WHY IS THERE A PRADA STORE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT?
Enter Marfa, Texas: A small desert city in west Texas that is known for being a hub for the arts.
A small town turned into destination-type artistic and cultural getaway, all thanks to artist Donald Judd. He founded the Chinati Foundation, which is an art museum that displays huge indoor and outfit installations on an old army base, located in Marfa. Marfa was also the the film location for Giant in the 1950s. The population in Marfa is 1,800 and it’s only 1.6 square miles. It is also home of the famous Prada Marfa art project, a strong point of cultural tourism.
Prada Marfa is a permanent art installation by artists Elmgreen & Dragset, a Scandinavian twosome, created in 2005. It resembles a Prada boutique, it looks shoppable and ready to go. The catch here is that the interior of the structure is inaccessible. The door doesn’t open. You can see the interior but you aren’t getting in unless you break the glass. I highly advise against doing that. Another fun fact is that this art installation has zero involvement with Prada. Prada did give permission to the artists to use their logo, as Miuccia Prada herself is a fan of contemporary art. The bags and shoes you see inside of the sculpture were donated by Miuccia from the Prada Fall/Winter 2005 Collection. The first night of it’s opening, the structure was broken into and robbed. All of the Prada bags and shoes had to be replaced. It was vandalized once again in March 2014 with quite a bizarre message plastered on the front having to do with TOMS shoes and Jesus Christ. Eventually the culprit was arrested.
Disregarding the few setbacks, the art project has become a popular site to visit. Even Queen Bey has stopped by herself. If you ever get to visit this weird Prada store in the middle of nowhere, it has become a tradition that tourists leave their business card to showcase their visit. Don’t forget yours.