Prada was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, Miuccia Prada’s grandfather, in Milan.
Located in the prestigious Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Prada was an exclusive, stylish store selling luggage, accessories and luxury goods, in fine materials and of sophisticated workmanship.
The Milan store quickly became a firm favourite with the Italian aristocracy and the most sophisticated members of the European elite. In 1919 Prada received the warrant of “Official Supplier of the Italian Royal Household”, and since then has been able to display the royal Savoy coat of arms and figure-of-eight knots alongside the company logo.
Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli started working together in the late 70’s, laying the foundations of the international expansion that was to come. Patrizio Bertelli broke new ground in the luxury goods sector, introducing a new business model in which he kept direct, internal control over all processes, applying uncompromised quality criteria across the entire production cycle. Miuccia Prada’s creative talent and avant-garde approach attracted the attention of the global fashion industry, while her ability to look at the world from an unconventional vantage point allowed her not only to anticipate, but quite often, to set new trends.
Prada now produces men’s and women’s leather goods, clothing and footwear, combining contemporary, cutting-edge sophistication with one-of-a-kind, sublimely-crafted products. Prada also operates in the eyewear, fragrance and mobile phone sectors.
Innovation is at the core of Prada’s success, with no sector escaping the Group’s avante-garde approach, distribution included. Prada was the first brand to launch a new type of store, known as “Prada Epicentres”, designed by internationally-acclaimed architects such as Rem Koolhaas, and Herzog & de Meuron, both winners of the Pritzker Prize (the Nobel for architecture).
Prada casts its creative eye beyond the boundaries of fashion, to include art, architecture, cinema and culture as key reference to the brand’s core values.
The Prada Foundation, founded in 1993 to promote “the most radical of intellectual challenges in art and contemporary culture”, organizes exhibitions and related cultural events which have earned much international acclaim. In December 2011, the Foundation acquired Ca’ Corner della Regina, a prominent 17th century palace on Venice’s Grand Canal, turning it into an exhibition space. The new Prada Foundation headquarters and permanent exhibition in Milan, – a 17,500 square meter, early 20th century industrial site, currently being revamped and restored by architect Rem Koolhaas – is scheduled to open in Spring 2015.
Prada is also four-times sponsor of the Luna Rossa team in the 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2013 America’s Cup campaigns, winning the challengers’ selection series in 2000 and reaching the final in both 2007 and 2013. Patrizio Bertelli was the first Italian ever to be inducted in the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, on 29 June 2012.
The Prada brand is part of the Prada Group, a global powerhousein the luxury goods market, as well as a business icon. The group’sbusiness model, capable of combining industrialized processeswith sophisticated workmanship, top quality and the level of detailcharacteristic of craft production, set a world precedent. The Pradagroup also includes: Miu Miu – Miuccia Prada’s “other soul” – a brandwith a strong personality and as provocative and sophisticated as it iscool-headed and cutting-edge; Church’s, a high-end men’s footwearmanufacturer established in the British town of Northampton in 1873;and Car Shoe, inventor of the original driving moccasin with uppersperforated with rubber studs, patented in 1963.
Prada’s productsare made in thirteen company-owned sites, elevenof which are located in Italy, one in Great Britain and one in France,and by a network of external contractors who are carefully screened toassure the necessary standard of craftsmanship, quality and reliability.Each stage of the production process is closely and directly monitored:from the procurement and purchase of raw materials (includingexternal suppliers) to the fabrication of prototypes, and planning andcoordination of in-house and outsourced production.
Creativity is the starting point of every process. Miuccia Prada’s uniquetalent is the ability to fuse her intellectual curiosity and cultural interestswith her relentless pursuit of new ideas, blazing her very own pioneeringtrail. This often leads her not only to anticipate trends, but also to set them. The constant sharing of ideas and experimentation are at the heartof the Prada creative process, and this has engendered a systematicresearch culture using a common methodology.The charisma and incredible intuition of Miuccia Prada and PatrizioBertelli attracts talents from all over the world. This has allowed thehusband-and-wife partnership to build dedicated teams for each partof the creative process, in a global, interactive approach.
The Prada brand ranked 69th in Interbrand’s top 100 most valuable global brands in 2015.
Time magazine ranked Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli as one of the 100 most influential couples in the world in 2006.
“Careful observation of and curiosity about the world, society, andculture are at the core of Prada’s creativity and modernity. This pursuithas pushed Prada beyond the physical limitations of boutiques andshowrooms, provoked an interaction with different and seeminglydistant worlds, and introduced a new way to create a natural, almostfashionless fashion.”Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli
Source: Prada Group