(Prada is the first book that documents three decades of g...)
Prada is the first book that documents three decades of ground-breaking fashion, architecture, film and art by the Prada company, including the work of the design studio and the workshop; extensive creative partnerships with photographers, designers, architects and film directors; and large scale architectural commissions, the Fondazione Prada, and the development of a new museum.
Miuccia Prada, born Maria Bianchi, is an Italian billionaire fashion designer and businesswoman. She is the head designer of Prada and the founder of its subsidiary Miu Miu.
Mrs. Prada was born in Milan, Lombardia, Italy, on May 10, 1949. Italy. The second of three children, Miuccia Prada was born into an affluent family. Her father, Luigi ("Gino") Bianchi, headed a company that manufactured putting-green mowers. Her mother, Luisa, was an heiress to the luxury-goods company then known as Fratelli Prada ("Prada Brothers"), of which her mother became head in 1958.
Miuccia Prada attended Liceo Classico Berchet high school in Milan and graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in political science at the University of Milan.
Mrs. Prada joined the Prada family business in 1970, managing one of its two remaining stores. In 1978 she succeeded her mother as head of the company - which had by then shrunk to only a single store - and hired as her primary supplier the Italian businessman Patrizio Bertelli, a leather-goods manufacturer whom she had met the previous year at a trade fair where he was selling Fratelli Prada knockoffs.
As head designer, she began working to revive the company. One of her earliest ideas included fashioning a line of unlabeled handbags out of a then unorthodox fabric called Pocono nylon - the durable water-resistant fabric often used to make military tents. However, the line, launched in 1979, was not immediately successful.
In the 1980s Miuccia Prada began to globally expand the company, opening additional stores beginning in 1983 and launching a shoe line in 1984. She also relaunched in 1985 her line of Pocono handbags, redesigned with a gold chain strap and the triangular signature logo that would later become the brand’s trademark. Four years later, Mrs. Prada, who has no formal fashion training, introduced a line of ready-to-wear women's clothes that she called "uniforms for the slightly disenfranchised."
Working closely with Patrizio Bertelli, her future husband, Miuccia Prada quickly grew the business into a powerhouse. In 1992, she introduced a new, more affordable label called Miu Miu. Three years later, the company unveiled a line of men's clothing.
In the years since, Mrs. Prada has continued its upward trajectory, introducing other new lines, and buying stake in or just buying up competitors, including Fendi, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, and Church & Company, among others. In 2002, it was reported that Miuccia Prada had annual revenues of more than $1.9 billion.
Mrs. Prada has always blazed her own trail and demonstrated a fearlessness in trying new styles. Her experimentation once included a raincoat that was transparent until it became wet, at which point it turned opaque. In 2004, she dazzled a front row of critics at a show with a collection of souvenir clothes that included straw hats and embroidered moccasins.
In 2010, she designed costumes for the Verdi opera "Attila" at the New York City Metropolitan Opera House. She is now the co-CEO for Prada, together with her husband.