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20+ Facts About Miuccia Prada That Explain Why Her Brand Is So Loved by Fashion Gurus

The name Miuccia Prada is a symbol of perfect and progressive fashion in the fashion industry. Being the head designer of Prada, she has been designing clothes for her entire life and she has never had any regrets about her choice. By the way, Miuccia doesn’t have a professional education, she graduated with a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Milan.

At Bright Side, we never suspected how exciting Miuccia’s life had been before she became the designer of Prada. We also didn’t know that many items from this brand have a special meaning.

  • Miuccia was born in Milan in 1949. She is the youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, the founder of Prada (1913). At that time, his shop had the name Fratelli Prada (Prada brothers) and initially sold animal goods and imported English steamer trunks and handbags.

  • Her grandfather died when she was 9 years old. Mario Prada didn’t believe that women should have a role in business, and so he prevented his female family members from entering his company. Ironically, Mario’s son had no interest in the business, so it was Miuccia’s mother Luisa who succeeded Mario.

  • In 1973, Miuccia graduated with a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Milan. Later she was a member of the Italian Communist Party and involved in the women’s rights movement. Even today Miuccia’s feminist ideas can be found in almost every Prada collection. She turned the concept of female attractiveness over by getting rid of the clichés associated with gender. According to Miuccia, there is nothing wrong with the fact that a woman likes to dress beautifully, but at the same time, that doesn’t mean that she has to look like a doll.

  • Miuccia trained at the Teatro Piccolo to become a mime and performed for 5 years.

  • Luisa Prada ran the company for 20 years before her daughter succeeded her in 1978. Miuccia once said, “Being a feminist in the 1970s, you can imagine how inappropriate it was to talk about fashion. But I loved it so much that I did it.”

“When I started, everybody hated what I was doing except a few clever people.”
  • At that time, she met Patrizio Bertelli. They were just business partners at first, and later became a married couple (1987). Now they have 2 sons. By the way, it was Patrizio who gave his wife the idea to produce not just bags but also clothing by Prada.

  • Soon afterward, Miuccia released her first set of backpacks and totes made out of military grade nylon. The inspiration behind this renegade creative act came on a visit to a factory specializing in the making and production of military tents and parachutes.

  • Nylon handbags and backpacks were black with understated labeling. This way, Miuccia challenged the preconceived ideas of what constitutes luxury in fashion. Prada’s backpacks became an “anti-status status symbol.”

  • The logo for the label was not as obvious a design element as those on bags from other prominent luxury brands like Louis Vuitton. It tried to market its lack of prestigious appeal, including its apparel, by projecting an image of “inverse snobbery.” Prada is known for not being flashy with logos, meant to be recognized only by the ones “who know.”

  • In 1985, Miuccia released the “classic Prada handbag” that became an overnight sensation. Although practical and sturdy, its sleek lines and craftsmanship had a luxury that has become the Prada signature. This black nylon bag can be bought even today.

  • Prada launched a women’s ready-to-wear collection in 1988 with its debut at Milan’s fashion week. Low waist and narrow belts could be found on almost all models. Most industry players didn’t understand Miuccia’s first show. However, this initial collection launched Prada’s outstanding success in the 90s when the company became one of the most influential fashion houses producing luxurious, simple, yet provocative styles.

  • In 1992, Miuccia founded Miu Miu that fully belongs to Prada. She named it after her own nickname, Miu Miu. “Miu Miu was created for stylish and refined women who love to go ahead of fashion trends.” Boundaries between elegant and trashy are ignored, resulting in a beautiful chic expression with an aesthetic that’s covered in a hint of humor.

  • In the late 90s, Prada reinforced its reputation. Journalists praised Miuccia’s development of an “ugly chic” style, which initially confused customers by offering blatantly unsexy outfits which then revealed daring and original takes on the relationship between fashion and desire. Since then Prada has been regarded as one of the most intelligent and conceptual designers.

  • You might say that this brand is for fashion intellectuals because each Prada collection has an item with a deep meaning. Miuccia became the first in the fashion world to start collaborating with artists. In 2008 and 2018, for example, she involved the comic artist James Jean in the creation of her new collections. He also created a mural for the Prada Epicenter stores in New York and Los Angeles. Miuccia said that although she wasn’t really fond of comics, she saw how they affected the modern world.

“When choosing clothes, you need to focus only on yourself. For me, this approach is fundamental. To be yourself, to know yourself, to know exactly what you want is a key aspect of life in general, not just of fashion. Yes, it is difficult, but necessary: you have to choose your favorite job, your preferences, decide who you are, and then the question of choosing clothes will become simple. The role of clothes is just serving your life and you as a person.”
  • Slogan T-shirts aren’t Prada’s style. “My thoughts are complex. I would never be able to express them in one word,” Miuccia says. But there are other ways to make a point. Interspersed with the can-do utility of her nylon pieces were prints featuring the work of feminist cartoon artists, depicting female superheroes battling evil forces. This way Miuccia Prada tries to stand for women’s rights. Once Miuccia mentioned, “My work is to convey my thoughts through clothes.”

  • By the way, Miuccia likes to collaborate with architects and artists on the decoration of her boutiques. Therefore, it’s literally impossible to just walk past a Prada store anywhere in the world without paying attention to it.

  • The fashion house also works with modern technologies. In 2007, the LG “Prada Phone” was the first one to ever be entirely touch screen. Moreover, it was 6 months before the iPhone!

  • Miuccia Prada is one of the few designers who doesn’t mind fakes. She says, “If it is copied I couldn’t care less.”

  • When asked about a possible collaboration with H&M or Topshop, Miuccia always says no. Prada will never release clothes at affordable prices. Miuccia just doesn’t like the “idea of a bad copy of a good thing.” “If I had a brilliant idea of how to make fashion much cheaper, but at the same time it’s not a bad copy of something, I would certainly share it with the world.”

  • In 2013, the new version of The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio stormed cinemas. For the costumes, the scene and costume designer, Catherine Martin, co-operated with Miuccia Prada. All the costumes shown at the parties were designed by Prada.

  • In The Grand Budapest Hotel, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, and Willem Dafoe sported Prada clothes and bags.

  • Throughout her career, Miuccia has received many awards. She received the VH1 Fashion Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year 3 times and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2005.

  • In 2013, she was named one of the 50 best-dressed over 50, and in 2014 was listed as the 75th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Do you have anything by Prada? Even if you don’t, what would you want to have? Tell us in the comments below.

Preview photo credit AFP / East News
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