Miuccia Prada (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmjuttʃa ˈpraːda]; born Maria Bianchi Italian pronunciation: [maˈriːa ˈbjaŋki]; 10 May 1949) is an Italian fashion designer and businesswoman. She is the head designer of Prada and the founder of its subsidiary 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. In 2002, Prada opened her own contemporary art gallery.
In March 2013, she was one of the fifty best-dressed over 50 by the Guardian. As of 2014, she is listed as the 75th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. As of 2014, she has an estimated net worth of $11.1 billion.
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 biological parents were Luigi Bianchi and his wife, Luisa Prada. She has two older siblings, Albert and Marina. She attended Liceo Classico Berchet high school in Milan and graduated with a PhD in political science at the University of Milan.
She trained at the Teatro Piccolo to become a mime and performed for five years. She was a member of the Italian 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.