The Prada label began in 1913 with Mario Prada who sold shoes, leather handbags and trunks. He opened two boutiques in Milan after previous experience in Europe and U.S.A.
The classic Prada suitcase was made of heavy walrus skin but as plane travel made heavy suitcases impractical, the company started to make lighter bags and high quality items made of crystals, tortoise shell and wood. They also sold garments of waterproof fabrics to the U.S. However the company had gone into decline in the 1970's.
In 1950 Miuccia Prada was born. By her mid-20's she had a doctorate in political science. In 1970 she started making backpack bags out of waterproof fabric called Pocone and in 1979 she took over the Prada family business.
In 1993 Miuccia Prada received an International award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and in 1995 she won the "Designer of the Year" award.
Prada is now a worldwide empire, with stores in practically every country in the western world. It is a million dollar concern, with every celebrity wearing Prada clothes.
The Prada style
Miuccia Prada uses a lot of crunchy polyester, parachute nylon and other synthetic fabrics. She likes Battleship green, browns, white, cream, and black.
Simple destructured shapes, knee length skirts, her skinny belts had become the currency of success in the mid 90's. Her clothes are not exactly fashionable. There is no defining accent, just a grouping of desirable useful things in exquisite fabrics.
Her clothes, though often deceptively plain looking, have become widely influential. She gives traditional garments a modern handling, like trimming nylon parkas with mink and making trench coats and twin sets out of silk faille. It seems that the whole world craves Prada's ice-cool minimalism and deadpan eroticism.