New Prada store: Ass! Ass!
The NY Celebrity Sightings Channel on upoc.com alerted my phone on Saturday night that the Prada store on Prince and Broadway was finally hosting a star-studded opening. I was excited to see it, because the space is huge, in the Soho Guggenheim building, and had a lot of buzz: a new experience in shopping! Prada does so much, so well, that I couldn’t wait to see what they did.
Unfortunately, what they did was recreate a lame-ass 1997 shopping environment. The flow is completely wretched. A big, echo-y ampitheater space is surrounded by claustrophobic oubliettes filled with clothes, all accessed by four-foot wide catwalks. If this were your college dining hall, there would be spontaneous, frustration-induced burrito fights breaking out in the lunch line. There are mini-LCD screens buried in the walls all over the place (whoop-de-friggin’-do!), and dressing rooms with clear doors that — get this! — turn opaque at the push of a button! Like Bar 89‘s bathrooms did, two years ago!
The architect is Rem Koolhass, winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture and co-author of the Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping. “The ultimate luxury is not shopping”, burbles this fecking idiot in a recent gushy blurb. Yeah, I got your not shopping right here, Koolh-ass!
I like silly excess as much as any New Yorker, but it has to be fabulous, timely, beautifully executed silly excess. Two years ago, Prada sold firewood — a bundle of twigs in a leather band, with an enamel emblem, for eight hundred dollars. That was stylish silly excess. This just looked like ass.