Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferré, Dolce & Gabbana… Do they sound familiar? We could make an endless list of Italian designers who have marked a turning point in fashion. But who’s the boss on the fashion planet?
Twelve years ago the author Lauren Weisberger had no doubts in »The Devil Wears Prada«, a novel that became a best-seller and a successful film in 2006. Anne Hathaway’s amazing performance with Meryl Streep earned it 2 Academy Award nominations. This movie became a benchmark not only because it was bold, tough, and hilarious, but because it opened your eyes to how big design brands influence the complex and changing world of fashion.
But in reality, the history and influence of Prada began many, many years ago. For more than a century, the Prada family has maintained a powerful presence within the realms of fashion. In 1913, founder Mario Prada opened the first Prada store on the streets of Milan to provide pret-à-porter leather goods for higher income families. However, it wasn’t until the arrival of his granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, who took control of the family business in the 1970s, that the business really began to transform. His creative enthusiasm and intuition resulted in the success of the prestigious Prada brand that we all know today.
Miuccia started working with her mother on the design of bags. At a leather fair in 1978, she lost her temper to a Tuscan businessman who had copied her designs. But after thinking about it, she suggested an association. Patrizio Bertelli became her supplier, eventually her husband, the father of her two children and finally the partner of a brilliant business with which he made Prada one of the most important luxury brands in the world, backed by a company that operates in more than 70 countries.
Like her collections, Miuccia Prada is stubborn, unpredictable, and nonconformist. In 2000, Prada launched the first collection of sunglasses. The Prada line of glasses is famous for its affinity with art and creative influences. In fact, Miuccia draws much of her inspiration from the Prada eyewear line for other famous products such as jewelry, Saffiano leather bags, and Prada Rich Decors items.
Rihanna, Eva Mendes, Beyoncé, Charlotte Casiraghi … well-known stars of different styles, but with the same model of sunglasses on their face. The celebrity’s preference for the ‘Minimal Baroque’ collection has made this design a cult model. Paris Hilton, Mary-Kate Olsen, Michael Phelps have also been seen wearing some Prada Linea Rossa sports sunglasses very often…
Perhaps many of us have always thought that the fashion industry is just image, a frivolous and superficial world. But dressing well goes far beyond surprising others, it affects your mood, it gives you more confidence, it makes you feel incredible… In the years that have passed until today, Prada has continued its upward trajectory, it has always gone its own way. It has demonstrated a lack of fear in trying new styles and has shown that passion is the foundation of success.
As Meryl Streep correctly states in the role of Miranda Priestly: “People believe that success is something that just happens. It’s not like that. If you want this life, the decision is yours.”