When it first opened, the flagship Prada store in Soho was a bastion of all things beautiful and chic. In the Times' "Critical Shopper" today, Cintra Wilson revisits the store and finds all that beauty has given way to — gasp! — mall crowds on the corner outside and stained rugs, scuffed corners, and scratched wood paneling inside. It gets worse:
Signs of corruption, everywhere. Alligator trunks and bandboxes hurled into careless piles on the floor, as if by stoned porters. Leather clutches in vegetal greens and purples tossed in disarranged piles in a glass case, as if on Bijou Phillips’s closet floor.
We would never toss anything from Prada with the carelessness of a "stoned porter." We mean, each item in that store is worth a plane ticket to Spain. Despite the mess Wilson tried on clothes with the help of — who else? — Zelda.
Kudos to Zelda for up-selling, but it rubbed Wilson the wrong way. Considering the door on her dressing room didn't lock, she was justifiably disgruntled:
Knock, knock. “How’s it going?”
The door slid open. I loathe being barged in on while half dressed.
“We can alter that. Try this!” Zelda handed me a shirt I had rejected with her earlier.
She left the door open. Male sales assistants stomped by. I dug to find the items I wanted.
“Yes?” (Translation: “Come in! Bring a guest!”)
I stood in my camisole as Zelda exposed me to the seamstress: a small woman with a pin-filled tomato on her wrist.
“She’s leaving,” Zelda cried. “Can you come back tomorrow?”
“Yes. Could I get some clothes on, please?”
Zelda left the door wide open. A construction engineer in work boots walked by. I tried the lock again.
The atmosphere deterred Wilson from buying anything. But it's good to know the Prada store really isn't as intimidating as we thought. Only the dressing rooms are.