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Friday, May 11, 2012

Fresh Hamm: The Prada Pina

Harvey Lichtenstein presents Pina Baush with her limited edition Prada purse
In 1994, Pina Bausch brought Two Cigarettes in the Dark to BAM. At the time of this production, it was common for the opening night party to function as a gala/fund raising event. Miuccia Prada, subject of a Metropolitan Museum exhibition, had just opened her first New York store and expressed admiration for Pina Bausch and her work. Ms. Prada offered to get involved and she wanted to do something special in addition to sponsorship. She designed a limited edition purse that BAM could use for fundraising, but she didn’t stop there… she created the d├ęcor for the party, menu and even designed the beautiful official party invitations. The opening was completely sold out and by all reports the party was a big success. Pina was formally presented with a purse, which she accepted with her typical humility.

Invite to the "Two Cigarettes in the Dark" Opening Night Reception
The Prada Pina purse is made out of black parachute nylon with nickel hardware. It features a chain link handle and a kiss lock closure. Inside is an imprinted piece of leather that says, “BAM Pina Bausch November 1994.” Lynn Stirrup, Director of Special Events for BAM at the time, remembers the limited edition run being around 100. The purses were sold by BAM in 1994 in the lobby and also by direct mail invitation, for around $500 each. They were also sold at the Prada store. The BAM Hamm Archives recently acquired a single purse through eBay!

If you know any more specifics about this item, or have any BAM related memorabilia to share, please contact the BAM Hamm Archives.

—Louie Fleck, BAM archivist

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