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Prada | Success Story of the Italian Luxury Fashion House




Prada is an Italian Luxury Fashion House founded by Mario Prada in 1913. The company’s product line includes leather handbags, travel accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear, perfumes, and other fashion accessories. It has an annual revenue of more than $4 billion. Prada has 635 boutiques operating worldwide. The brand’s headquarters are in Milan, Italy. 

About The Founder

Mario Prada and his brother Fratelli Prada, famously known as the Prada Brothers, founded the fashion house in 1913. The company had its headquarters in Milan, Italy. The shop sold leather goods and imported English steamer trunks and handbags.

 Mario Prada did not believe that women should have a role in business, so he prevented female family members from entering his company. Mario’s son harbored no interest in the industry, so Mario’s daughter Luisa Prada took the helm of Prada as his successor and ran it for almost twenty years. Her daughter, Miuccia Prada, joined the company in 1970, eventually taking over for her mother in 1978.

Beginning of the Fashion House

Prada became a significant status symbol in the 1990s. The sales touched $31.7 million in 1998. Patrizio di Marco, who was earlier working for the house in Asia, took over the growing business in the United States of America. 

The company launched men’s ready-to-wear collections in the mid-1990s. The sales were at $210 million by 1994, with clothing accounting for 20% of it. In 1997, the brand made a revenue of $674 million and opened another store in Milan, Italy, in the same year.

The 2000s

On 23 September 2008, Prada organized their Spring/Summer 2009 Ready-to-Wear fashion show in Milan. The show got infamous coverage because all the models of the show were stumbling and staggering. Two models stumbled down in front of the photographers, and some took off their heels to walk.

One more model, Sigrid Agren, had to stop and go back during the final walk as it was difficult for her to keep walking in her high heels any longer. One model interviewed right after the show declared: “I had a panic attack; my hands were shaking. The heels were so high.” The designer Miuccia Prada did not blame the height of the shoes. But the little silk socks inside, which were slippery and moved inside the shoes, preventing the models’ feet from having a correct grip on the sole.

In The 2010s

The brand planned on increasing its revenue to $5 billion by 2010. In 2015, Prada’s turnover was 3,551.7 million euros, up 1 percent from 2014, while its gross operating profit fell 16.5 percent to 954.2 million euros.

In February 2015, a report in The New York Times said about the use of ostrich leather by luxury fashion brands and the brutal methods by which it is taken from the flightless birds. It was based on a months-long investigation conducted by PETA and namechecked Prada as one of fashion’s key brands dealing in products made from ostrich skin.

In July 2016, the brand’s clothing became available to purchase online for the first time through Net-a-Porter and Mytheresa.

As of March 2018, Prada’s sales turned positive after declining since 2014, and their stock jumped 14% at the news. 

Stating that Prada would be focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products.

Interesting Facts About Prada

  • Prada is a luxury fashion house based in Milan, Italy, that was founded in 1913 by “Mario Prada”.
  • The company’s signature logo is a triangle with a triangle inside, which represents the Pyramids of Giza.
  • Prada is known for its high-end clothing, shoes, and accessories, and its products are often associated with luxury and exclusivity.
  • In 1978, Mario Prada’s granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, took over the company and expanded the business to include a range of products, including handbags, luggage, and fragrances.
  • In the 1990s, Prada became known for its minimalist and sleek designs, which were popularized by celebrities and fashion influencers.
  • Prada has also ventured into other areas, such as eyewear, home decor, and a line of luxury cars.
  • In 2012, Prada became the first fashion company to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Prada Controversies

Prada Female Discrimination CaseIn 2018, Prada faced criticism for alleged discrimination against female employees. According to reports, female employees at Prada were paid less than their male counterparts and were passed over for promotions. Prada denied the allegations and stated that it was committed to equal pay and opportunities for all of its employees.
Blackface ImageryIn December 2018, Prada faced backlash after it released a series of accessories, including keychains and figurines, that were accused of featuring racist and blackface imagery. Prada apologized for the incident and pulled the products from stores.
Investigation on Tax EvasionIn 2013, Prada faced allegations of tax evasion in Italy. The company was accused of using a network of offshore companies to avoid paying millions of euros in taxes. Prada denied the allegations and stated that it fully complied with all tax laws. The case was eventually resolved, but it led to increased scrutiny of Prada’s business practices.

Also Read: Chanel | Success Story of the French Luxury Fashion House

What is Prada famous for?

Miuccia Prada, original name Maria Bianchi, (born May 10, 1949, Milan, Italy), Italian fashion designer best known as the head designer at the Prada fashion house. She is renowned for using minimalist designs to achieve a traditional style with modern influence.

What is Prada's style?

Prada clothes and accessories have been described as both classic and eccentric, frumpy but hip, marked by an ambiguous techno-retro sensibility. On the one hand, Prada’s style is modern, drawing on northern Italian traditions of discreet elegance and fine craftsmanship.

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