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.
1950 Miuccia Prada was born. By her mid-20's she had a doctorate in political science and in her 30's, she was a communist. In 1970 she started making backpack bags out of waterproof fabric called Pocone.
1979 She 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.
1993 She received an International award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
1995 She won "Designer of the Year" award.
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.