Sleek, sophisticated, and always balancing on the cutting edge—Prada has spent more than a century occupying a special place in the hearts and minds of fashion lovers.
Fashion in Concept
Prada’s method focuses on experimentation. So much so, in fact, that its products are highly conceptual beyond simply being clothes. Each collection means something beyond simply looking good, though it aims to do that as well.
This brand now creates virtually every type of wearable luxury item, and maintains a high level of craftsmanship so those who can afford to pay for Prada aren’t disappointed with the purchase. Some of Prada’s most famous offerings are their shoes and accessories.
Fit for A King
Founded in 1913, Prada became the official supplier of clothing for the Italian Royal House just 6 years later. This contributed to an early established perception of Prada as being suited for the upper class.
In the 1970s, Miuccia Prada joined her family’s business, and began designing many of the products for which it is now famous.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, Prada expanded to become the luxury line society knows today. Miuccia Prada won Glamour’s Women of The Year Award in 2016 for her contributions to fashion and culture, exemplifying just how powerful the brand still is today.
Climbing The Ranks
Prada ranks in the world’s Top 10 Luxury Brands, but just barely. Given this list, competitors can be broken down in three ways: close heats, far off goals, and unbeatable giants. Louis Vuitton is the great white whale of luxury; with more than 180 years under its belt, it’s unlikely that any other luxury brand will catch up soon.
Likewise, Gucci rates in the middle of the pack at the moment, but is growing more rapidly than any other brand. Burberry, on the other hand, has a valuation just $200,000 higher than Prada’s. Luxury competition is fierce, but there are many competitors well within Prada’s reach.
Familiar Faces in Fine Clothing
Like many high fashion brands, Prada gets a great deal of exposure from fashion shows. Anytime it unveils a new collection, fashion media reports on it, giving the brand a great deal of visibility.
Beyond that, Prada has had the help of more than a few stars in getting the spotlight thrust on their brand. Recently, Jude Law helped advertise 2017 Prada collection by starring in a narrative promotional short.
Cries of Insensitivity
Like many luxury brands, Prada has been accused of racial insensitivity in recent years. In 2018, Prada displayed figurines in a New York store that onlookers quickly identified as appearing to depit blackface imagery.
Prada responded by removing the items and apologizing, and they seemed to come out of the situation largely unscathed. This incident came around the same time that Gucci fell into hot water over a sweater that was also perceived as depicting blackface, so much of the backlash fell on high fashion in general rather than these specific brands.
Prada ranked 95th on Interbrand’s list of Best Global Brands in 2018. Though this isn’t nearly as high as some other luxury brands, the fact that Prada made the list at all speaks to their continued influence in the fashion world.
As the demand for luxury grows, coming years will show how well Prada has managed to appeal to today’s consumers.
Regardless of its popularity, Prada has always maintained a sense of originality, and that’s not likely to change with any trend or season.