Prada - Fashion Rebels
Prada is a unique fashion house. Not only do they go against the fashion industry but they do it every season! It's got to the point where it's prudent to not miss the Prada show.
The thinking behind this can be found in Miuccia Prada, their creative director. Her endeavour to challenge convention has gained Prada a certain notoriety in the fashion industry. An example of their biggest conquest was turning something not seen since the seventies into a nineties look.
Prada made all of this work which is a testament to their fashion power. With revenues of over $3.9bn in 2016, Prada is among the top-selling fashion brands in the world.
Origins of Prada
Prada's story began in 1913 when Mario Prada opened a store in the ultra-prestigious Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - not far from the Piazza Del Duomo. They started selling bags, trunks and accessories for travel.
The quality of Prada's products caught the attention of the Italian Royal House who made Prada their official supplier in 1919. This further increased the brand's reputation and further cemented their interest among the upper classes of society.
Trivia - If you look at their logo, you can see a coat of arms and the House of Savoy which adorns their logo.
After going through a period of stagnation in the 70's, Prada's fortunes drastically changed in 1975 when the mecurial Miuccia Prada (granddaughter of Mario Prada) joined the company.
Although she left University with a political science degree, trained as a mime for 5 years and had no fashion experience, she has nonetheless taken the fashion world by storm.
Miuccia Prada - The Visionary
Voted as one of the most influential women in the world, Miuccia Prada has won awards around the world. How? She's spent over 40 years challenging the status quo, and ensuring Prada remained a fashion brand with their own style.
Examples of Miuccia's biggest successes were:
- Nylon Bags - made for the disenfranchised individual, this bag use nylon fabric which became a cult hit.
- Understated Bags - During the 70's, brands would plaster their name on a bag but Prada did the opposite and created a popular alternative.
- Menswear - launched in 1993, Prada entered new realms by designing a clothing range for men.
- Womenswear - Ready-to-wear was a challenge Miuccia Prada embraced and designed an array of outfits that became the talk of the decade.
- Miu Miu Brand - Launched with a younger audience in mind, Miu Miu design an array of products from accessories to clothing.
Miuccia's vision has completely transformed the company but she is notoriously difficult to keep up with. Her unpredictability has culminated in her completely changing the tone of her design each season.
Trivia - Prada acquired historic British shoemaker Church in 1999.
Prada Fall Fashion Show 1996
The year was 1996, backless tops, pedal pushers, bucket hats and small bags were signature looks but where any of those in avocado green? Or prints considered hand drawn? Even clunky and awkward designs that conflicted with the minimalist lifestyle?
One thing learnt from the story of Prada is that Miuccia Prada doesn't focus on what's going on in the fashion industry, she asks herself what does she want to create.
Muiccia married her husband Patrizio whom she met in 1977. Their combination of creativity and business acumen has taken Prada to new heights.
With a penchant for expansion into new territories, Prada has set their seats on Asia and have expanded their heavily. To cement their commitment, they floated on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange where they raised around $2.14bn in 2011. This valued the brand at around $13bn.
As Prada continue to push the boundaries of what's considered ordinary, we look forward to writing about it!
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