Experimental. Provocative. Couture.
Miu Miu is women’s high fashion, made by women and for women. It blurs the lines between what is trendy and what is trashy, what is haute couture and what is low culture. The specific intent of this wholly owned subsidiary of Prada was always to push the boundaries.
The granddaughter of legendary designer Mario Prada founded the house of Miu Miu in 1993. Miuccia Prada gave both the name and the style to Miu Miu, modeling the line after her own personal closet. Miu Miu was the family pet name for Miuccia, used by her famous family. Her grandfather and her uncle, the men who founded Prada in 1913 as the Prada brothers, left her a legacy of elegance and hard work. In keeping with her taste, the brand only creates women’s clothing.
Miuccia was born Maria Prada, however she took the name Miuccia in the early 1980’s. Prior to her involvement with the family business, she had trained as a mime, been a part of the women’s rights movement, and got her PhD in political science from the University of Milan. She went on to become the CEO of the entire Prada company.
Development of a New Brand
From the very beginning, Miuccia wanted Miu Miu to be markedly different from its parent label. Incredible attention to detail mixed with avant-garde experimentation created a totally distinct brand that was unlike anything that had come before. The company even moved its headquarters from Milan to Paris as a way to create a distinction between the two brands.
This new style and distinct direction has led to a great deal of success for Miu Miu. Today it is one of the leading fashion brands in the world. Its popularity peaked in the mid 2000’s, however both Miu Miu and Prada have experienced a downswing in both sales and in influence compared to rival brands like Givenchy and Armani. Miu Miu continues to be a top level fashion house, however it’s revenue and that of Prada fell year after year for almost a decade before a slight turnaround in recent years.
Though Miu Miu is renowned for its focus on women and women’s issues, it’s not been without controversy. Miu Miu and Miuccia Prada became embroiled in a series of very public harassment scandals involving former employees in 2013.
The issues made it all the way to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and there was a public petition signed by over two hundred thousand people against Miuccia Prada on Change.org. Vogue published an opinion piece dragging Miu Miu and Prada over the same issues.
Despite issues with public image, Miu Miu is a worldwide luxury brand that has boutiques all over the world, including stores in Shenzhen, Houston, Glasgow, New Jersey, Hong Kong, Paris, and more. Miu Miu has long been supported by a wide range of actresses and models who serve to promote the brand and its products. Chloe Sevingy, Katie Holmes, Zhou Xun, Kirsten Dunst, Maggi Gyllenhaal, Ginta Lapina, and many more. It’s partnered with the likes of director Ava DuVernay through its Women’s Tales film series.