Prada Reimagines a Classic with CASS. The Italian fashion powerhouse join forces with CASS on a head-turning collaboration that reinvents their classic sneakers.
In one of their most experimental out-of-the-box projects, Prada invites young artist Cassius Hirst, aka CASS, to reimagine their America’s Cup sneaker through a collaborative capsule collection. The brand launched this collaboration last May 2022 and has definitely garnered a high level of anticipation from both sneakerheads and art enthusiasts alike.
If you aren’t familiar with the pair of sneakers, the America’s Cup sneakers are a perfect blend between a luxurious and street look. The first pair of America’s Cup Sneakers was released way back in 1997 when the Italian fashion house designed the footwear for their Luna Rossa sailing team. The build of the shoe consists of leather and mesh and was once seen as a performance model although most consumers now use them for lifestyle purposes. With the model being oh-so-versatile and timeless, these sneakers are one of the most in-demand and sought after pairs of sneakers to cop.
It’s no shocker that the Italian fashion house has invited a young fresh face in the creative scene for a collaboration, with news of cross-industry fashion collaborations popping up by the minute. If you’re wondering why the name Cassius Hirst rings a bell, then you should know that CASS is in fact the son of the one and only, Damien Hirst. With an upbringing that allows him to be naturally surrounded with art, it’s no wonder that the son of such a renowned artist chose to dive into the industry. Despite his strong ties, Cassius has succeeded in making a name for himself as a sneaker artist known for his eccentric customizations.
“I was painting shoes, taking photos, and turning those photos into complex vinyl stencils that became abstract designs. I would mask off part of the body of the shoe, and then wrap the whole shoe in the stencil. It looked crazy. I sent a photo to my dad [Damien Hirst], and then he sent a photo of that to Miuccia [Prada]. And she said, ‘This looks amazing, let’s do something.’ The best part about this project – this collaboration – was how willing Prada are to invest their time, to be open to ideas, to challenges. And to really commit to something new,” shares Cassius on how the collaboration came to be.
Prada then helps take Cass’ vision and turn them into a reality, with all the sneakers being made in Prada’s facilities in Italy. Each piece is then produced through hand-crafting techniques, making each pair unique on its own. The capsule collection consists of four different styles in 22 variables, giving anticipators a wide range of variety to choose from. The line up includes the play of bright colors with tough-looking spikes in ATT4CK, the messy-on-purpose look of the distressed D3CAY, the white-on-bright technique that spills over the SUST4IN, and the sprayed-on neon exterior of REL3ASE. To increase the hype, this collaboration is only limited to 3,000 pairs globally, and only available through select boutiques and Prada’s official website.