The youngest daughter of Mario Prada, Miuccia Prada has transformed her family’s modest leather goods house into one of fashion’s ready to wear powerhouses. Prada is now the flagship brand of the publicly listed Prada Group, which includes Miu Miu and shoe makers Church’s and Car Shoe.
Prada completed a PhD in political science before studying to become a mime, joining the communist party and working at Milan’s Piccolo Teatro. She entered the family business in 1978 and eventually began designing for her family’s then accessories house in 1985, producing a line of black lightweight backpacks that were an immediate success.
Three years later with the encouragement of her husband Patrizio Bertelli, Prada debuted her womenswear line in 1988, which she described as "uniforms for the slightly disenfranchised." She would add Miu Miu, a secondary line, which now shows in Paris and has become a power brand in its own right. In 1995 Prada released her first menswear line.
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art opened ‘An Impossible Conversation,’ a retrospective of Prada and Italian couturier Elsa Schiaparelli in 2012. Prada was interviewed for the exhibit, and filmed by Baz Lurhman. She said, “I never thought people would want to wear clothes with monkeys and bananas on them. It gave me great insight into people, into how willing people are to put themselves out there. Fashion is an incredible tool for understanding people, for understanding the world.”
Mrs Prada was awarded the CFDA International Designer Award in 2004.