Prada Marketing


Company History

Mario Prada started the Prada label in 1913. He designed and sold leather goods such as handbags, shoes, trunks, and suitcases though two boutiques in Milan, and had clients across Europe and the US. When the signature Prada suitcase, made from heavy, cumbersome walrus skin, proved to be suited for air travel, Prada concentrated on designing the finest leather accessories and waterproof handbags.
After Mario’s death in the mid-50’s his daughter in law ran the store for about 20 years before passing the ownership to Miuccia Prada. Mario Prada's son Alberto was not interested in the business so in the late 70’s Miuccia Prada, Mario’s grand daughter completely took over the company. Miuccia was a former mime who studied at Teatro Piccolo in Milan, and had a PhD in political science. Although her qualifications didn't seem appropriate, her sense of fashion was unmistakable. The label was still mainly a leather goods manufacturer at that point, and had been struggling financially for several years. Competition from other fashion houses like Gucci had taken its toll. Miuccia turned things around and steered the House of Prada towards the world of haute couture.
About the same time as she took the helm of the Prada label, Miuccia married Patrizio Bertelli. Bertelli took on the role of business manager, allowing Miuccia to focus on designing and perfecting the new Prada look. Bertelli was already in the leather goods business; in fact he was the founder of I Pellettieri D’Italia S.p.A. a company that is today part of the Prada Holding B.V.
Miuccia wanted to introduce black waterproof backpacks into Prada’s made out of a nylon fabric called "Pocone". She unveiled the classic Prada handbag which was simple, sleek, black nylon tote and in 1985 it became an overnight sensation. The bag was functional and sturdy, practical and fashionable. The high price tag that accompanied the handbags caused an onslaught of designer knock-offs, which only...