The fashion business runs deep in Miuccia Prada's veins, but the former mime performer and political science PhD seemed an unlikely successor to her family's luxury leather goods company started by her grandfather in 1913. Nonetheless, the reluctant Miuccia assumed control of the Milan-based family business in 1978 and turned Prada into one of the most exciting names in fashion. Her sleek, black nylon handbags created a flurry among fashionistas in 1985 and paved the way for her highly acclaimed ready-to-wear collection introduced four years later. Prada's precise, clean lines were embraced by the fashion elite as well as celebrities such as Uma Thurman, who turned heads at the 1995 Academy Awards in a dreamy lavender Prada ensemble. With a less expensive sister line, Miu Miu as well as boutiques around the world, this mime gone mogul has an estimated fortune of $1.4 billion and was recently named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the 30 Most Powerful Women in Europe.
Changes at Prada
Prada USA's chief executive Constance Darrow has handed in her resignation. On Tuesday the company released a statement thanking her for her “commitment to the brand”. Executive board member Carlo Mazzi will take over from her in the interim until a successor is named “in the near future”.
According to sources close to the development, Prada is going through some “significant corporate restructuring”, reports Fashion Wire Daily. Darrow's resignation follows the departure of several other executives, among whom Katherine Ross, Prada USA's senior vice president of public relations and communications and Johanne Shepley Siff, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
Further to this, the company has appointed Armando Tolomelli director of group control and Cinzia Tito as group director of human resources.
Kim Basinger joins Miu Miu
Kim Basinger is to be the new face of Miu Miu, Muccia Prada's fashion-forward and younger deigner label. The 51 year-old Academy award-winning actress is no stranger to modelling, and was a successful model prior to embarking on a Hollywood acting career.
Basinger has been commissioned to model the spring/summer 06 collection, which will be in store early next year.
Basinger is one of the latest middle-aged female stars to be chosen by highly acclaimed fashion houses, which also include Sharon Stone, Madonna and Demi Moore. The latter two both starred in recent Versace campaigns.
According to the Telegraph, Muccia was drawn to Basinger for her intellectcual sensuality. “She was also a cover girl before she became an actress, so she's no stranger to modelling.”