Miuccia Prada is the Chief Executive of Prada and holder of 80% of the Prada Group shares alongside her brother Alberto, sister Marina and husband Patrizio Bertelli. Miuccia’s journey began in the mid-70s when she started designing accessories for Prada, her maternal grandfather’s company that was founded in 1913. The family business was then passed onto Miuccia by her mother in 1978 and she has remained CEO and Creative Director ever since.
In a rare interview with Vanity Fair, Miuccia gave us a glimpse into her early life, explaining that whilst she was born in Milan, Italy in 1949, she grew up travelling England, France, and Ireland before returning to Italy to study Political Science at Milan University. She was also a member of the Italian Socialist Party at the time and a proud feminist. Miuccia also candidly declared how she was embarrassed to be a leftist feminist in the fashion industry but her love and curiosity for fashion, culture and design couldn’t keep her away.
Once Miuccia took over the reins of Prada, she appointed Patrizio Bertelli as her business partner and the two transformed Prada into the global brand we know today. Bertelli pushed Miuccia into exploring different lines expanding their products, resulting in womenswear hitting the runway in 1988. The collection was timeless, with clean lines and sharp silhouettes and it didn’t follow the trends at the time. Instead, the collection was looking forward and focused on what would make women feel powerful in their everyday lives. Prada didn’t stop there, menswear was introduced in the mid-’90s and Prada later expanded to eyewear and perfume.
Since then, Prada has had a string of iconic runway moments, as documented by Vogue over the years. In 2007, silk turbans graced the runway and in 2012, a stiletto that had flames on its heel caught everyone’s attention. In 2019, Prada debuted a re-edition of the nylon bag, but this time it was made from recycled nylon, which stole the hearts of celebrity fashionistas. These are just a handful of iconic moments that Prada has had throughout the years, highlighting the standout nature that continues to capture the attention and hearts of the fashion elite.
Miuccia didn’t stop with Prada – in 1993 she founded her own fashion brand Miu Miu. First positioned as the more flamboyant, naughty sister to Prada it is now a fully-fledged brand of its own. Miu Miu has undoubtedly captured the hearts of many – from celebrities to the wealthy Gen Z’s with its overtly feminine designs that are provocative and push the boundaries. Miu Miu is another example of Miuccia’s immense talent and success in creating and developing a luxury brand.
Both Prada and Miu Miu expanded massively throughout the 90s and 2000s, making their mark on the fashion world. Both Prada and Miu Miu success has resulted in Miuccia receiving an impressive number of formal accomplishments. In 2004 Miuccia received the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) International Designer Award and the first International Designer of the Year at the 2013 British Fashion Awards. In 2017, she is listed as the 79th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In 2018, the British Fashion Council awarded Miuccia Prada the Outstanding Achievement Award. Most recently, in October 2021, Miuccia Prada was recognized with the John B. Fairchild Honor for Lifetime Achievement by WWD magazine, celebrating her enduring influence on fashion. The numerous awards that Miuccia has received are a true reflection of her fashion genius!