It’s been almost a century Prada is part of the landscape of fashion, having established itself as one of the luxury safe bets, and having acquired the recognition of his fathers. Yet the empire it is today has nothing to do with the family business that was born in the early 20th century…
Milan, 1913, Mario Prada, leather goods craftsman, opened a small shop in the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele, who quickly attracts a wealthy clientele thanks to the quality of his creations. He will appoint the company “Fratelli Prada”.
Some 50 years later, the company has flourished and is based on solid foundations. And this is where the granddaughter of Mario, Miuccia. She studied political science at the University of the city, but also followed an actress training at the Piccolo Teatro; yet it leaves everything to take the reins of the brand family.
Its atypical course gave him a double talent, artistic and commercial, that it will use to breathe of fresh air at Prada. Upon arrival, she signed an agreement with IPI company specializing in leather products, for the production of leather goods that draw, and she teamed with her husband Patrizio Bertelli, Tuscan industrial designer and CEO of Prada with whom she will build an empire.
Shoes, bags, accessories Prada new generation marks a stylistic turning point of the sign: they are less conventional and appeal to a young and chic clientele. Prada wants now in tune with the times, and no longer look back. This is thanks to innovations such as nylon bag that is gradually known in the world of luxury leather goods.
But Miuccia has the ambition to go much further, and in 1988, it launched a first collection of women’s clothing. The watchwords at Prada are elegance, quality and originality, so that the clothes of the house are becoming extremely popular.
The arrival in 1990 of Marc Audibet artistic director of the brand is also involved in the international fame of it, and hundreds of Prada stores are spreading across the globe. However, this collaboration was short-lived, and only Miuccia continues its ascent.
It designs in 1993, a more affordable line dedicated to young people, she named “Miu Miu” nonconformist line, rebels and original collections. There followed other collateral lines: men’s fashion Prada was born in 1994, “Prada Sport” in 1997 and “Prada Beauty” in 2000.
The work of the stylist does not go unnoticed, becoming a benchmark for luxury avant-garde. It also is rewarded in 1994 by the International Award of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Admittedly, Miuccia has a strange facility to feel the zeitgeist, intuition that mingles with a very characteristic nonconformity.
This ambivalence is sort of the signature of the designer, who loves to tap into current trends definitely provided to create an elitist aesthetics. Her wardrobe may seem at first glance somewhat stern and austere surface, but it is full of subversive touches, playing with eroticism and kitsch with great subtlety.
Miuccia Prada gradually developed a distinctive style that defies the notions of good and bad taste, like telescope and genres, such as the baroque richness and épurement of minimal art. The fashion world has become familiar with this way of thinking so specific that has truly redefined the ready-to-wear high-end of the last decades.
The takeover of the fashion world is also due to a spirit of commercial conquest pushed Prada to adopt a policy of rapid expansion in the late 90. Today, the brand has in part or in whole the Jil claws Sander, Helmut Lan, Church & Co, Azzedine Alaïa and Genny, becoming one of the world leaders in luxury.
Prada also created in 1995 his own artistic foundation, which promotes cultural events related to contemporary art. Indeed, the company likes to flirt with other universe upscale clothing. Thus it begins its adventure in 1997 in sailing navigation, with the acquisition of the yacht Luna Rossa, and by becoming a sponsor of the America’s Cup competitions.
All these are important communication tools for Prada empire continually expanding, which now weighs more than 1.5 billion euros, and that does not stop there…
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