Miuccia Prada was born on May 10, 1949 in Milan, Italy. After graduating with a PhD in political science, Miuccia attended Teatro Piccolo to study and perform as a mime for five years. In 1978 she entered into her family’s business of manufacturing luxury leather bags, a company established by her grandfather in 1913. In 1985, Miuccia had her first hit when she designed a line of black, finely woven nylon handbags that instantly became a hit. By 1989, Miuccia designed and introduced her first women’s ready-to-wear collection that was critically acclaimed; men’s wear followed in 1995. Miu Miu was introduced in 1992 as a less expensive women’s wear line that was inspired by Miuccia’s personal wardrobe and nickname. Miuccia was honoured with the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of American International Award in 1993. The following year she showed her collections in both New York’s and London’s fashion week, although she had already become a staple of Milan’s fashion week. Miuccia’s husband, Patrizio Bertelli, is still the predominant business force in the company who is 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, Jill 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.
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