The History & Legacy of Prada

For over a century, the House of Prada has been synonymous with luxurious excellence. Wondering how Prada became a billion rand empire? Keep reading for a brief history of Prada. 


Prada’s Beginnings

Prada was created by Mario Prada and his brother Martino in 1913. It started a leather goods shop by the name of Fratelli Prada, which is Italian for ‘Prada Brothers’. 


The first Prada store opened in 1913 in Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II in Milan, Italy. Fratelli Prada included leather goods, bags, and steamer trunks. 

In 1919, Prada was awarded the title of Official Supplier of the Italian Royal House. This prestigious distinction allowed Prada to display the House of Savoy coat of arms and knotted rope design in its trademark logo. This honour is what makes Prada a symbol of the Italian aristocracy.

Passing The Prada Legacy

As was customary at the time, Mario Prada passed the business down to his son. Ironically, his only son had no interest in the family business. However, his daughter Luisa Prada was willing to take over the family business as Mario’s successor and ran it for almost twenty years before handing it over to her daughter, Miuccia. 

Expanding The Business & The Family

Miuccia initially devoted herself to designing accessories. But ‘Fratelli Prada’ changed forever when Miuccia met Patrizio Bertelli, a 24-year-old Italian leather good businessman. Bertelli convinced Miuccia that she should change her business model and focus on luxury luggage pieces. 

He also advised her to stop importing from England and instead source leather locally. That was a decisive point in the formation of Prada, the fashion as we know it today.

Prada Stores

Prada began to grow and gain attention. In 1983, Prada opened a second boutique in the centre of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan’s shopping heart, on the site of the previous historic ‘London House’ emporium run by Felice Bellini from 1870 to the 1960s, reminiscent of the original shop, but with a sleek and modern contrast to it. 

Prada expanded its network of directly-owned stores into markets all over the world. 

Lucky Colour Green

The stores were known for their clean aesthetic with a unique green hue. The colour soon was known as ‘Prada Green’. The first ‘green store’ opened in Milan in Via Della Spiga. Later, they opened boutiques in London, Madrid, Tokyo, Paris, and Tokyo, amongst others.

Becoming Famous

Prada launched its women’s ready-to-wear collection in 1988, and the designs came to be known for their dropped waistlines and narrow belts. Prada’s popularity increased when the fashion world took notice of its clean lines, opulent fabrics, and basic colours.

Miu Miu

In 1992, the high fashion brand Miu Miu, named after Miuccia’s nickname, launched. Miu Miu catered to younger consumers, such as celebrities.

In 1993, Miuccia Prada opened a subsidiary company called ‘Miu Miu’, which is also a pet name given to her by her family. This company is targeted toward younger consumers who also enjoy luxury items. 

Where To Shop Prada in South Africa

Shop authentic pre-owned Prada and Miu Miu handbags, shoes, clothing and more at Bvaultre. Browse our online store and get luxurious items delivered to your doorstep or visit us directly at one of our boutiques. 

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