Prada S.p. A. is an Italian luxury fashion house, specializing in leather handbags, travel accessories, ready-to-wear and other fashion accessories, founded in 1913 by Mario Prada. The company was started in 1913 by Mario Prada and his brother Martino as a leather goods shop – Fratelli Prada – in Milan, Italy; the shop sold animal goods and imported English steamer trunks and handbags. Mario Prada did not believe that women should have a role in business, so he prevented female family members from entering his company. Mario's son harbored no interest in the business, so it was his daughter Luisa Prada who took the helm of Prada as his successor and ran it for twenty years, her own daughter, Miuccia Prada, joined the company in 1970 taking over for her mother in 1978. Miuccia began making waterproof backpacks out of a nylon fabric, she met Patrizio Bertelli in 1977, an Italian who had begun his own leather goods business at the age of 24, he joined the company soon after. He advised Miuccia on company business.
It was his advice to change the existing luggage. Miuccia inherited the company in 1978 by which time sales were up to U. S. $450,000. With Bertelli alongside her as business manager, Miuccia was allowed time to implement her creativity in the company's designs, she would go on to incorporate her ideas into the house of Prada. She released her first set of backpacks and totes in 1979, they were made out of a tough military spec black nylon that her grandfather had used as coverings for steamer trunks. Initial success was not instant, as they were hard to sell due to the lack of advertising and high prices, but the lines would go on to become her first commercial hit. Next and Bertelli sought out wholesale accounts for the bags in upscale department stores and boutiques worldwide. In 1983, Prada opened a second boutique in the centre of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan's shopping heart, on the site of the previous historic "London House" emporium run by Felice Bellini from 1870 to the 1960s, reminiscent of the original shop, but with a sleek and modern contrast to it.
The next big release was a nylon tote. That same year, the house of Prada began expansion across continental Europe and the United States by opening locations in prominent shopping districts within Florence, Paris and New York City. A shoe line was released in 1984. In 1985 Miuccia released the "classic Prada handbag". Although practical and sturdy, its sleek lines and craftsmanship had a luxury that has become the Prada signature. In 1987 Miuccia and Bertelli married. Prada launched its women's ready-to-wear collection in 1989, the designs came to be known for their dropped waistlines and narrow belts. Prada's popularity increased when the fashion world took notice of its clean lines, opulent fabrics, basic colors; the logo for the label was not as obvious a design element as those on bags from other prominent luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton. It tried to market its lack of prestigious appeal, including of its apparel, by projecting an image of "anti-status" or "inverse snobbery". Prada's originality made it one of the most influential fashion houses, the brand became a premium status symbol in the 1990s.
Sales were reported at L 70 billion, or US$31.7 million, in 1998. Partrizio di Marco took charge of the growing business in the United States after working for the house in Asia, he was successful in having the Prada bags prominently displayed in department stores, so that they could become a hit with fashion editors. Prada's continued success was attributed to its "working-class" theme which, Ginia Bellafante at The New York Times Magazine proclaimed, "was becoming chic in the high-tech, IPO-driven early 1990s." Furthermore, now husband and wife and Bertelli led the Prada label on a cautious expansion, making products hard to come by. In 1992, the high fashion brand Miu Miu, named after Miuccia's nickname, launched. Miu Miu catered to younger consumers, such as celebrities. By 1993 Prada was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for accessories. Men's ready-to-wear collections were launched in the mid-1990s. By 1994, sales were at US$210 million, with clothing sales accounting for 20%.
Prada won another award from the CFDA, in 1995 as a "designer of the year" 1996 witnessed the opening of the 18,000 ft² Prada boutique in Manhattan, New York, the largest in the chain at the time. By now the House of Prada operated in 40 locations worldwide; the company subcontracted work from 84 other manufacturers in Italy. Miuccia's Prada and Bertelli company were merged to create Prapar B. V. in 1996. The name, was changed to Prada B. V. and Patrizio Bertelli was named Chief Executive Officer of the Prada luxury company. 1996 can be seen as marking an important turning point in Prada’s aesthetics, one that fueled the brand’s worldwide reputation. Journalists praised Miuccia’s development of an “ugly chic” style, which confused customers by offering blatantly unsexy outfits which revealed to offer daring and original takes on the relationship between fashion and desire. Since Prada has been regarded as one of the most intelligent and conceptual designers. In 1997, Prada posted revenue of US$674 million.
Another store in Milan opened that same year. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bertelli smashed the windows of the store a day before the opening, after he had become unsatisfied with the set-up. Prada acquired shares in the Gucci group, blamed Gucci for "aping his wife's designs." In June 1998
Aline Mackinnon was a British radical feminist, Liberal Party politician and civil servant. Mackinnon was born in Hadley Wood, the third of four daughters born to Sir Percy Graham MacKinnon and Mabel Lockett, she was educated at Newnham College and the University of Edinburgh, where she graduated with a Master of Arts. In 1921 she attended the first Liberal Summer School, she was the Honorary Parliamentary Secretary to the Women's Liberal Federation. She came second, she fought Holderness again in 1935 reducing the Conservative majority. Despite the presence of a Labour candidate, she had some public support from prominent Labour people who supported the notion of a Popular Front, she had offered to withdraw if the Labour candidate withdrew in favour of an Independent Progressive candidate acceptable to both parties. Deprived by the outbreak of war of another attempt to be elected at Holderness, she retired from elective politics but continued to be active in the national party as a member of the Liberal Party Council, for the Women's Liberal Federation, serving as Vice-President.
She was a civil servant from 1941 to 1947. Her Women's Liberal colleague Frances Josephy described her as "very knowledgeable and a brilliant speaker with a pretty wit". A keen skier and mountaineer, she died while on vacation in Austria, aged 70. Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery
Kim Marie Severson is a writer for The New York Times. She has worked at The New York Times since 2004. In 2014, she joined the Times new digital cooking initiative and began reporting on national food news and trends, she spent nearly four years as the Southern bureau chief for the Times, covering news and politics in the Southeast. She worked as a food writer at the Times and for six years before that at the San Francisco Chronicle, she spent seven years as an reporter at the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska. She has covered crime, social services and government for daily newspapers on the West Coast. Severson won a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2018 as part of The New York Times coverage of sexual harassment and abuse in the spheres of Hollywood, the media and restaurants, she has won four James Beard awards for food writing. She has won the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for her San Francisco Chronicle work, along with fellow reporter Meredith May, on childhood obesity in 2002.
Severson's most recent book, Cook Fight, was co-authored with Julia Moskin, a New York Times food writer, was published by Ecco Press, an imprint of HarperCollins, in 2012. Her memoir, Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life, was published by Riverhead Press on April 15, 2010. A new edition of her first cookbook, The New Alaska Cookbook, came out in June 2009, her first book, The Trans Fat Solution: Cooking and Shopping to Eliminate the Deadliest Fat from Your Diet, was published by Ten Speed Press in 2003. Severson served as vice-president of Lesbian Journalists Association, she has written about the economic and cultural impact of being a lesbian without the benefits of legal marriage. Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life The New Alaska Cookbook The Trans Fat Solution: Cooking and Shopping to Eliminate the Deadliest Fat from Your Diet CookFight, with Julia Moskin Biography: Kim Severson, The New York Times Recent and archived articles in The New York Times Diners Journal: New York Times blog Kim Severson's personal website