Lucinda Rose Constable • 26 May 2012

Brothers Mario and Martino Prada founded their namesake label almost one hundred years ago, in 1913. What began as a humble leather goods shop exploded into one of the most influential brands in the world, thanks to Mario’s granddaughter Miuccia. Miuccia inherited the company in 1978 and turned it into a multi-million dollar business, thanks to the introduction of ready-to-wear.

Since then, Miuccia has become widely recognised as the world’s most important fashion trend forecaster. The industry never knows what to expect from Prada season-to-season, seeing as she draws inspiration from such far-flung places. It could be anything from the baroque era, fairies, hot-rods, war – the list goes on. Somehow, it’s always groundbreaking and sets the scene for the season to follow.

Her work with the arts and the establishment of the Fondazione Prada is testament to the strong relationship between art and fashion. As Cathy Horyn from The New York Times’ once said, Miuccia teaches people “to look at fashion in the abstract, and in relation to art and culture.”

There are too many fantastic seasons to single out any in particular, however the SS2011 baroque collection will remain as one of the most highly publicised of all time. The now-famous stripes covered over forty-eight magazines internationally. It is this constant search for the new that sets Prada apart from the rest of the fash-pack and has cemented the house as both highly desirable and reasonably attainable. Miuccia Prada is, undoubtedly, one of the most powerful women in fashion and the world can’t get enough.

‘Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: On Fashion’ will run at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from May 10 – August 19.