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AMO, the research and design arm of OMA, the firm founded by Rem Koolhaas, has been developing the interiors of Prada’s retail spaces and the set designs for the company’s fashion shows for the past twenty years.

Since the advent of digital technology and the emergence of social networks and the metaverse, bridges have been built between architecture, design, and fashion, redefining the conventions of the textile industry and runways, which have become key issues in terms of size and visibility.

In the early 2000s, AMO worked with Prada on multi-sensory designs and experiences. Examples include the Epicenter flagships in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the Transformer pavilion in Seoul, and the Prada Foundation in Milan.

An effective partnership that continues in the fashion shows’ scenographies that constantly question creation, shapes, and expectations at the heart of the Fashion Weeks marathon.

The sales strategies of these shows are no longer based solely on the product, but on an entire imagination that comes to life in prestigious settings. And like its colleagues, the Milanese luxury house has quickly understood this.

A collaboration that has taken place over time under the aegis of Rem Koolhaas and Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, creating evolving settings that stand out.

Experimentation and transformation

For the Spring/Summer 2012 Men’s show, AMO invited the public to sit on blue foam blocks spread out on a perfectly aligned, precise grid, invoking imagery of a geometric exterior.

For the 2018 show, it was immersed in the world of comics. In 2020, the studio created a luminous and labyrinthine installation that amplified the industrial monumentality and rawness of the Silo Hall in Minsheng Wharf in Shanghai.

In 2021, a virtual show (Covid obliges) for the Fall-Winter Men’s/Women’s collection. The design was based on the idea of the passage of time in spaces seen from different angles, including textures with a sensory touch. For 2022, the fashion shows were just as inventive: The Men’s Spring/Summer show design, Utopia of Normality, offered a summer escape along a red tunnel, ending in a space where nature and artifacts interacted.

The Fall/Winter Men’s collection was inspired by a cinematic space age, with rows of seats bordered by zigzag lighting, leading to a world of blue neon and metal grids.

As for the Fall/Winter Men’s/Women’s collection, it simultaneously immersed the public in the Yin An Palace in Beijing and its 3D replica within the metaverse.

AMO thus brilliantly applies and renews its architectural thinking in the service of the Italian brand, always telling a story within a story.

Crédits : @OMA

Nathalie Dassa