Prada
Overview
 
Prada S.p.A. (ˈpɾaːda) is an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 fashion label specializing in luxury goods for men and women (ready-to-wear, leather accessories, shoes, luggage and hats), founded by Mario Prada
Mario Prada
Mario Prada was the founder and original designer of fashion label Prada, a company specializing in many high fashion goods for both men and women, including but not limited to: shoes, handbags, luggage, and leather goods.-See also:...

.
The company was started in 1913 by Mario Prada and his brother Martino as a leathergoods shop - Fratelli Prada (English: Prada Brothers) - in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. Initially, the shop sold leather goods and imported English steamer trunks and handbags.

Mario Prada did not believe that women should have a role in business, and so he prevented female family members from entering into his company.
Encyclopedia
Prada S.p.A. (ˈpɾaːda) is an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 fashion label specializing in luxury goods for men and women (ready-to-wear, leather accessories, shoes, luggage and hats), founded by Mario Prada
Mario Prada
Mario Prada was the founder and original designer of fashion label Prada, a company specializing in many high fashion goods for both men and women, including but not limited to: shoes, handbags, luggage, and leather goods.-See also:...

.

Foundations

The company was started in 1913 by Mario Prada and his brother Martino as a leathergoods shop - Fratelli Prada (English: Prada Brothers) - in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. Initially, the shop sold leather goods and imported English steamer trunks and handbags.

Mario Prada did not believe that women should have a role in business, and so he prevented female family members from entering into his company. Ironically, Mario's son harbored no interest in the business, so it was his daughter Luisa Prada who took the helm of Prada as his successor, and ran it for almost twenty years. Her own daughter, Miuccia Prada
Miuccia Prada
Miuccia Prada is an Italian fashion designer and entrepreneur. She also has a Ph.D. in Political Science.Prada was born in Milan, the youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, founder of the company. According to: Forbes.com's The World's Richest People 2001: "She and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli,...

, joined the company in 1970, eventually taking over for her mother in 1978.

Miuccia began making waterproof backpacks out of Pocone. She met Patrizio Bertelli in 1977, an Italian who had begun his own leathergoods business at the age of 17, and he joined the company soon after. He advised Miuccia—and she followed the advice—on better decisions for the Prada company. It was his advice to discontinue importing English goods and to change the existing luggage styles.

Development of Prada

Miuccia inherited the company in 1978 by which time sales were up to U.S. $450,000. With Bertelli alongside her as business manager, Miuccia was allowed time to implement her creativity onto design. She would go on to incorporate her ideas into the house of Prada that would change it.

She released her first set of backpacks and totes in 1979. They were made out of a tough military spec black nylon that her grandfather had used as coverings for steamer trunks. Initial success was not instant, as they were hard to sell due to the lack of advertising and high-prices, but the lines would go on to become her first commercial hit.

Next, Miuccia and Bertelli sought out wholesale accounts for the bags in upscale department stores and boutiques worldwide. In 1983, Prada opened a second boutique in Milan reminiscent to the original shop, but with a sleek and modern contrast to it. It was opened in the shopping district of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a double arcade in the center of Milan, Italy. The structure is formed by two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala....

.

The next year, Prada released its definitive black nylon tote. That same year, the house of Prada began expansion across continental Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 by opening locations in prominent shopping districts within Florence, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, and New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. A shoe line was also released in 1984. In 1985, Miuccia released the "classic Prada handbag" that became an overnight sensation. Although practical and sturdy, its sleek lines and craftsmanship exuded an offhand aura of luxury that has become the Prada signature.

In 1987, Miuccia and Bertelli married. Prada launched its women's ready-to-wear collection in 1989, and the designs came to be known for their dropped waistlines and narrow belts. Prada's popularity skyrocketed when the fashion world took notice of its clean lines, opulent fabrics, and basic colors.

The logo for the label was not as obvious a design element as those on bags from other prominent luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton Malletier – commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton , or shortened to LV – is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes,...

. It tried to market its lack of prestigious appeal, including the apparel, was its image of "anti-status" or "reverse snobbery."

