It was a long time coming but the new Prada boutique in The Galleria is worth the wait. Workers rushed to have the new boutique — the first stand-alone Prada store in Texas — up and running before Christmas and just barely made the deadline, opening on Thursday. Fashion lovers with a big budget or those with limited means who love to look and daydream are in for a treat.
In a nod to Prada tradition, the floor in the first room is black-and-white marble in a checkered pattern, just like at the Milan flagship store, also in a Galleria — the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
The store, clad in a black marble facade with polished steel light box windows, occupies a prime corner position along the mall's "luxury row" in the space formerly occupied by Emporio Armani. Taking maximium advantage of the location, which faces out on two sides, Italian architect Roberto Baciocchi, who designs all Prada and Miu Miu stores, positioned the main entrance in a diagonal direction to the ice rink with a side entrance along the corridor that leads to the parking garage.
Aligning the main entrance in such a way allows the first room and subsequent rooms to be structured in polygonal shapes. In a nod to Prada tradition, the floor in the first room is black-and-white marble in a checkered pattern, just like at the Milan flagship store, also in a Galleria — the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which Houston's Galleria was modeled after.
The first room is a handbag lover's delight, with a wide range of styles, including ostrich totes in various colors, quilted lambskin bags in muted tones, woven tri-color leather handbags, python carryalls and a black crocodile limited edition handbag that retails for $42,500. Also on display: wallets, mouse pads and card cases in colors ranging from mustard yellow to hot pink, sunglasses, and the iconic nylon messenger bags in a variety of shades.
Subsquent rooms, featuring pale green cloth walls highlighted with smoky mirrors, beige carpet and mauve settees, showcase resort and spring 2012 ready-to-wear collections, shoes (cork wedges and platforms are big for spring) and costume jewelry (delightful oversized pieces with a retro-feel). Even the walls of changing rooms are covered with luxurious beige saffiano leather.
Men are not left out. The large back room, with rosewood walls and velvet sofas, showcases crocodile trunks, nylon luggage, cologne, silk pajamas, menswear and a wide selection of shoes. Trend alert: All the men's ties on display are super skinny.
Click on the video, above, from CultureMap staffer Joel Luks, to see the store and some of its offerings in detail.