Miuccia Prada is the co-chief executive and co-creative director of the Italian handbag and fashion label Prada, and the creative director of Miu Miu. In 2020 the Italian brand announced Raf Simons , who has previously designed for Jil Sander , Christian Dior and Calvin Klein , will be working alongside Miuccia Prada as co-creative director with equal responsibilities for creative decision-making.
The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada , Miuccia Prada 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 shoemakers Church’s and Car Shoe.
Prada completed a PhD in political science before studying to become a mime artiste, 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, in 1993, 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.
In 2014, the namesake designer stepped down as chairman of the company and joined her husband Patrizio Bertelli as co-chief executive.
Prada has received numerous accolades for her work, including the CFDA International Designer Award in 2004 and the first International Designer of the Year at the 2013 British Fashion Awards. As of 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 at The Fashion Awards 2018.