Miuccia Prada

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Miuccia Prada
Born (1949-05-10) May 10, 1949 (age 64)
Milan, Italy
Nationality Italian
Education Ph.D. in political science[1]
Occupation Fashion designer
Religion Roman Catholic [1]
Spouse(s) Patrizio Bertelli
Children 2 sons (born 1988, 1990) [1]
Awards Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award (1993)


Miu Miu

Miuccia Prada (Italian pronunciation: [ˌmjuʧːa ˈpɾaːda] born Maria Bianchi; 10 May 1949 in Milan, Italy) is the Italian fashion designer and entrepreneur behind Prada, known for its understated, minimalist, classic, cool, and comfortable luxury, and Miu Miu.[1]

The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, founder of the eponymous company, according to Forbes.com's "The World's Richest People 2001," she and husband, Patrizio Bertelli "took over the family-owned luxury goods manufacturer in 1978. Since then, they've turned it into a fashion powerhouse, acquiring Jil Sander, Helmut Lang and shoemaker Church & Co." Herself a contemporary art collector, in 2002, she opened a contemporary art space, Fondazione Prada, which exhibits work by various international artists.[2] She is consistently listed on best-dressed lists: In March 2013, she was one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian.[3] She also has a Ph.D. in political science.

Early life and education[edit]

Born Maria Bianchi[4] on May 10, 1949 in Milan, Italy, she took the name Miuccia Prada in the 1980s, after being adopted by a maiden[clarification needed] aunt.[5] Her parents were Luigi Bianchi and his wife, the former Luisa Prada, and she has two Older siblings, Albert and Marina.[5] She attended the high school Liceo Classico Berchet in Milan and graduated with a PhD in political science[where?][1]

Early career[edit]

She trained (at the Teatro Piccolo) to study to become a mime and performed as a mime for five years.[why?][6] She was a known member of the Communist party and a champion for women’s rights during the seventies in Milan. In 1978 she entered into her family’s business of manufacturing luxury leather bags, a company established by her grandfather in 1913. Around the same time she met her now husband and business partner, Patrizio Bertelli.


In 1985, she had her first hit when she designed a line of black, finely-woven nylon handbags. By 1989, she designed and introduced her first women’s ready-to-wear collection that was critically acclaimed; menswear followed in 1995. Miu Miu, after her nickname, was introduced in 1992 as a less expensive womenswear line inspired by her personal wardrobe. She was honored with the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award in 1993. The following year she showed her collections in both New York and London fashion weeks, although already a staple of Milan fashion week. Bertelli, Miuccia’s husband, is still the predominant business force in the company responsible for the commercial side of products and Prada’s retail strategy. The design house has grown into an international conglomerate that added labels such as Fendi, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, and Azzedine Alaia to its portfolio of brands. Miuccia Prada is known for her understated, minimalist, classic, cool, and comfortable luxury. The company has expanded into leather goods, shoes, fragrances, and apparel for both men and women. Prada currently has about 250 stores in 65 countries.

Business philosophy[edit]

She eschews merging high art with fashion, saying "Art is for expressing ideas and for expressing a vision. My job is to sell."[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

She announced the winner of the 2010 Turner Prize.[2]

On 2 December 2013, she was awarded the first International Designer of the Year at the 2013 British Fashion Awards at the London Coliseum.[7]

Tax evasion[edit]

Miuccia Prada was investigated for tax evasion[when?]. She allegedly transferred the seat of the label to holding companies abroad to avoid paying around £390million (€470million) to Italian authorities[when?]. Miuccia Prada, CEO Patrizio Bertelli and accountant Marco Salomoni have been named in the probe, which is for possible undeclared or false tax claims. [8] [9]

Popularity in Italy[edit]

Despite this, many of her countrymen and women think she should run for political office in Italy.[6]

Personal life[edit]

She is a collector of contemporary art and owns several artworks by Young British Artists (YBAs)[6] including Damien Hirst. She is personal friends with artist Cindy Sherman.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e http://www.vogue.com/voguepedia/Miuccia_Prada
  2. ^ a b Hillary Alexamder, "Miuccia Prada to present the Turner Prize," The Daily Telegraph, October 15, 2010. Retrieved 22-11-10.
  3. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess; Mirren, Helen; Huffington, Arianna; Amos, Valerie (28 March 2013). "The 50 best-dressed over 50s". The Guardian (London). 
  4. ^ Dana Thomas, Deluxe, New York: Penguin Press, 2007
  5. ^ a b Dana Thomas, Deluxe, New York: Penguin Press, 2007, page 65
  6. ^ a b c d e "73 Minutes with Miuccia Prada". New York. May 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ Jones, Nina (2 December 2013). "Christopher Kane, Miuccia Prada Among Honorees at British Fashion Awards". WWD. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Fashion designer Miuccia Prada, granddaughter of company founder Mario, is investigated over £400million tax evasion". Daily Mail (London). 
  9. ^ "Prada Said to Be Under Investigation for Tax Evasion". Bloomberg. 

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