by Larry Yom

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Prada is a well-known Italian luxury fashion label. It was founded by Mario Prada and his brother Martino in 1913. They established a store Fratelli Prada (English: Prada Brothers) which was selling exclusive stylish imported English steamer trunks, luggage, accessories and luxury leather goods using fine materials with sophisticated craftsmanship in the prestigious Milan’s shopping heart Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

The store quickly filled with celebrities and socialite clients throughout Europe. In 1919, Prada was honored the “Official Supplier of the Italian Royal Household”, which has allowed it to display its company logo on royal Savoy coat of arms and figure-of-eight knots.

In 1970, the key person Miuccia Prada, Mario Prada’s granddaughter, joined the company. With the help of Business Manager Patrizio Bertelli, Muiccia started to explore her creativity onto the products as well as expanded the business globally. Patrizio input his unique concepts of business operation model which was a breakthrough in the luxury goods section.

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Patrizio Bertelli (Left) & Muiccia Prada (Right)

Miuccia inherited the company in 1978. In 1979, she launched the first iconic backpack and totes collection which were made of durable military spec nylon that her grandfather, Mario Prada, had used for covering of steamer trunks. That material has become Prada's signature.

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The first iconic Prada backpack launched in 1979

Next, they started to look for wholesale opportunity in luxury department stores and boutiques worldwide as well as opened its own retail stores in Florence, Paris, Madrid and New York City.

Miuccia never stopped to expand her creativity and launched different new products such as shoes line in 1984; “Classic Prada handbag” in 1985, Women’s ready-to-wear collection in 1989, Men’s ready-to-wear collection in mid-1990’s and skin care products in 2000.

Prada’s design aesthetic is known as contemporary, fashion-forward, cutting-edge sophistication which makes her a trend setter.

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Nowadays, Prada’s product lines include women’s and men’s clothing, cosmetics, handbags, footwear, fashion accessories, jewelry, fragrances, eyewear, watches, mobile phones, made-to-measure, wines and spirits.

Some Prada items are not popular such as

Prada was also the first brand to create concept stores known as “Prada Epicentres”, which were designed by globally-acclaimed architects including the Pritzker Prize winners Rem Koolhaas, and Herzog & de Meuron.
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This Prada “Epicentre” store located in SoHo, New York City. Designed by Rem Koolhaas

In 2015, Prada was ranked the top 69th Interbrand’s most valuable global brand.

============= PRADA VIDEO ==============

This latest video showcases some of Prada product lines for Fall/Winter 2015 such as women’s clothing, handbags, footwear, fashion accessories and eyewear.
Prada Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015 Advertising Campaign

======= Prada: Selling Channels ========

Prada reaches its customers via omnichannel by its own signature retail stores (brick and mortar), website (e-store), upscale department stores and boutiques such as Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Neiman-Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

As of July 31, 2015, Prada has 605 directly-operated stores in 70 countries.

However, Prada E-STORE is only available in the following 20 countries:-

Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

======= Prada STORE Locations ==========

Prada is an international retailer. As of July 31, 2015, Prada has 605 directly-operated stores in 70 countries covering the cities shown in the map.

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The Prada building in Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan

This unique Prada store was built by the Swiss architecture team of Herzog & de Meuron. The store is a strikingly unconventional 6-story glass crystal. It is soft despite its sharp angles as a result of its five-sided shape, the smooth curves throughout its interior, and its signature diamond-shaped glass panes, which vary between flat, concave and convex "bubbles".

========= MUSIC for PRADA IMAGE ==========

Italian classic with new youthful twisted vibe

La Vie En Rose - Andrea Tatad Ukulele Cover

Pipay's pipes

La Vie En Rose- Andrea Tatad Ukulele Cover by Pipay's pipes


Per un’ora d’amore - Souvenir d'ltalie


Per un’ora d’amore by souvenirditaliecloud

======= PRADA : Window Displays ========

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This Spring/Summer 2015 window displays “homage to the humble corner” was designed by Italian designer Martino Gamper for Prada flagship store in Milan.

The architectural arch door-shaped window displays are unity by themselves with Prada logo in the middle. All window displays are rhythm and asymmetrical draw our eyes moving around from one side to the others.

The close-back window displays use the earth tone environment settings which enhance the primary colors of brown, beige, black and grey of this collection. The frontal dominance mannequins draw the attention to the fronts. Then the panels of wood veneer with thin lines on the walls and the floors direct your eyes travel from the front to the back a blue-tone images/graphic of landscapes of mountains and forests are mounted to match the blue clothing on the mannequins and blue accent on the shoes/accessories. Repetition of leather goods are displayed on the shelves and raised sections of flooring.

The designer also plays with fragments and contracts between natural materials to emphasis the perspective using the trapezoidal angled wood grains on the walls and floors to make the spaces look tighter.

The lighting in the fronts are brighter than the backs which also create the in-depth space illusion. Passers-by can easily see the details of the luxury on the merchandises.

The texture on the displays is wood veneer grains which gives a warm earthy feel to the viewers. The matte finished surface is very subtle that it helps to draw attention to the displays. It makes the merchandises stand out but not stealing the focal point.

The background is actually wall paper. The wood veneer pattern creates the optical weight that fools our eyes to think they are solid and thicker.

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Close-up of the wall paper with wood veneer pattern

Another sophisticated window displays in Milan store.

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PRADA has enormous floral printed suitcases in their 2013 Christmas window display showcase the floral prints from the PRADA Resort collection of Spring / Summer 2014.
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========== Prada: In the news ===========

Prada’s sales have been dropping significantly for the past two years. One of the main reasons is that Prada has been focus on high-priced handbag collections; but overlooked the items in the middle tier of pyramid model which generated huge profits.

Not like Louis Vuitton, Prada can be found in off-price channel which ruined its “highly-exclusive”.

Moreover, with the increase of competition from other brands such as Coach, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, consumers have more choice for novelty.

Furthermore, Prada runs too many directly operated stores that cost huge expenses and weakening sales per square foot and lower profitability.

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