Prada has always been a luxury label that I have enjoyed watching expand on its empire ever so cautiously. With the husband and wife team behind the helium tank, this incredible company has always peppered its cutting edge tailoring with modern essence to give its loyal followers exceptional collections year upon year.
Almost 100 years ago, Mario Prada and his brother commenced ‘Prada’ as a leather goods shop. From humble beginnings, Prada moved into a recognizable luxury goods operator, not from the hard work of its desired successor, being Mario’s son, but his daughter Luisa who ran the business successfully for over 20 years. Her daughter, Miuccia joined the company in 1970 and now runs it with her husband Patrizio Bertelli. So you could say it was from the vision and passion from the ladies in the family, who mind you in the early 1900’s were forbidden to running the business, that made Prada what it is today. Yet surprisingly, the male/female team that is running Prada now, are making the most difference, commercially and in its global appraise of design.
Prada’s originality made it one of the most influential fashion houses, and the brand became a premium status symbol in the 1990s. The signature Prada look encompassed luxurious fabrics in mostly black, browns, grays, greens, and creams to create simple, yet provocative styles.
Men’s ready-to-wear collections were launched in the mid-1990s. By 1994, sales were at US$210 million, with clothing sales accounting for 20% (expected to double in 1995). Prada won another award from the CFDA, in 1995 as a “designer of the year” 1996 witnessed the opening of the 18,000 ft² Prada boutique in Manhattan, New York, the largest in the chain at the time. By now the House of Prada operated in 40 locations worldwide, 20 of which were in Japan.
If you didn’t know, Prada also owns Miu Miu, which was named after Miuccia’s nickname. Miu Miu catered to younger consumers, such as celebrities.
Prada’s menswear SS12 is again a successful play on Prada’s classic tailoring, with colourful creative artworks sketched into the designs. For our MSP gents, take a look at the more masculine and blue hue items as the slacks, jackets and exceptional laptop accessories. With golf being the sport of choice for most international CEO’s and MDs, Prada have successfully integrated their sporting goods into their line. To match the golf bag, clothing for golf, as well as brightly coloured studded brogues (wow!) are on sale now as the collection walks off the Paris runway.