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, South East England. Both his grandfather and great-grandfather were master tailors. Barrett studied at both Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art in London. Immediately after his graduation, 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 Prada 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 began in 1999.
His eponymous label opened his first flagship store in Tokyo, Japan, within a year of starting his own-name business. In 2002, Neil Barrett staged his debut catwalk show as part of Milan menswear fashion week. In addition to his own label, Neil Barrett has collaborated with Puma on a collection of sports shoes. In 2003, he was named creative director for a series of Puma technical collections, starting with Italy’s National Football Team, for whom he created both training and formal wear exclusively. In 2006, Neil Barrett expanded into womenswear.
In 2009, Neil Barrett invested in its production division, based in Italy. 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 also coincided with continued belief in focusing on fabrics suppliers, new technologies, and artisan producers in Italy.
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.