( born Maria Bianchi
; 10 May 1949 in Milan, Italy) is the Italian fashion designer and entrepreneur behind Prada and Miu Miu.
The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, she took over the family-owned luxury goods manufacturer in 1978. Since then, the company has acquired Jil Sander, Helmut Lang and shoemaker Church & Co.citation needed|date=June 2014 In 2002, Prada opened her own contemporary art gallery.
In March 2013, she was one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian. As of 2014, she is listed as the 75th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Early life and education
Born Maria Bianchi on May 10, 1949 in Milan, Italy, she took the name Miuccia Prada in the 1980s, after being adopted by an aunt. Her parents were Luigi Bianchi and his wife, Luisa Prada. She has two older siblings, Albert and Marina. She was a member of the 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 Fendi, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, and Azzedine Alaia. 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.
She eschews merging high art with fashion, saying "Art is for expressing ideas and for expressing a vision. My job is to sell." As of 2014, she is listed as the 75th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Source @ Wikipedia
She is a collector of contemporary art and owns several artworks by Young British Artists. She is personal friends with artist Cindy Sherman.