Miuccia Bianchi Prada
Prada in 2011
10 May 1949
|Education||University of Milan (BA, PhD)|
Patrizio Bertelli (m. 1978)
|Children||2, including Lorenzo Bertelli|
|Relatives||Mario Prada (grandfather)|
|Awards||Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award (1993)|
Miuccia Bianchi Prada (Italian pronunciation: [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. As of March 2019, Forbes estimates her net worth at US$2.4 billion.
The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, she took over the family-owned luxury goods manufacturer in 1978. Since then, the company has acquired Jil Sander, Helmut Lang and shoemaker Church & Co. In 2002, Prada opened her own contemporary art gallery.
In March 2013, she was named one of the fifty best dressed over-50s by Forbes. The magazine listed her as the 75th most powerful woman in the world in 2014, when she had an estimated net worth of $11.1 billion.
Early life and education
Born Maria Bianchi on 10 May 1949 in Milan, she took the name Miuccia Prada in the 1980s, after being adopted by an aunt. Her biological parents were Luigi Bianchi and his wife, Luisa Prada. She has two older siblings, Albert and Marina. She attended Liceo Classico Berchet high school in Milan and graduated with a PhD in political science at the University of Milan.
She trained at the Teatro Piccolo to become a mime and performed for five years. She was a member of the Italian Communist Party and involved in the women's rights movement 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 future husband and business partner, Patrizio Bertelli.
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. 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.
In 1993 she was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award. The following year she 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.
She is now the co-CEO for Prada, together with her husband.
Awards and honors
In 1995, 1996, and 1998, she received the VH1 Fashion Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year.
In December 2013, she was awarded the first International Designer of the Year at the 2013 British Fashion Awards. In 2014, she was listed as the 75th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
In November 2015, she received the WSJ Magazine Fashion Innovator of the Year award.  In December 2015, she received the highest honorary title of the Order of Merit of the Republic, the title of Knight of the Grand Cross.
In 2016, she won Glamour USA's Woman of the Year Award.
- Craven, Jo. "Miuccia Prada - Biography". Vogue. Archived from the original on 13 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Forbes profile: Miuccia Prada". Forbes. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- 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.
- Cartner-Morley, Jess; Mirren, Helen; Huffington, Arianna; Amos, Valerie (28 March 2013). "The 50 best dressed over-50s". The Guardian. London.
- "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Miuccia Prada - In Photos: Billionaires 2014: The World's Richest Women". Forbes. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Thomas, Dana (2007). Deluxe. New York: Penguin Press. p. 65.
- "73 Minutes with Miuccia Prada". New York Magazine. 28 May 2012.
- 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.
- "History". PradaGroup. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- "The CFDA Awards: Designers on Display (washingtonpost.com)". www.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- Betts, Kate (18 April 2005). "The 2005 TIME 100 - TIME". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations". www.metmuseum.org. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- Jones, Nina (2 December 2013). "Christopher Kane, Miuccia Prada Among Honorees at British Fashion Awards". WWD. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Graphics, WSJ.com News. "WSJ. Magazine: The 2015 Innovators Awards". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- Glamour. "Glamour's Women of the Year 2016: Gwen Stefani, Simone Biles, Ashley Graham, and More Honorees". Glamour. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- Evans, David. "WRC Commission president slams Lorenzo Bertelli's Portugal claims". Retrieved 16 November 2018.
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