Manolo says, the Prada sneakers they have become the feetwear of choice for the Britannic “chav” culture.
Since being founded in 1913, Prada has become a byword for intelligent Italian chic. Now, however, it is challenging Burberry for a different accolade: the first love of Britain’s chavs. For two years or more, Burberry has reigned supreme among the chavs and their northern chums, the scallies.
No one young, feckless and loutish would be seen around the estate without their Burberry baseball cap or cheap/stolen imitations of the distinctive check.
Last year Burberry received the ultimate seal of chav approval: nightclubs started to ban it because of scally troublemakers. But now it faces a rival.
This week Sugar Lounge, Manchester’s most exclusive nightclub, clarified its dress code: jewellery must be discreet, no scruffy jeans, no sportswear, and no Prada trainers.
“We have nothing against a particular brand. We don’t allow sportswear,” says Effie Kanyua, Sugar Lounge’s PR. “However, there is a trend towards high-top trainers by Prada. The trousers are worn cut into the high-tops so you can see what they are.”
Miss Kanyua refuses to use terms such as chav. “I wouldn’t say it’s particularly gangster or even scally wear. It’s just not smart trendy. It’s not about cost. It just doesn’t fit the image.”
We move on to the Printworks club and reach a grim conclusion: Burberry is so last year. Innit?
“Are they Prada?” says Joseph, a doorman. He has a printed dress code stating: “No hats, no hoods, no Prada.”
“Prada?” says his assistant manager, “Chav, definitely. Even more chav than Burberry.”
The Manolo he is not worried that the Prada it will take on the taint by the association with the “chavs” and the “scallies”. The brand it is too big, it cannot but outlast this malignant trendiness, just as the Burberry shall.