1990s

Prada's originality made it one of the most influential fashion houses, and the brand became a premium status symbol in the 1990s. The signature Prada look encompassed luxurious fabrics in mostly black, browns, grays, greens, and creams to create simple, yet provocative styles. Life in Italy states that clothing was "sexy and spoke of confidence without revealing too much skin. Accessories included skinny leather belts, elegant high heeled shoes, and of course, the classic handbag."

Sales were reported at L 70 billion, or US$31.7 million, in 1998. Partrizio di Marco took charge of the growing business in the United States after working for the house in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

. He was successful in having the Prada bags prominently displayed in department stores, so that they could become a hit with fashion editors. Prada's continued success was attributed to its "working-class" theme which, Ginia Bellafante at the New York Times Magazine proclaimed, "was becoming chic in the high-tech, IPO-driven early 1990s." Furthermore, now husband and wife, Miuccia and Bertelli led the Prada label on a cautious expansion, making products hard to come by.

In 1992, the high fashion brand Miu Miu
Miu Miu
Miu Miu is a high fashion brand from the Prada fashion house, opened in 1993 and headed by Miuccia Prada. The name of the collection is taken from Miuccia Prada’s nickname.-Stores:...

, named after Miuccia's nickname, launched. Miu Miu catered to younger consumers, such as celebrities. By 1993 Prada was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America
Council of Fashion Designers of America
The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. is a not-for-profit trade association of over 350 of America’s foremost fashion and accessory designers. As of 2009, Diane von Fürstenberg is the group's President and Steven Kolb is the Executive Director...

 award for accessories.

Men's ready-to-wear collections were launched in the mid-1990s. By 1994, sales were at US$210 million, with clothing sales accounting for 20% (expected to double in 1995). Prada won another award from the CFDA, in 1995 as a "designer of the year" 1996 witnessed the opening of the 18,000 ft² Prada boutique in Manhattan, New York, the largest in the chain at the time. By now the House of Prada operated in 40 locations worldwide, 20 of which were in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. The company owned eight factories and subcontracted work from 84 other manufacturers in Italy. Miuccia's Prada and Bertelli company were merged to create Prapar B.V. in 1996. The name, however, was later changed to Prada B.V. and Patrizio Bertelli was named Chief Executive Officer of the Prada luxury company.

In 1997, Prada posted the revenue at US$674 million. Another store in Milan opened that same year. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bertelli smashed the windows of the store a day before the opening, after he had become deeply unsatisfied with the set-up. Prada also acquired shares in the Gucci group, and later blamed Gucci for "aping his wife's designs." In June 1998, Bertelli gained 9.5% interests at US$260 million. Analysts began to speculate that he was attempting a take over of the Gucci group. The proposition seemed unlikely, however, because Prada was at the time still a small company and was in debt. Funding Universe states that "At the very least, Prada had a voice as one of Gucci's largest shareholders (a 10 percent holding would be required for the right to request a seat on the board) and would stand to profit tidily should anyone try to take over Gucci." However, Bertelli sold his shares to Moët-Hennessy • Louis Vuitton
LVMH
LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A., better known as LVMH, is a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate headquartered in Paris, Île-de-France, France. The company was formed after the 1987 merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy, a company formed after the 1971 merger...

 chairman Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault is a French business magnate who is best known as the chairman and CEO of the French conglomerate LVMH. According to Forbes Magazine, Arnault is the world's 4th and Europe's richest person, with a 2011 net worth of US$41 billion.-Education and business career:Arnault was born...

 in January 1998 for a profit of US$140 million. Arnault was in fact attempting a take over of Gucci. LVMH had been purchasing fashion companies for a while and already owned Dior
Christian Dior SA
Christian Dior S.A. is a French company which owns the high-fashion clothing producer and retailer Christian Dior Couture, as well as holding 42% of LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton, the world's largest luxury goods firm. Both Dior and LVMH are controlled and chaired by businessman Bernard...

, Givenchy
Givenchy
Givenchy is a French brand of clothing, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics with Parfums Givenchy.The house of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy and is a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter...

, and other luxury brands. Gucci, however, managed to fend him off by selling a 45$stake to industrialist François Pinault
François Pinault
François Pinault is a French businessman who runs the retail company PPR. He is a friend of former French President Jacques Chirac....

, for US$3 billion. In 1998, the first Prada menswear boutique opened in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

.

