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Miuccia Prada

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Miuccia Bianchi Prada
Prada in 2011
Maria Bianchi

(1949-05-10) 10 May 1949 (age 75)
Milan, Italy
EducationUniversity of Milan (BA, PhD)
Occupation(s)Fashion designer, Businessperson
TitleCo-CEO and head designer, Prada
(m. 1978)
Children2,[1] including Lorenzo Bertelli
RelativesMario Prada (grandfather)
AwardsCouncil of Fashion Designers of America International Award (1993)

Miuccia Bianchi Prada (Italian: [ˈmjuttʃa ˈpraːda, miˈu-]; born Maria Bianchi [maˈriːa ˈbjaŋki] on 10 May 1949) is an Italian billionaire fashion designer and businesswoman. She is the head designer of Prada and the founder of its subsidiary Miu Miu.[1] As of October 2021, Forbes estimated her net worth at US$4.8 billion.[2] In August 2021, Bloomberg estimated her net worth to be $6.6 billion, ranking 430th in the world.[3]

The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, Miuccia Prada took over the family-owned luxury goods manufacturer in 1978. Since then, the company has acquired Jil Sander, Helmut Lang and shoemaker Church & Co.[4][5][6] In 2002, Prada opened her own contemporary art museum.[7]

In March 2013, Prada was named one of the fifty best dressed over-50s by Forbes.[8] The magazine listed her as the 75th most powerful woman in the world in 2014,[9] when she had an estimated net worth of $11.1 billion.[10]

Early life and education[edit]

Born Maria Bianchi[11] on 10 May 1949 in Milan, she took the name Miuccia Prada in the 1980s, after being adopted by an aunt.[11] Her biological parents were Luigi Bianchi and Luisa Prada. She has two older siblings, Albert and Marina.[11]

After attending Liceo Classico Berchet high school in Milan, Prada went to the University of Milan where she graduated with a degree in political science in 1971, while on the same time studying acting at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan.[12] In 1978, she subsequently obtained a PhD in political science from the same university.[1][13]


Early beginnings[edit]

Prada trained at the Teatro Piccolo to become a mime artist and performed for five years.[14] She was a member of the Italian Communist Party and was involved in the women's rights movement during the seventies in Milan.

Career at Prada[edit]

By the mid-Seventies,[15] Prada entered into her family's business of manufacturing luxury leather bags, a company established by her grandfather in 1913. She initially oversaw the design of accessories.[15] In 1978 she met her future husband and business partner, Patrizio Bertelli.[15]

Prada's first successful handbag design was in 1985. It was a line of black, finely-woven nylon handbags. By 1989, she designed and introduced her first women's ready-to-wear collection.[16] In 1995 she launched her first menswear line. The Miu Miu line was introduced in 1992 as a less expensive womenswear line inspired by her personal wardrobe. She named it after her own nickname, Miu Miu.[17]

In 1994, Prada showed her collections in both New York and London Fashion Weeks. She had already been exhibiting at Milan Fashion Week. Bertelli, Prada's husband, is responsible for the commercial side of products and Prada's retail strategy. The design house has grown into a conglomerate that includes labels such as Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, and Azzedine Alaïa. The company has expanded into leather goods, shoes, fragrances, and apparel for both men and women.[citation needed]

As of 2014, Prada is the co-CEO of Prada, together with her husband.[18]

In 2020, Prada presented her final collection as the brand's sole creative director; because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unveiled in a sequence of short films directed by artists including Martine Syms and Juergen Teller.[19] She has since been sharing that responsibility with Raf Simons.[19]

Other activities[edit]

In 2010, Prada designed costumes for the Verdi opera "Attila" at the New York City Metropolitan Opera House.[20]

Business philosophy[edit]

Prada deliberately avoids merging high art with fashion: "Art is for expressing ideas and for expressing a vision. My job is to sell."[14]


Awards and honours[edit]

Year Title
1993, 2004 International Award, awarded by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)[21]
1995, 1996, 1998 VH1 Fashion Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year[22]
2005 Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People[23]
2006 Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, awarded by the French Ministry of Culture[22]
2013 International Designer of the Year, awarded by the British Fashion Awards.[24]
2014 75th most powerful woman, selected by Forbes[9]
2015 Fashion Innovator of the Year, awarded by WSJ Magazine[25]
2015 Knight of the Grand Cross, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic[22]
2016 Woman of the Year Award, given by Glamour USA[26]
2018 Outstanding Achievement Award, given by the British Fashion Council[27]
2021 John B. Fairchild Honor for Lifetime Achievement by WWD magazine[28]


Along with designer Elsa Schiaparelli, Prada was the subject of the 2012 exhibition, "Impossible Conversations" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[29]


