Prada: The Good, The Gorgeous, and the Iconic

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Last Updated on June 18, 2022

In my eyes, Prada is one fashion house that continues to stand the test of time. For some reason, Prada seems to be an omnipresent architect; not only of high quality garments, accessories, and fragrances, but also fashion trends themselves.

Prada’s various collections over the last several decades are interesting in that upon first glance, you could argue that they all (in their own unique way) exemplify innovative and edgy patterns, textures, and shapes.

At the same time, however, these offerings draw the eye of fashion enthusiasts everywhere due to the practical wearability and capsule-esque nature of each piece.

From vintage hobo shoulder bags (that are just as relevant now as they were in the early 2000’s) to the tantalizing garments that are catered to the more affluent consumer base, Prada continues to deliver.

But, just how difficult was it for this Italian label to rise to power in the fashion industry? How does the house’s pricing fare against its competitors, and have their styles adapted and evolved (much like their diverse clientele)?

Let’s find out.

Origin Story

Founded in 1913 in Milan, this fashion house’s beginnings were similar to several other household designer names, with the primary offerings including leather goods, luggage, and intricate trunks.

Mario, Martino, and Luisa (Mario’s daughter) operated the shop for several decades, until Miuccia Prada inherited and led the family business in 1978. Ultimately, powerful and creative women subsequently changed the trajectory of Prada Milano forever.

“Nylon” is a material that you will frequently hear in Prada discourse. Heck, I even mention it three times in this story. That’s because in the late 70’s and early 80’s, Miuccia began crafting backpacks, totes, and purses fashioned from a tough nylon material.

These textures and shapes can still be appreciated today, which is something truly special, considering this label is over a century old.

As years progressed, the luxury brand continued to design accessories, shoes, and ready-to-wear numbers which eventually grew in global popularity, and quick. Miuccia and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, made swift business and design decisions, constantly innovating while opening new stores worldwide.

Before anyone knew it: Prada’s logo, the immediately recognizable inverse triangle, became a symbol of individuality and prestige.

Read more: The Definitive History of Prada

Prada’s Popularity

Contemporarily, Prada is heralded as one of the trendiest labels in the industry. With its simple yet audacious approach to streetwear, couture, and everything in between; Prada is becoming the luxury brand that truly has something for everyone.

As we’re all duly aware: 90’s fashion is back, in a serious way.

Oversized blazers are no longer restricted to a certain profession. Slip dresses can be paired with just about anything. Chunky black leather combat boots stomp across the streets of every major city. And Prada? Well, they’ve been reimagining each of these 90’s-era trends (and more), subsequently creating a pop-culture frenzy.

Prada’s Spring 1993 Ready-to-Wear Collection
Credit: Condé Nast Archive
Fall Winter 2021 Womenswear Collection
Credit: Condé Nast Archive

Let’s look at an example. (Photos from Vogue) Prada’s Spring 1993 Ready-to-Wear Collection (left) and Fall/Winter 2021 Womenswear Collection (right) both highlight similar silhouettes; oversized suit separates that look incredibly put-together while also remaining effortless and unapologetically powerful.

These collared co-ords are so fun, and exemplify the influence and power that 90’s fashion trends truly have on the industry-and therefore-Prada.

These iconic statement pieces make us feel confident yet nostalgic, and most importantly-they appear to be staples that will remain useful and stylish to us for years to come. That’s what makes Prada special. The house highlights all of the best aspects of the passing trends, without falling prey to gimmicks or gaudiness, elevating their value and appeal to buyers throughout the decades.

And that’s why everyone – from the Boomers to the Zoomers-can’t get enough.

Prada’s Pricing

Because Prada is considered to be a luxury brand (given its premium and quality materials, global report, and limited production quantities), it tends to compete with other designer brands with regard to pricing.

After all, if you could run down the street and grab a Prada tote bag for $50, you wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place. With that said, Prada’s pricing strategy truly allows the consumer to feel as though they are receiving value for their time and money.

To explain, I will reveal three products that I feel are well worth the money.

For the purpose of this demonstration, I picked a few basics that every reader can relate to.

Nylon Bag

To start, I included the iconic nylon hobo bag.

Re-Nylon Re-Edition 2000 mini-bag
Re-Nylon Re-Edition 2000 mini-bag, Credit: Prada.com

This bag retails at $950 at prada.com, and is made in several different colors and materials, and the “Re-Edition” comes with additional pouches and straps for about $400 more.

Prada Re-Edition 2005 Re-Nylon bag
Prada Re-Edition 2005 Re-Nylon bag, Credit: Prada.com

Bags like this are a girl’s best friend, especially as the demand for “tiny purses” grows.

