The Prada label was begun in 1913 by Mario Prada when he began selling shoes, leather handbags and trunks. He opened two boutiques in Milan after experience in Europe and U.S.A.
The classic Prada suitcase was made of heavy walrus skin but as plane travel made heavy suitcases impractical, the company started to make lighter bags and high quality items made of crystals, tortoise shell and wood. They also sold garments of waterproof fabrics to the U.S. However the company had gone into decline in the 1970's.
1979 - Miuccia Prada took over the Prada family business. Since sales were down, she expanded into luxury tote bags and backpacks in black with flat classic lines, made from nylon. 1985 - She launched a line of footwear for women and her first pret-a-porter clothing line, using high quality fabrics. Her clean lines gave her fame, and she came to be known for under-stated elegant garments.
1998 - Prada opened their first menswear shop in Los Angeles, USA. They also opened new Prada stores in Manhattan and Las Vegas, as well as Miu Miu's first North American boutique, in Los Angeles.
Prada is now a worldwide empire, with stores in practically every country in the western world. It is a million dollar concern, with every celebrity wearing Prada clothes. Her clothes, though often deceptively plain looking, have become widely influential. She gives traditional garments a modern handling, like trimming nylon parkas with mink and making trench coats and twin sets out of silk faille. It seems that the whole world craves Prada's ice-cool minimalism and deadpan eroticism.