Miuccia Bianchi Prada – Biography
Miuccia Bianchi Prada (born in 1949) is an Italian fashion designer (Prada, Miu Miu) and entrepreneur. The youngest granddaughter of Prada founder Mario Prada, she and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, took over the family-owned luxury goods manufacturer in 1978. Since then, they’ve turned it into a fashion powerhouse, acquiring Jil Sander, Helmut Lang and shoemaker Church & Co.
Actually she didn’t have any training in formal design, her education included Ph.D.
in Political Science
. After university, she entered the family business 1978 and soon revolutionized the appearence of its products. The name of the collection is taken from Miuccia Prada’s nickname.
Her interest in unusual fabrics led to the distinctive trademark of Prada products: the surprising combination of materials. There are usually two discoveries to be made when dealing with Prada products: First, the surprise to see the use of a specific material in an unusual context and in consequence, the astonishment how good it fits the purpose. In 1989, she introduced women’s wear with instant success, men’s wear followed equally sucessful in 1995.Miu Miu is Positioned as the daily-oriented,more affordable clothing line from the Prada fashion house use,opened in 1992 and headed by miuccia Prada. Miuccia Prada is a true trend visionary and her second line Miu Miu has always been the go-to for an instant hit of what’s hot. Since its launch in 1992, Miu Miu’s sophisticated-eclectic design mix has earned the label a host of devotees such as Nicole Kidman and Chloë Sevigny. Classic but super cool, a Miu Miu look will take you from the most uptown eaterie to the hippest nightspot.
Prada has long been a financial supporter of art. She recently organized a traveling, art-gallery style display of many skirts she has designed. The exhibition was called “Waist Down”. Prada built her family’s modest luggage brand into a company worth billions. She is the younger daughter of Luigi “Gino” Bianchi and his wife, the former Luisia Prada. She was adopted in the 1980s by her mother’s sister, an act which changed her surname to Prada. Her maternal. grandfather, Mario Prada, and his brother, Martino, founded the family luxury leather goods company in Milan in 1913; called Fratelli Prada, it was originally a small luxury goods and accessories shop. In 1978, a reluctant Miuccia assumed the reins from her mother, after completing a PhD in Political Science.She was an unlikely successor, having spent the last five years studying and performing mime at Milan’s Teatro Piccolo, being a paid-up member of the Communist party and champion of women’s rights in seventies’ Milan. But she soon proved her worth. In 1985, she designed a new line of black, unlabelled, hard-wearing, but finely-woven nylon handbags that immediately became must-haves for the fashion cognoscenti, seen hanging off the arm of the likes of Jerry Hall and Marie Helvin. With retail prices starting at around £250, a bootlegging industry quickly sprang up, making the authentic articles even more desirable. More importantly, Prada bags were established as the accessory of choice for supermodels and fashion editors the world over.Prada launched her eponymous ready-to-wear collection for autumn/winter 1989 to critical acclaim. The plain, almost austere lines of her designs provided a stark contrast to the overtly sensual designs of other labels of the time and one admiring fashion journalist described Prada’s clothes as “uniforms for the slightly disenfranchised”. In 1992, she debuted the less expensive bridge line Miu Miu (Miuccia’s nickname), inspired by her personal wardrobe of earthier, hippyish garments in natural fabrics and colours. Clean and stylish designs, fine materials and exquisite craftsmanship conspired to win Prada a Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award in 1993. A year later, she showed in New York for the first time and opened her London boutique. She now shows for Prada and Miu Miu twice a year in Milan.Miuccia met her husband and business partner Patrizio Bertelli at the same time she took the helm of the family company. “If I hadn’t met him, I probably would have given up – or at least not been able to do what I have done,” she once said. It was under Bertelli’s sway that the design house started making moves towards becoming an international conglomerate to rival LVMH in 1999/2000, adding such top flight labels as Fendi, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander and Azzedine Alaia to its portfolio of brands.