Miuccia Prada, the granddaughter of Prada founder Mario Prada, joined the family business at the iconic luxury fashion house in 1970 after earning a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Milan. When she inherited the business from her mother in the late 1970s, Prada was recognized for its quality craftsmanship, yet it was still a modest-sized company.
Miuccia introduced the concept of using pocone — a military-grade water-resistant nylon that feels like silk. Nylon revolutionized the fashion house’s business, with the first Prada nylon backpack released to universal acclaim in 1984. Soon the durable, water-resistant material was incorporated into Prada’s ready-to-wear collections for both men and women. No one had previously considered nylon a part of luxury fashion, and it wasn’t long before the family-owned company best known for its luggage was leading modern style that emphasized function as much as form.
Characterized by clean lines and a refined elegance that signaled the new direction of the legacy brand, Miuccia debuted her first ready-to-wear collection for women in Fall/Winter 1988. More inventive fashion would follow in the ensuing years, such as the 1993 launch of the more affordable Miu Miu line, which was aimed at a younger audience, and the introduction of Prada Sport in 1997 — a collection now widely seen as prescient for its embrace of athleisure.
Miu Miu is largely known for its vintage day dresses, shoes and bags, and embodies its creator’s unconventional, effervescent and contemporary femininity in a style that is a delightful departure from the traditional chic of its parent brand.
Today, Miuccia still heads the fresh, colorful and quirky Miu Miu line, and its widely loved handbags continue to be upbeat, daring and youthful. The brand is embraced by celebrities with a similar sense of sartorial rebellion, like Madonna, Drew Barrymore and Chloë Sevigny.