During the last decades fashion has strengthened its relationship with art. Always more and more often, top luxury brands open flagship stores designed in collaboration with archistars or fund culture becoming the new patrons of art. Furthermore, fashion brands also establish foundations where art can be exhibited and promoted. This is the case of Prada Foundation in Milan (Italy), which opened in 2015 thanks to the passion for contemporary arts and culture of two collectors, namely Miuccia Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli. This research aims to understand which motivations are underpinning the establishment of a fashion foundation, focusing on the case study of Prada Foundation. The topic was investigated though semi structured interviews with visitors of Prada Foundation in order to answer the following research question: how does the audience evaluate the activity of a fashion brand’s art foundation such as Prada Foundation in Milan?. The research is based on two main concepts that also represent the theoretical framework: artification and legitimation. On the one hand, the artification process introduced by Shapiro and Heinich (2012) explains how new practices or objects can be transformed into art. On the other hand, the legitimation process introduced by Baumann (2007) explains how these practices or objects obtain recognition as art. The theory by Baumann about legitimation was leading for the collection of data since the interview guides were based on the three groups that Baumann presents as the factors fostering the legitimation process: opportunity space, resources and framing. Moreover, this structure was also used for the thematic analysis of the collected data. This case study shows how the cultural activity of the foundation can bring benefits to the brand in shaping people’s view of the fashion brand as patron of contemporary art. More specifically, respondents recognised Prada fashion brand as producer and promoter of culture not only for the presence of the cultural foundation, but also for the production of its products that share certain values that can be found also in contemporary art: creativity, innovation, novelty, paradigm breaking and emotional connection with the product. In spite of the fact that Prada fashion brand is perceived as the patron of Italian Heritage, fashion is not recognised as an art expression.

Additional Metadata
Keywords kunstwetenschappen, cultuurwetenschappen, Prada Foundation, fashion, contemporary art, artification process, legitimation process.
Thesis Advisor A. Brandellero
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/47013
Series Master Arts, Culture & Society
A. Bertocchi. (2018, June 12). Fashion collaboration with art and contemporary culture: Prada Foundation as a case study.. Master Arts, Culture & Society. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/47013