The 100-Year-Old German Art School That’s Still Influencing the Fashion World

In the 1920s, Bauhaus changed the modern art landscape. Then it changed fashion.

ven if you don’t immediately recognize the name Bauhaus—the German art school known for its use of geometric shapes and graphic, clean lines—you’ve definitely seen its hallmarks.

Marcel Breuer’s famous Wassily Chair, first designed in 1925 and copied ever since, is still available for purchase. Piet Mondrian’s paintings hang in modern art museums around the world, including both The Met and MoMA.

Throughout the ‘60s until this very day, designers on runways from New York to Milan continuously return to the stark, striking, technicolor prints and geometric shapes that have been a Bauhaus trademark since the movement began 100 years ago. This is especially true of Prada.

Piet Mondrian, Composition with red, yellow, and blue (1929); Marcel Breuer seated in his Wassily Chair.

DeAgostini/Getty Images; Heritage Image Partnership Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

The Italian fashion house’s new Ouverture bag styles embody the Bauhaus spirit. Each is defined by contrasts through three covetable colorways: all-black with a shock of white trim or black and tan are the options for leather; and a tan and deep brown style is what’s available in suede.

They are structured and sleek, comfortable and capacious, and 100% made in Italy. And like many of Bauhaus’ inspired objects, both architectural and functional. Available in different sizes (“maxi”, “midi”, and “mignon”), they feature shoulder straps, double handles, tapes, and hyper-thin straps that can be worn as a hand, arm, shoulder, or cross-body bag. They work for any occasion and any outfit—take them to work or to brunch; carry one every day or bring it on vacation.

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