When we think of Prada, we think iconic, sleek and classic, and with the re-edition of Prada’s 2005 bag collection, the brand is even more desirable than before. How did it get on everyone’s wish list? Let’s find out!
The first Prada store opened in 1913 in Milan, Italy. Mario Prada owned the leather goods shop with his brother, Martino. They sold luggage, steamers and various travel accessories. In 1919, Prada was awarded the title of Official Supplier of the Italian Royal House. It was this huge honour that pushed Prada from small shop to household name in Italy. With this notoriety, Prada was able to launch in other countries and eventually introduce its first shoe for women, the Archmoulded. In 1929, the brand introduced their newest store on Madison Avenue in New York. That year the iconic Shanghai style was revealed and was later updated with a more contemporary re-edition.
Now, if we have learned anything from our designer spotlights over the last few months, we know each major fashion house seems to have a bit of a dark past, and Prada is no different. Mario Prada believed that women should only work in the home doing chores and taking care of the house (no thank you!). He excluded his female family members from working within the company for decades upon decades. Funnily enough, his only son had zero interest in working for the family biz and didn’t want to carry on the legacy. Because of this, Mario was forced to allow his daughter Luisa to eventually take over the family business. Under her management, Prada ran successfully for almost twenty years.
In 1975, Lusia’s daughter Miuccia Prada joined the family business and took over accessory design. Miuccia is known to be very smart and in tune with current trends. She used her entrepreneurial connections to redesign and alter the business model of the company. In 1979, the first women’s shoe line was unveiled and by 1983, Prada’s retail presence had expanded substantially. Prada stores became famous for their aesthetic and their light green walls, now known as Prada Green. The first “green store” is opened in Milan in Via della Spiga followed by boutiques in New York, Madrid, London, Paris and Tokyo.
Prada finally became recognized as a mainstream luxury fashion house when Miuccia received the VH1 Fashion Award in 1995, leading to many acquisitions and expansions. Eventually, Prada opened a massive headquarters in New York and launched their perfume and beauty line. In 2007, they even launched their own touch screen cell phone with LG.
By 2009, Prada was officially a jack of all trades opening the Prada Transformer—an innovative building next to Gyeonghui Palace, in the heart of Seoul, and was conceived to host a selection of fashion, film, art and culture exhibitions, screenings and events.
On October 21st, 2020, the Prada Group welcomed Malika Savell as Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for Prada North America. The role Malika Savell is responsible for includes, “developing policies, strategies and programs to help ensure diverse representation of cultures and perspectives at all levels of the company.” Prada, you’ve come a long way from “No Women Allowed.”
For us, Miuccia Prada is one of our biggest idols and Prada is one of our top three favourite brands. The quality is impeccable and the bags are one of the most sought after luxury pieces in our studio. Proof that they never go out of style.