worth noticing too. They come together thanks to their clever triangular clasps adorned with a snow setting, or a discreet squared amulet of similar shape with a secret message engraved on the back. Aside from this collection with radical designs exalted by an outstanding craftsmanship, Prada owes the success of its entry into the world of jewellery to the authenticity of its approach, reminding us that jewellery is more about emotion than commercial value.
The Eternal Gold collection by Prada is available in selected shops and on prada.com.