Prada was determined to hold a leading portfolio of luxury brands, like the Gucci group and LVMH. Prada purchased 51% of Helmut Lang's company based in New York for US$40 million in March 1999. Lang's company was worth about US$100 million. Months later, Prada paid US$105 million to have full control of Jil Sander A.G., a German-based company with annual revenue of US$100 million. The purchase gained Prada a foothold in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, and months later Jil Sander resigned as chairwoman of her namesake company. Church & Company, an English shoes maker, also came under the control of Prada, when Prada bought 83% of the company at US$170 million. A joint venture between Prada and the De Rigo group was also formed that year to produce Prada eyewear. In October 1999, Prada joined with LVMH and beat Gucci to buy a 51% stake in the Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

-based Fendi S.p.A
Fendi
Fendi is an Italian high fashion house best known for its "baguette" handbags. It was launched in 1925 as a fur and leather shop in Rome, but today is a multinational luxury goods brand owned by LVMH...

. Prada's share of the purchase (25.5%) was worth US$241.5 million out of the reported US$520 million total paid by both Prada and LVMH. Prada took on debts of Fendi, as the latter company was not doing well financially.

These acquisitions elevated Prada to the top of the luxury goods market in Europe. Revenue tripled from that of 1996, to L 2 trillion. Despite apparent success, the company was still in debt.

A new look into the 21st century

The company's merger and purchasing sprees slowed in the 2000s. However, the company signed a loose agreement with Azzedine Alaia
Azzedine Alaia
Azzedine Alaïa is a Tunisian-born couturier and shoe designer, particularly successful since the 1980s.-Biography:Alaïa was born in Siliana, Tunisia on 7 June 1940. His parents were wheat farmers but his glamorous twin sister inspired his love for couture. A French friend of his mother fed Alaïa's...

. Skin care products in unit doses were introduced in the United States, Japan and Europe in 2000. A 30-day supply of cleansing lotion was marketed at the retail price of US$100. To help pay off debts of over US$850 million, the company planned on listing 30% of the company on the Milan Stock Exchange in June 2001. However, the offering slowed down after a decline in spending on luxury goods in the United States and Japan. In 2001, under the pressure of his bankers, Bertelli sold all of Prada's 25.5% share in Fendi to LVMH. The sale raised only US$295 million.

By 2006, the Helmut Lang
Helmut Lang (fashion brand)
The Helmut Lang fashion brand was created by Austrian fashion designer Helmut Lang in 1986. One of fashion’s most independent and visionary minds, Helmut Lang’s utilitarian designs came to define the 90’s...

, Amy Fairclough, and Jil Sander
Jil Sander
Heidemarie Jiline 'Jil' Sander is a minimalist German fashion designer and the founder of the Jil Sander fashion house....

 labels were sold. Jil Sander was sold to the private equity firm Change Capital Partners, which was headed by Luc Vandevelde, the chairman of Carrefour
Carrefour
Carrefour S.A. is an international hypermarket chain headquartered in Levallois-Perret, France. It is one of the largest hypermarket chains in the world...

, while the Helmut Lang label is now owned by Japanese fashion company Link Theory. Prada is still recovering from the Fendi debt. More recently, a 45% stake of the Church & Company brand has been sold to Equinox
Equinox
An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator...

.

According to Fortune
Fortune (magazine)
Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc. Founded by Henry Luce in 1930, the publishing business, consisting of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, grew to become Time Warner. In turn, AOL grew as it acquired Time Warner in 2000 when Time Warner was the world's largest...

, Betelli plans on increasing revenue of the company to US$5 billion by 2010.

Prada is the main buyer from the Turkish leather factory DESA, which was found guilty by the Turkish Supreme Court of illegally dismissing workers who joined a union. The Clean Clothes Campaign, a labor rights organization based in Europe, has called on Prada to ensure that freedom of association is respected at the factory.

The brand has been listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Hong Kong Stock Exchange
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in Hong Kong. It is Asia's third largest stock exchange in terms of market capitalization behind the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange and fifth largest in the world...

 in June 2011 which raised about $2.14 billion.