In early 2014, Prada and Patrizio Bertelli were put under investigation as part of a tax avoidance probe by Milan prosecutors.[30] By 2016, both paid more than 400 million euros ($429 million) to settle their tax positions.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Prada is married to Patrizio Bertelli, a businessman. Their two sons were born in 1988 and 1990, the elder being rally driver Lorenzo Bertelli.[32][33][34][35] The couple lives in the apartment where she was born.[36]

Prada is a collector of contemporary art and owns several artworks by Young British Artists.[14] She is friends with the artists Cindy Sherman and Francesco Vezzoli.[14]

Over several years, Prada acted as a godmother to a Luna Rossa boat nine times.[37]


  •  Italy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (21 December 2015)[38]


  1. ^ a b c Craven, Jo. "Miuccia Prada – Biography". Vogue. Archived from the original on 13 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Forbes profile: Miuccia Prada". Forbes. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Miuccia Prada". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 17 August 2021.
  4. ^ Journal, Deborah BallStaff Reporter of The Wall Street (10 September 1999). "Prada to Buy U.K. Shoemaker Church In Latest Bid to Shift to Luxury Goods". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  5. ^ "PRADA BUYS LANG OUT". British Vogue. 5 October 2004. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Prada Will Buy Control of Jil Sander". The New York Times. 31 August 1999. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  7. ^ Alexander, Hilary (15 October 2010). "Miuccia Prada to present the Turner Prize". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  8. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess; Mirren, Helen; Huffington, Arianna; Amos, Valerie (28 March 2013). "The 50 best dressed over-50s". The Guardian. London.
  9. ^ a b "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Miuccia Prada – In Photos: Billionaires 2014: The World's Richest Women". Forbes. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  11. ^ a b c Thomas, Dana (2007). Deluxe. New York: Penguin Press. p. 65.
  12. ^ Vespa, Bruno (6 November 2015). Donne d'Italia (in Italian). Mondadori. ISBN 978-88-520-6998-7. Retrieved 20 September 2023. Un mondo affascinante, mi piaceva frequentare ambienti diversi, ero curiosa di incontrare gente nuova che mi interessasse
  13. ^ "Miuccia Prada on Communism and Why She's Against Beauty". The Cut. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  14. ^ a b c d "73 Minutes with Miuccia Prada". New York Magazine. 28 May 2012.
  15. ^ a b c Susannah Frankel (February 21, 2004), Miuccia Prada: The feeling is Miuccia The Independent
  16. ^ Lauren Indvik (December 4, 2020), Miuccia Prada on breaking the luxury machine Financial Times.
  17. ^ "Miuccia Prada | Biography, Designs, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  18. ^ Davis, Peter G. (17 February 2010). "Muti and 'Attila' to Make Debuts at Metropolitan Opera". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  19. ^ a b Lauren Indvik (December 4, 2020), Miuccia Prada on breaking the luxury machine Financial Times.
  20. ^ "Miuccia Prada Becomes Co-CEO". British Vogue. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  21. ^ "The CFDA Awards: Designers on Display (washingtonpost.com)". www.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  22. ^ a b c "History". PradaGroup. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  23. ^ Betts, Kate (18 April 2005). "The 2005 TIME 100 – TIME". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  24. ^ Jones, Nina (2 December 2013). "Christopher Kane, Miuccia Prada Among Honorees at British Fashion Awards". WWD. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  25. ^ Graphics, WSJ.com News. "WSJ. Magazine: The 2015 Innovators Awards". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  26. ^ Glamour. "Glamour's Women of the Year 2016: Gwen Stefani, Simone Biles, Ashley Graham, and More Honorees". Glamour. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  27. ^ Natalie Theodosi (November 26, 2018), Miuccia Prada to Be Honored at Fashion Awards in London Women's Wear Daily.
  28. ^ Clark, Evan (24 September 2021). "WWD Honors to Recognize Miuccia Prada, Levi's, Target and More". WWD. Retrieved 20 January 2024.
  29. ^ "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations". www.metmuseum.org. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  30. ^ Manuela D’Alessandro and Isla Binnie (January 10, 2014), Prada owners under investigation for tax avoidance: sources Reuters.
  31. ^ Emilio Parodi (December 5, 2016), Prosecutors seek to close Prada CEO tax case: sources Reuters.
  32. ^ Gómez, Scarlet (4 July 2020). "Lorenzo Bertelli, el hijo piloto de Miuccia Prada que despunta en el imperio familiar".
  33. ^ Evans, David (4 June 2015). "WRC Commission president slams Lorenzo Bertelli's Portugal claims". Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  34. ^ "Prada's Scion Steps Off the Racetrack and Into the Executive Suite". Bloomberg.com. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  35. ^ "Miuccia Prada". Vogue Australia. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  36. ^ Susannah Frankel (February 21, 2004), Miuccia Prada: The feeling is Miuccia The Independent
  37. ^ Luisa Zargani (October 2, 2019), Prada’s Luna Rossa Unveiled Women's Wear Daily.
  38. ^ "Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana". www.quirinale.it. Retrieved 24 October 2022.

External links[edit]