In 1913 the first Prada store was opened in Milan, Italy. The store was opened by brothers Mario and Martino Prada they named it, Fratelli Prada, translating to ‘Prada Brothers’ and sold leather goods such as bags and travel accessories.
By 1919, the brand was given the honor of becoming the Official Supplier of the Italian Royal House. The recognition of this allowed Prada to display the House of Savoy coat of arms and knotted rope design as part of its logo, making them the benchmark for Italian aristocratic brands. The royal symbol still remains part of the company’s logo today due to their consistency in pleasing those of higher class with their quality of products.
By 1950, Prada had expanded out of Italy and was fast becoming a well-known brand internationally. Due to the social ideologies of the time, Mario Prada believed women had no place working anywhere other than within the home; however, when his only son had no interest in taking over the business, it was his daughter Luisa Prada that took over, and ran the brand for nearly 20 years.
By the time Luisa’s daughter, Miuccia Prada, became the head of the company, its success had shrunk and only one store remained open. Miuccia spent no time putting life back into the fading brand and brought in Patrizio Bertelli, a young leather goods business owner, to allow a partnership both professional and personal to grow, which reflected into the new creations that emerged. Patrizio and Miuccia’s complimentary working style allowed them to blend her sophisticated creativity with his entrepreneurial intuition bringing Prada back from the brink and launching them back into popularity.
Miuccia’s first creation came in the nylon backpack, made from a special nylon that had been pioneered by her grandfather Mario Prada. In 1985 the collection had been expanded and the new bags all featured the triangular logo that has become to define the brand.
The launch of womenswear occurred in 1988, and with Prada getting a catwalk show for their new ready-to-wear line in Milan Fashion Week which has now remained a constant every year since, the fashion house become a global success.
The early 90’s were busy for the brand as the new Miu Miu line launched; a selection that was aimed at a younger customer which was reflected in the lower cost. Shortly after Prada ventured into adding a menswear collection that would then be part of the Milan runway show in 1993.
Whilst still in creative control, Miuccia chose to blend art and fashion in their marketing, the company set up a non-profit organization that enabled upcoming designers and artists from Italy and beyond to showcase their work in collaboration with Prada, named Fondazione Prada (Prada Foundation).
The infamous Nylon Collection was bought to life in 1994; the coveted fabric that she had used for the backpack, created by her grandfather, was to be used in the womenswear line. This expansion with the fabric was a smart business move from Miuccua as it allowed her to cut down costs whilst still providing the quality that Prada was now known for.
However, in the early 2000’s Prada hit difficult financial times, and other established brands like LVMH were not about to make things any easier. The competitive world of fashion has only kept growing and with the internet allowing customers to compare brands far easier, it was creative difference that would make sales.
To bring the brand forward Prada expanded their menswear line in 2018, instantly increasing their sales once more. They rereleased old favourites, including some of the Nylon Collection; this was criticised by some due to the belief this lacked creativity and thought, however the designs shot back up in popularity and it was a decision that brought the brand back into the forefront.
Today the brand is still the established powerhouse it set out to be, a common favourite with fashion influencers all over the world, that have brought Prada to a new younger, modern audience. Prada’s ability to change and adapt with the social fluctuations of its customers and identify what will work and when, has meant it’s top spot of Italian fashion has always remained.
Here at Timeless Vintage, our stock of Prada collections showcases how varied their customers can be. All of the pieces are checked by our expert team, and with the Prada quality within them, they are built to last for years to come.
Remember, with Timeless Vintage, you are guaranteed to get the best, designer vintage items that money can buy.
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