At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Miuccia Prada – fashion designer

Talented businesswoman studied politics and mime


Photo of Muccia Prada
Miuccia Prada Bianchi
Miuccia Prada, the businesswoman behind the fashion label Prada, was born Maria Bianchi on this day in 1949 in Milan.

The youngest granddaughter of the fashion firm’s founder, Mario Prada, she took over the family business in 1978 having previously been a mime student and a member of the Italian Communist Party.

Since then the company, which is famous for its luxury goods, has gone from strength to strength and taken over other labels. Prada has been listed as the 75th most powerful woman in the world, worth an estimated $11 billion.

After graduating with a PhD in political science from the University of Milan, Maria Bianchi trained at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano in mime and was a performer for five years.

As a member of the Italian Communist party she became involved in the women’s rights movement.

She took the name Miuccia Prada in the 1980s, making her first impact on the fashion world with an unusual handbag design in 1985, which was followed by her first women’s ready-to-wear collection.

The Miu Miu line was introduced in 1992 as a less expensive womenswear line and was inspired by Prada’s own personal wardrobe and given her own nickname, Miu Miu.

She is now joint Chief Executive Officer of Prada with her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, who is responsible for the commercial side.

Photo of Prada Store in Milan
Prada's Milan store in the
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Travel tip:

The main Prada store in Milan is in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II just off Piazza del Duomo. The elegant, glass-roofed Galleria, which is lined with smart cafes and shops, was built in 1865 to connect Piazza del Duomo with Piazza della Scala and was opened in 1867 by the King, Vittorio Emanuele II.

Travel tip:

The Piccolo Teatro in Milan , where Miuccia Prada trained in mime, was founded in 1947 in Via Rivoli in north west Milan by theatre impresario Paolo Grassi and director Giorgio Strehler. The first public theatre in Italy, it aimed to be an arts theatre for everyone and continues to stage quality productions for the broadest possible audience to this day.

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