Opened just in time for Frieze, Prada's art-focused new members' only club – Prada Mode – is surely one of the few Groucho Marx would have actually wanted to join…
It was comedian Groucho Marx who famously said, "I don't want to belong to any club which will accept people like me as a member," in reference to his refusal to become part of the famed Friar's Club in Los Angeles, which invited him to join in 1959.
It's a dictum which we, here at GQ, have attempted to apply to all our own membership applications – indeed, most of the invitations we receive. Up until recently, that is, when Milanese super-brand Prada invited us to join its temporary members' club, Prada Mode.
Taking shape within the Brutalist frame of 180 The Strand, just south of Covent Garden and west of the City, the club is open for just two short days and is set to provide lucky members with a full agenda of events, plus (and this is the most exciting part) free food and drink for a whole 48 hours.
This is the third time that Prada Mode has landed in one of the world's creative capitals. The first coincided with Art Basel: Miami Beach back in December 2018, and the second took shape at Art Basel: Hong Kong in March 2019.
Prada's affiliation with the arts has been well-documented over the years – one of the most notable examples being the brand's collaboration with Carsten Höller in North London's The Double Club back in 2009 – and this latest project coincides, perhaps unsurprisingly, with the Frieze Art Fair, which opens this Thursday.
© The Image Maker
A few notable elements of the club, which opens this morning, include an installation by American artist Theaster Gates, who presents a new iteration of his Black Image Corporation series which 'explores the visual and cultural representation of contemporary Black identity and material culture.'
What's more, Prada has also teamed up with The Vinyl Factory and The Showroom to pull together a programme of talks and happenings which explore the concept of 'collective intimacy'. Grace Wales Bonner will be involved in a panel discussion, while there will also be performances by Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf and Inua Ellams.
Suffice to say, it's going to make you think (and probably want to buy one of those snazzy Prada bowling shirts straight after, too).