Founder of Prada and fashion designer, Miuccia Prada, was born on May 10th, 1949, in Milan, Italy. Her destiny seemed to be sealed from birth; her mother’s family owned a leather goods business, that would see Miuccia taking the realms in 1978. Over the next twenty years, Prada would rise to the top of luxury brands in Italy and ultimately the world.
Miuccia Prada believes in authenticity and the cool factor of living a life that is entirely ours — enjoying a freedom from the opinions of others. It is because of this, Prada is known to be a rather rebellious designer and has been described as always being one step ahead, not caring about what others are doing. She is a leader and other fashion designers tend to follow her lead. On originality she says, “I always wanted to be different. I always wanted to be first.”
Prada is also unapologetically reserved; she dislikes clothing that is too revealing and the pretentious snobbery that is so prevalent within the fashion industry. Her skill is transforming classic staples into modern pieces — making the ordinary extraordinary. In 1985, Miuccia Prada debuted one of her brands trademarks — the nylon backpack. At a time, when the fashion industry was going through a conservative but opulent phase — with very bourgeoisie pieces reigning supreme, Prada’s casual backpack made the brands first of many statements; conveying a bold message throughout the industry that fashion should, perhaps, be used for living rather than living used for fashion. On creating she says, “What interests me most is when a work of art is no longer just an object, but also touches reality and life.”
It has always been one of Prada’s goals to make what society deems ugly beautiful. Although her brand has been very celebrated and successful — Miuccia Prada has not been immune to harsh criticism. Her fashion has been labelled as trashy and unattractive for defying industry norms – the attacks have come from both outside and inside the industry, by fashion greats like Giorgio Armani. Prada, however, is largely unfazed by the backlash, she feels that not hiding her ideas and having a purpose behind her passion is more important than yielding to the pressures of the industry. Regarding financial success, she believes “You cannot do something just for the money. You have to do things you believe in and eventually you will make money.” By staying true to her vision, Prada has accumulated a net worth of over 2 billion dollars. Miuccia Prada is inspired by ugliness and believes it is exciting and very human; able to see the perfection in having flaws, her vision stems from a truth that is available only through transparency. Her fashion is meant to be a voice for those without one. On her brand she says, “I think it is my job to speak through the clothes.
Miuccia Prada continues to inspire the fashion industry and the world with her designs that encourage others to simply be themselves. They are defiant yet delicate and challenge their audience in a way that very few brands do — by letting them decide who they are and what message they want to send out into the world. Prada never uses their logo on their designs; they believe that true fashion connoisseurs will be able to identify their brand upon seeing it. This is how Miuccia Prada has set herself apart — by deliberately not trying to. She is not trying to be anything but Miuccia. On interviews she says, “I generally have a problem with doing interviews, because the only way I can talk is if I say what I really think, otherwise it’s impossible. But sometimes what I think – and therefore what I say in interviews – is not always deemed politically correct.” Prada inspires us to speak to be heard, because we all have a point of view and deserve to have a voice in the world.
Author Bio: Toni Styles
Toni Styles, is a writer and blogger, living in Toronto, but born and raised in the Bahamas. She has edited several blogs over the years and had a weekly column featured in a leading Bahamian newspaper. She is currently working as an Outreach Associate with Powerful Outreach and as a writer for Toronto based fashion and art editorial, Novella Magazine.