Prada wet market campaign

Prada’s back-to-back game-changing campaigns: What drives a luxury brand from cat-walk to wet market?

On September 24th, 2021 Prada introduced its spring 2022 women’s wear collection through two synchronous fashion shows in Milan and Shanghai. It is the first time in fashion history that a show happened in two different cities simultaneously. Successively, Prada packed up its glam and cat-walked into one of Shanghai’s traditional wet markets for it fall 2021 campaign “Feels like Prada“, where the brand repackaged fruits and vegetables with Prada’s aesthetic. These two creatively local marketing yet completely opposite campaigns quickly captured the attention of consumers, unveiling a way to win the hearts of Chinese consumers.

Cross borders and unite through “Synchronic Views”

Unprecedented in the fashion history, Prada fused both visual and physical presence in its fashion show in Milan and Shanghai “Synchronic Views”. With the help of livestreaming technology, Prada presented the same collection simultaneously on models in two complementary venues. Although due to the travel ban of the current pandemic, people nowadays cannot travel around the world as freely as before. Prada shows us a new possibility of using technology to connect people on two different continents. Transcending borders, Prada unites its community and strengthens its links with the consumer market of the east.

Two models simultaneously presented the same outfit on the runways of Milan and Shanghai  Prada
Source: Bazaar China, Two models simultaneously presented the same outfit on the runways of Milan and Shanghai.

More importantly, through this dual show, Prada showcased its great care towards the Chinese market. As Chinese mainland has become a major consumer market for luxury brands, Prada has chosen Shanghai as the other venue alongside its hometown, Milan. While the lesson of Dolce & Gabbana made brands aware of the importance of respecting local culture when entering the Chinese market, Prada provides a positive example of how to win over Chinese consumers.

Prada’s flavor in a Chinese wet market

From September 27th to October 10th, in the wake of its simultaneous fashion shows, Prada went where no other luxury fashion brand has gone before – a wet market, China’s traditional fresh food shop where the smell of fish fills the air and vegetables, still with dirt on them, are sold for pocket change.

Prada redecorated the wet market on Wulumuqi Middle Road of downtown Shanghai, blending Prada’s aesthetic with the traditional Chinese vegetable and fruit mart. The event is part of Prada’s 2021 fall campaign, “Feels Like Prada”. Previously, the brand had repackaged a Milan bakery in a similar way, and the event will also go to Tokyo, New York, and other places around the world.

the wonderland of Prada hidden in a traditional Chinese neighborhood Prada
Image: Xiaohongshu, the wonderland of Prada hidden in a traditional Chinese neighborhood

Attracting consumers through nostalgic feelings

Stepping out of the luxury scene and into the daily routine of regular people, Prada has signaled that it can be local and down to earth. Although choosing a wet market as a venue for a fashion event is counter-intuitive, as it is traditionally thought to be messy and cheap, the wet market is still the most important and traditional part of the Chinese way of life. Farmers and vendors are selling fresh fruits and vegetables there as usual, but during this campaign, they will also pack them in Prada paper bags. For young consumers, the collision between an antiquated market and a luxury brands is a novelty, attracting tons of people to come and take photos; for middle-aged consumers, seeing Prada prints in a familiar traditional market intrigue their curiosity along with nostalgic feelings.

Vegetables with dirt on them are packaged in Prada's wrap Prada
Image: Xiaohongshu, Vegetables with dirt on them are packaged in Prada’s wrap.

With the heat of cross-border collaboration and growing purchasing power of Chinese consumers, more and more foreign brands are trying to decorate themselves with Chinese elements to attract the attention of local consumers. Prada’s marketing campaign in the wet market opened up a creative path for by repackaging the local food and the places that locals frequently visit, Prada’s campaign is both approachable and grounded.

Learn more about what it takes for a fashion brand to succeed in China