Saturday, February 9

The Slide No. 5

Miuccia Prada has a slide in her office that whisks her to her car:

"It's hard to tell from the outside of the Milan-based headquarters that Prada is one of the world's most successful luxury brands. You enter Prada through an anonymous portal-like oak door—there is no name, no plaque, nothing—and are greeted by a security guard dressed in gray. Everything is gray: the security office, the cobblestone courtyard, the various factory-like buildings surrounding it, and many of the cars parked in it. The only thing that gives the place away is the guard's uniform: it is not the typical formless security garb but tailored Prada with its stark—some would say neofascist—lines.

"I was taken to a room I had read about often. It is officially Miuccia Prada's office, and it is as stark and contrived as her designs: poured concrete, a slew of orange and yellow molded plastic Eames chairs; and, sticking up in the center of the floor, a metal tube slide—by artist Carsten Holler—that runs three floors down to the parking lot and is titled The Slide No. 5. Prada has whizzed down it when asked to by reporters."

from DELUXE: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, by Dana Thomas

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