The history of fashion is made up of names that have revolutionized this sector and without which there would have been no fashion as we know it today. One of these names is Mario Prada. This was the grandfather of the much more famous designer Miuccia Prada . Without him, perhaps the company that has become the symbol of made in Italy fashion in the world would not have existed today . Yet very little is known about this man from what is learned by carrying out numerous searches on the net: his biographies are very sparse and there is very fragmentary information about him. Yet it was this man, a Milanese of southern origins, to give way to the empire that then Miuccia’s cunning and skill made it so in the following years. Knowing the roots is important for building the future. Getting to know Mario Prada is important to appreciate Miuccia’s current signature even more .

Mario Prada, the root of an empire

Mario Prada’s date of birth is unknown . Or at least we have not been able to trace the exact date of birth through the searches on the net. However, it is known that he was born in Milan, of Calabrian and Sicilian parents, certainly at the end of the 19th century . In fact, when he opened his first company together with his brother Martino we were in 1913. The business was actually a  shop called “Fratelli Prada”, located in the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery in Milan, today the most exclusive lounge in the Milanese city . At the time of Mario and Martino Prada, it was instead the place of good trade. And the brothers were very good at that. They sold accessories and objects in leather and hide, with a very refined style, so much so that it was soon noticed by the richest and the nobles, not just Milanese.

In 1919 the great leap in quality: Prada products were ordered by the royal family of Italy, the Savoy, and the shop became the official supplier of the sovereigns for bags, belts, shoes and the like.

Mario and Miuccia, the success of Prada

Mario’s daughter, Luisa, soon began to work with her father, also involving her husband Gino Bianchi. In 1948 the two became parents of Miuccia, who grew up in a creative and dynamic world. Grandfather Mario died when Miuccia was only ten years old , in 1958, but the imprint that the man gave to the family shop – which later became a company – is well present in the daily life of the Prada family.

Miuccia graduated in Political Science and then began studying acting, to become an actress. In the meantime , she works with her mother in the Prada company . The world of fashion will involve her more than the stage, also thanks to the support of her husband Patrizio Bertelli. In honor of her grandfather, Miuccia Bianchi will become Miuccia Prada and she will carry the name and the family crest so high that it will exceed all expectations.

Prada in the world

Since 1977 Miuccia Prada has thus taken over the reins of the company and implements a small, great revolution.

In 1988, in fact, he designed a clothing line that was added to the lines of leather accessories typical of the company, launching the Prada name also on the most important catwalks in the world. 

The typical originality of the grandfather lives on in the genius of the granddaughter, who was able to modernize the company without making it lose that quality brand that began at the dawn of the last century.

Prada enters the 21st century with a wealth of creativity and practicality, initiated by a shopkeeper who knew how to dream big.

The story of Mario Prada and his brother Martino relive today in that of Miuccia and who will later be the head of what has become in the meantime one of the most powerful holding companies in the world of fashion.