Neil Barrett is a menswear designer who was instrumental in creating Prada's men's line and has since expanded his eponymous line into womenswear.
Barrett was born in Devon, Southeast England. Both his grandfather and great-grandfather were master tailors. He studied at both Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art in London. Immediately after graduating he was recruited to work with Gucci, where he was appointed senior men's designer.
After five years at Gucci, Barrett was approached by Patrizio Bertelli of Prada, where he was instrumental in establishing the house's menswear line. Barrett's work under the Prada label also established a blueprint of minimal menswear that combines luxurious fabrics and Italian craftsmanship with high-tech sportswear. This approach to the masculine wardrobe also formed the foundation of the Neil Barrett label, which he began in 1999.
His eponymous label opened its first flagship store in Tokyo, Japan, within a year of starting out as a business. In 2002, Barrett staged his debut catwalk show as part of Milan fashion week men's. In 2003, he was named creative director of a series of technical collections at Puma, with which he has also collaborated to produce a collection of sports shoes. His work with the sportswear brand included exclusive sportswear and formal wear designs for Italy’s national football team.
In 2006, Neil Barrett expanded into womenswear and in 2009 invested in its Italy-based production division. Production, distribution, and delivery of the brand are based in Tuscany, near Florence, with 85 percent of the collection made in Italy. Moreover, the decision to reinvest in the company coincided with continued belief in focusing on fabrics suppliers, new technologies, and artisan producers in Italy. In February 2019 the brand opened its first standalone store in the UK, a flagship in London's Mayfair area.
Barrett has provided wardrobe elements for movie productions including Spiderman 2 and Spiderman 3, I-Robot, and Ghostrider. His shirts were used by Justin Timberlake for his The 20/20 Experience World Tour and the music video for Take Back The Night.