In 1913, Mario Prada and his brother Martino opened a leather goods shop called Fratelli Prada, which in English translates to “Prada Brothers”. Mario’s daughter Luisa Prada was the one who became his successor and ran the company for 20 years. In 1970, luisa’s own daughter Miuccia joined the company and eventually took over in 1978. Miuccia began making waterproof backpacks out of Pocone. She met Patrizio Bertelli in 1977. At the age of 17, Patrizio had started his own leather goods business. After joining the company soon after, he advised Miuccia on better decisions for the prada company. With Patrizio as her business manager, Miuccia was able to implement more time into design. In 1979 she released her first set of backpacks and totes. In 1983, prada opened a second boutique in Milan reminiscent to the original shop but with a sleek and modern contrast to it. In 1984, prada released it’s classic black nylon tote as well as it’s shoe line. The classic Prada handbag became an overnight sensation in 1985.
In 1987 Miuccia and Patrizio got married. In 1989 prada launched it’s women’s ready-to-wear collection. Prada’s popularity rose steeply when the fashion world took notice of it’s clean lines, luxurious fabrics and basic colors.
Prada became a premium status symbol in the 90’s. Reported sales showed $31.7 Million in 1998. Patrizio de Marco took over the company in the US and prominently displayed Prada bags in department stores.
In 1992, Miuccia launched a high fashion brand called Miu Miu, which was her nickname. By 1993, Prada was awarded the ‘Council of Fashion Designers of America’ award for accessories and in 1995 as ‘Designer of the Year’.