Biography Philanthropists

Miuccia Prada

Miuccia Prada.jpeg

Miuccia Bianchi Prada
Born Maria Bianchi
10 May 1949 (age 69)
Milan, Italy
Nationality Italian
Education University of Milan (BAPhD)
Label(s) Prada
Miu Miu
Patrizio Bertelli (m. 1978)
Children 2,[1] including Lorenzo Bertelli
Parent(s) Luigi Bianchi
Luisa Prada
Relatives Mario Prada
Awards Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award (1993)

Miuccia Bianchi Prada (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmjuttʃa ˈpraːda]; born Maria Bianchi Italian pronunciation: [maˈriːa ˈbjaŋki]; 10 May 1949) is an Italian billionaire fashion designer and businesswoman. She is the head designer of Prada and the founder of its subsidiary Miu Miu.[1]

The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, she took over the family-owned luxury goods manufacturer in 1978. Since then, the company has acquired Jil SanderHelmut Lang and shoemaker Church & Co.[citation needed] In 2002, Prada opened her own contemporary art gallery.[2]

In March 2013, she was one of the fifty best-dressed over 50 by the Guardian.[3] In 2014 she was listed as the 75th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[4] As of 2014, she has an estimated net worth of $11.1 billion.[5] As of September 2017, she has an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Born Maria Bianchi[7] on May 10, 1949 in Milan, Italy, she took the name Miuccia Prada in the 1980s, after being adopted by an aunt.[8] Her biological parents were Luigi Bianchi and his wife, Luisa Prada. She has two older siblings, Albert and Marina.[8] She attended Liceo Classico Berchet high school in Milan and graduated with a PhD in political science at the University of Milan.[1]

Early career[edit]

She trained at the Teatro Piccolo to become a mime and performed for five years.[9] She was a member of the Italian Communist Party and involved in the women’s rights movement during the seventies in Milan. In 1978 she entered into her family’s business of manufacturing luxury leather bags, a company established by her grandfather in 1913. Around the same time she met her future husband and business partner, Patrizio Bertelli.


Prada’s first successful handbag design was in 1985. It was a line of black, finely-woven nylon handbags. By 1989, she designed and introduced her first women’s ready-to-wear collection. In 1995 she launched her first menswear line. The Miu Miu line was introduced in 1992 as a less expensive womenswear line inspired by her personal wardrobe. She named it after her own nickname, Miu Miu.

In 1993 she was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award. The following year she showed her collections in both New York and London fashion weeks. She had already been exhibiting at Milan fashion week. Bertelli, Prada’s husband, is responsible for the commercial side of products and Prada’s retail strategy. The design house has grown into a conglomerate that includes labels such as FendiHelmut LangJil Sander, and Azzedine Alaïa. The company has expanded into leather goods, shoes, fragrances, and apparel for both men and women.

She is now the co-CEO for Prada, together with her husband.

In 2010, she designed costumes for the Verdi opera “Attila” at the New York City Metropolitan Opera House[10]

Business philosophy[edit]

She eschews merging high art with fashion, saying “Art is for expressing ideas and for expressing a vision. My job is to sell.”[9]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1995, 1996, and 1998, she received the VH1 Fashion Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year. [11]

In 2004, she is honored by the CFDA with the prestigious International Award. [12]

In 2005, she is named one of Time Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People. [13]

In 2006, she was appointed “Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Ministry of Culture[14]

In 2012, Mrs. Prada, along with designer Elsa Schiaparelli, was the subject of the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s exhibition, “Impossible Conversations”. [15]

On 2 December 2013, she was awarded the first International Designer of the Year at the 2013 British Fashion Awards at the London Coliseum.[16]

In 2014 she was listed as the 75th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[4]

In November, 2015, she received the WSJ Magazine Fashion Innovator of the Year award. [17]

In December 2015, she received the highest honorary title of the Order of Merit of the Republic, the title of Knight of the Grand Cross. [18]

In 2016, she won Glamour USA’s Woman of the Year Award. [19]

Personal life[edit]

Miuccia Prada is married to Patrizio Bertelli, a businessman. Their two sons were born in 1988 and 1990.[citation needed] One of her sons is the rally driver Lorenzo Bertelli.[20]

She is a collector of contemporary art and owns several artworks by Young British Artists.[9] She is personal friends with the artist Cindy Sherman and Francesco Vezzoli.[9]


  1. Jump up to:a b c Craven, Jo. “Miuccia Prada – Biography”. Vogue. Archived from the original on 13 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  2. Jump up^ Hillary Alexamder, “Miuccia Prada to present the Turner Prize,” The Daily Telegraph, October 15, 2010. Retrieved 22-11-10.
  3. Jump up^ Cartner-Morley, Jess; Mirren, Helen; Huffington, Arianna; Amos, Valerie (28 March 2013). “The 50 best-dressed over 50s”The Guardian. London.
  4. Jump up to:a b “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”. Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  5. Jump up^ “Miuccia Prada – In Photos: Billionaires 2014: The World’s Richest Women”. Forbes. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  6. Jump up^ “Miuccia Prada”.
  7. Jump up^ Dana Thomas, Deluxe, New York: Penguin Press, 2007
  8. Jump up to:a b Dana Thomas, Deluxe, New York: Penguin Press, 2007, page 65
  9. Jump up to:a b c d “73 Minutes with Miuccia Prada”. New York Magazine. May 28, 2012.
  10. Jump up^ Davis, Peter G. (2010-02-17). “Muti and ‘Attila’ to Make Debuts at Metropolitan Opera”The New York TimesISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  11. Jump up^ “History”PradaGroup. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  12. Jump up^ “The CFDA Awards: Designers on Display (” Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  13. Jump up^ Betts, Kate (2005-04-18). “The 2005 TIME 100 – TIME”TimeISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  14. Jump up^ “History”PradaGroup. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  15. Jump up^ “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  16. Jump up^ Jones, Nina (2 December 2013). “Christopher Kane, Miuccia Prada Among Honorees at British Fashion Awards”. WWD. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  17. Jump up^ Graphics, News. “WSJ. Magazine: The 2015 Innovators Awards”The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  18. Jump up^ “History”PradaGroup. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  19. Jump up^ Glamour. “Glamour’s Women of the Year 2016: Gwen Stefani, Simone Biles, Ashley Graham, and More Honorees”Glamour. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  20. Jump up^