MILAN — After the oceans, Prada is tackling outer space.
Prada is collaborating with Axiom Space, the architect of the world’s first commercial space station, on NASA’s lunar space suits for the Artemis III mission.
This is a groundbreaking partnership between an Italian luxury fashion house and a commercial space company.
As the first crewed lunar landing since Apollo 17 in December 1972, the Artemis mission, planned for 2025, will also be the first to place a woman on the moon.
Michael Suffredini, president and chief executive officer of Axiom Space, enthused about the partnership with Prada on the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or AxEMU, space suit, touting the brand’s “technical expertise with raw materials, manufacturing techniques and innovative design concepts,” which “will bring advanced technologies instrumental in ensuring not only the comfort of astronauts on the lunar surface, but also the much needed human factors considerations absent from legacy space suits.”
In a joint interview with Suffredini, Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group’s marketing director, said the project is in a “preliminary phase,” explaining that Suffredini’s team had been in Italy for a week to gain an understanding of Prada’s “capabilities, not just about fabrics. We have huge know-how since the ‘90s on the America’s Cup [with the Luna Rossa sailing team], on the composite framework. Space suits are a combination of a lot of materials, metal composites and fabrics and being able to put together all those materials in a holistic approach is not simple. We need to understand the priorities, and make sure we deliver what is being requested by Axiom.”
“Some of my guys went to the Prada show [last month], this set a very high bar till next time some of us come over,” joked Suffredini.
Bertelli has put together a team, including engineers, who will work with Axiom throughout the design…