In my opinion, $950 for a luxury handbag that fits all of my essentials (keys, phone, wallet, lip gloss) is well worth the investment, and because it’s Prada, it will maintain its structure (and monetary value) if I wanted to pass it off to my future daughter one day.

You May Like:

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Loafers

Prada White Chocolate Leather Loafers
Chocolate brushed leather loafers, Credit: Prada.com

These Chocolate brushed leather loafers at prada.com also highlight a key facet of Prada’s pricing: the shoes.

Prada’s shoe prices are incredibly competitive, with sneakers, slides, boots, and heels starting at only $500. I work at a law firm, so my loafers are basically glued to my feet.

These white (they also come in black and red leather) monochromatic loafers from Prada are high-quality, comfortable, and unique; which makes treating yourself to a new pair of work shoes that much more satisfying.

Check Out: 25 of the Best Chunky Loafers

Little Black Dress

Finally, the little black dress (LBD).

Prada Openwork viscose turtleneck dress
Openwork viscose turtleneck dress, Credit: Prada.com

While luxury brands’ (Prada included) prices start to rise as you enter into couture territory, I still believe that this Black openwork viscose turtleneck dress is priced fairly at $2,050. With a piece like this, you can show off some skin, but the midi length still allows for versatility.

The material is lightweight, and LBD’s know no seasons. I see someone wearing this dress to a work event, a Christmas party, under a puffer while running to get your hair done… The possibilities are truly endless with a piece like this.

Check Out: 3 of My Favorite Prada Dresses (And How to Style Them)

Celebrity Faces of Prada

Celebrities A to D-list alike are infatuated with Prada’s crisp lines, bold colors, and classy silhouettes. It’s no wonder that Prada is sported by beloved supermodels at every Met Gala and by celebrities at various other red carpet events.

Prada, in its own way, has a cult following because it is a lifestyle brand. Prada lovers enjoy looking and feeling put together, but enjoy pushing the limits, just a little bit.

Naomi Campbell

Supermodel of all supermodels- Naomi Campbell- was the first black woman to open a Prada fashion show in 1997, and has walked in several other shows before and after that pivotal season.

Known as one of the everlasting “faces” of Prada throughout the years, Naomi Campbell effortlessly pulls off each subcategory of Prada’s vision, be it modest and chic like the picture to the right, or funky and daring like the bright satin romper she rocked in the Spring 1992 ready-to-wear exhibition. Naomi is a true beauty and a known Prada muse.

Hunter Schafer

Hunter Schafer has truly taken the world by storm, and I was personally giddy when I caught wind of her partnership with Prada in 2021. The new face of The Galleria Bag, Hunter Schafer is a seasoned model who is now applauded for her performance as Jules in Euphoria on HBO.

As such, many women look up to Hunter as a style icon, taking into consideration her playful approach to her look. Prada feels like the perfect fit for Hunter, and I can’t wait to see these two work more together (and continue to champion LGBTQ+ representation) in the future.

Frank Ocean

A fan favorite, an iconic duo, and long-awaited style collaboration… I present to you: Frank Ocean x Prada SS20. Frank Ocean is a style icon in and of himself, and his musical creations have inspired millions. Frank continues to impress at red carpet events, so this affiliation was incredibly merited.

Menswear was designed and developed later on in Prada’s design journey, but has completely redefined seemingly predictable clothing items like blazers, sweaters, and sneakers.

In this collection, specifically, soft neutrals combined with sleek lines truly showcased Prada’s ambidexterity. Looking incredible in these styles, Frank did not disappoint. Now, we’re just waiting on new music…

FIN… KIND OF

It has always been abundantly clear that Prada is a showstopping, trend setting, innovative and dynamic luxury brand. As years progress, Prada continues to demonstrate that change isn’t so scary, and that waves of shifting tastes and goals are things to be celebrated and embraced.

Prada is a leader in the fashion world, while also remaining welcoming to the curious minds of our generation. Miuiccia Prada is one of the most outstanding fashion minds in the game right now, and her influence constantly excites and surprises.

Wear that Prada bag over your shoulder; knowing that it was stitched with decades of care and innovation in mind.

And no, I will never forget to comment on sustainability practices. We’ll be updating this article with just that soon!

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Madison Gile is a young professional living in the United States with a passion for all things fashion, trends, and sustainable style. She works in the legal field, but has a lifelong love of fashion and writing. Throughout her college career, she ventured to understand how to influence her peers to view fashion in a different way, one that promotes inclusivity and social responsibility. Madison loves all things vintage; specifically vintage Chanel and Prada. As a 90’s baby and someone who is deeply appreciative of the aesthetic, Madison upcycles 90’s pieces from thrift stores and incorporates the edgy and adventurous style into her intriguing makeup looks.