The bizarre fake Prada store in the middle of the Texan desert that made a cameo on The Simpsons


Pictured: The bizarre fake Prada store in the middle of the Texan desert that’s such a cult destination Beyonce posted a picture of it on Instagram and even The Simpsons paid a visit

  • The ‘Prada store’ contains items from the 2005 Prada collection, including 20 pairs of heels and six handbags 
  • The minimalist fake shop sits on U.S. Highway 90, 26 miles north of Marfa, but just a mile from Valentine
  • The store – called Prada Marfa – is actually a permanent art installation, the work of two Scandinavian artists

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‘Prada! In the middle of nowhere?’

So remarks Marge Simpson in an episode of The Simpsons that made a real-life but fake Prada store in Texas even more irresistible as a photo-op pitstop, following a serious boost in its allure by Beyonce, who posted a picture of herself jumping in front of it to Instagram.

The bizarre ‘Prada store’ sits by the road in the middle of the West Texas desert and contains genuine items from the 2005 Prada collection, including 20 pairs of heels (left-foot only) and six handbags. But you can’t buy them.

The bizarre fake Prada store in Texas that has proved to be an irresistible photo-op for travellers

The fake Prada store - 'Prada Marfa'- made a cameo on an episode of The Simpsons in 2019

The fake Prada store – ‘Prada Marfa’- made a cameo on an episode of The Simpsons in 2019

Beyonce posted a picture of herself outside Prada Marfa on Instagram. It's had over 500,000 likes

Beyonce posted a picture of herself outside Prada Marfa on Instagram. It’s had over 500,000 likes

The store – called Prada Marfa after the nearby town of Marfa in the Chihuahuan desert (although it’s technically in Valentine) – is actually a permanent art installation, built in 2005 by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, two Scandinavian artists based in Berlin.

The Art Production Fund (APF) and Ballroom Marfa, a centre of contemporary art and culture, helped finance the project, while head designer of Prada, Miuccia Prada, handpicked the merchandise for the store’s interior.

She also gave permission to Elmgreen and Dragset to use the Prada logo.

It was originally built as a protest against the high-priced commercialism that was gentrifying U.S. cities in the 1990s. The artwork was to disappear over time and erode into the landscape before anyone could even notice it.

However, rather than fading away, the fake Prada store has been a runaway success.

Beyonce posted her Instagram picture in 2014, with no comment.

So far, it’s had over 500,000 likes.

Prada Marfa’s Simpsons cameo came in 2019, with Homer relieving himself around the back of the building after Marge’s exclamation, claiming ‘it’s on the side of the road, so by definition it is a bathroom’.

The store is a permanent art installation, built by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Scandinavian artists based in Berlin

The store is a permanent art installation, built by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Scandinavian artists based in Berlin

The Art Production Fund (APF) and Ballroom Marfa, a centre of contemporary art and culture, helped finance the project, while head designer of Prada, Miuccia Prada, handpicked the merchandise for the store's interior

The Art Production Fund (APF) and Ballroom Marfa, a centre of contemporary art and culture, helped finance the project, while head designer of Prada, Miuccia Prada, handpicked the merchandise for the store’s interior

The store contains genuine items from the 2005 Prada collection, including 20 pairs of heels (left-foot only) and six handbags

The store contains genuine items from the 2005 Prada collection, including 20 pairs of heels (left-foot only) and six handbags

Prada Marfa was referenced on Gossip Girl

Prada Marfa was referenced on Gossip Girl

The producers of Gossip Girl also put the store in the limelight, with a sign orientating directions to it appearing in the penthouse of the Van Der Woodsens.

Today, it’s a popular destination for fashionistas, millennials, bloggers, travellers and photographers, with the hashtag #pradamarfa included on more than 72,000 Instagram posts to date.

The minimalist fake shop sits on U.S. Highway 90 at about 26 miles north of Marfa, waiting for people to take pictures of it standing in front of the West Texan desert, often including a beautiful sunset behind it.

It’s only 1.4 miles northwest of Valentine, Texas, the closest town to it.

In 2013, the Texas Department of Transportation branded Prada Marfa as ‘illegal advertising’ – a billboard that didn’t fit permitted specifications. To avoid removal, in 2014, the structure was reclassified as a museum, with Prada Marfa as its only exhibit. 

Prada Marfa is a popular destination for fashionistas, millennials, bloggers, travellers and photographers, with the hashtag #pradamarfa included on more than 72,000 Instagram posts to date

Prada Marfa is a popular destination for fashionistas, millennials, bloggers, travellers and photographers, with the hashtag #pradamarfa included on more than 72,000 Instagram posts to date

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