Runway shows

Previous Prada exclusives and openers who have gone on to success in the fashion world include unknown models and actors who work for cheap or for free including the still unknown Daria Werbowy
Daria Werbowy
Daria Werbowy is a Ukrainian Canadian model. She is perhaps best known as a spokesperson for the French beauty brand Lancôme.-Personal life:...

, Gemma Ward
Gemma Ward
Gemma Louise Ward is an Australian fashion model turned actress.-Early life:Gemma Ward was born on 3 November 1987 in Perth, Western Australia, the second of four children of Gary Ward, a doctor, and Claire, a nurse. She has an older sister, Sophie , and younger twin brothers, Oscar and Henry...

, Suvi Koponen
Suvi Koponen
Suvi Maria Koponen is a Finnish fashion model who rose to fame after winning the 2005 Mallikoulu contest in Finland, which can be compared with America's Next Top Model, although it is not affiliated with the Top Model franchise.Koponen has established a credible modeling career...

 and Sasha Pivovarova
Sasha Pivovarova
Sasha Pivovarova is a Russian model. She is perhaps best known for her consecutive 6-season run with Prada.-Modeling career:As an art history student at the Russian University for the Humanities, Pivovarova never dreamed of becoming a model until friend and photographer Igor Vishnyakov took photos...

, who went on to appear in Prada's ad campaigns for six consecutive seasons after opening the Prada fall 2005 runway show.

Prada boutiques

Prada has commissioned architects, most notably Rem Koolhaas
Rem Koolhaas
Remment Lucas Koolhaas is a Dutch architect, architectural theorist, urbanist and "Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design" at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, USA. Koolhaas studied at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam, at the Architectural...

 and Herzog & de Meuron
Herzog & de Meuron
Herzog & de Meuron Architekten, BSA/SIA/ETH is a Swiss architecture firm, founded and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland in 1978. The careers of founders and senior partners Jacques Herzog , and Pierre de Meuron , closely paralleled one another, with both attending the Swiss Federal Institute of...

, to design flagship stores in various locations. A duplex megastore was opened in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...

 at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is a shopping mall situated along the Bukit Bintang district in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This place was built on the site where former Bukit Bintang Girls' School, the oldest school in Kuala Lumpur that has been moved to Cheras as Sekolah Seri Bintang Utara on 2000...

 in late 2008. Prada commissioned an unusual multi-purpose building called the Prada Transformer
Prada Transformer
The Prada Transformer is an unusual building which has one of four different apparent shapes, depending on the function for which the building is needed at the moment. The building is roughly in the shape of a tetrahedron...

 in Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

. And 2009 saw the opening of a new store on Corso Venezia, Milan, designed by architect Robert Baciocchi, focussing on the Prada Made to Order collection.

Perfumes

  • PRADA for women, 2004
  • Tendre for women, 2006
  • PRADA pour Homme for men, 2006
  • Benjoin (Essence exclusive N°9) for women, 2007
  • Infusion d'Iris for women, 2007
  • Infusion d'Homme for men, 2008
  • L'eau ambrée for women, 2009
  • Prada Amber for men, 2011
  • Prada Candy for women, 2011.

LG Prada mobile phone

In May 2007, Prada began producing mobile phones with LG Electronics
LG Electronics
LG Electronics is a global electronics and telecommunications company headquartered in Yeouido, Seoul, South Korea. The company operates its business through five divisions: mobile communications, home entertainment, home appliance, air conditioning and business solution...

. Two mobile phones resulted from this collaboration: LG Prada (KE850)
LG Prada (KE850)
The LG KE850, also known as the LG Prada, is a touchscreen mobile phone made by LG Electronics. It was first announced on December 12, 2006. Images of the device appeared on websites such as Engadget Mobile on December 15, 2006. An official press release showing an image of the device appeared on...

 and LG Prada II (KF900)
LG Prada II (KF900)
The LG KF900, also known as the LG Prada II, is a touchscreen, with slide out qwerty keyboard, mobile phone made by LG Electronics. It is the second version of the Prada phone, following the original LG Prada . The phone's looks are basically the same as the original Prada, but the Prada II is...

.

Controversies

In March 2010 Prada was sued by a former manager of a Prada store for discrimination and harassment; she claimed that when she was manager her superior asked her to fire 15 employees who were "old, fat, disgusting or did not have the Prada look."

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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