Michael Kors is an American designer born in 1959 and raised on Long Island, near New York City. His mother was a model. For school he attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, but dropped out after 9 months. He started his professional career at the age of 19, when he designed a collection for the Lothar boutique in New York, for which he started to work as sales assistant. His success with the industry was such that he was urged to start his own business.
In 1981 the Michael Kors label made its début and the first collection, based on perfectly structured luxury sportswear, was presented. It was distributed, among the others, by Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 1995 he launched the line Kors Michael Kors manufactured by Onward Kashiyama USA, the brand factory of Onward Kashiyama Japan. In November 1997 he presented his first line of men’s prêt-à-porter.
The Céline Era
At the same time, Kors was appointed the designer for Céline, of which he was made artistic director in 1999. He is considered a pioneer of the minimalist style. He lives in Paris and New York.
In 1999 Kors sold one third of his company share to LVMH, also the owner of Céline. One year later, Michael Kors launched the first perfume produced and distributed by Parfums Givenchy. During this time, he opened two sales points in Madison Avenue, New York, following in 2002, more boutiques opened in Soho and Tokyo. The same year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America names Kors Womenswear Designer of the Year.
The year 2002 also witnessed the launch of Michael Kors full men’s collection. A year later the designer announced that his contract with Céline ended, he would leave the maison. The Fall-Winter Collection 2003-2004 was the last collection he designed for Celine. The announcement came only a few weeks before the renewal of his annual contract with LVMH, Kors had lead them to believe his collaboration with the group was to continue for a long time.
Sportswear Holdings Limited Acquired Michael Kors
At the same year, two entrepreneurs, Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll, through their company, Sportswear Holdings Limited, acquired 85% share of Michael Kors including the one-third stake in Kors’ business held by LVMH Group, the 10% that Onward Kashiyama USA bought in 2000 and the remainder owned by John Orchulli, Kors’ long-term business partner who stay with the firm as chief executive officer for a short-term interim.
In 2004, Kors became a judge on a new reality television show called Project Runway. Project Runway immediately became a hit show, his blunt criticisms comments were fan favorites. Kors was on this show until 2012, he announced that he would be retiring from Project Runway. By that time, the series had garnered several Emmy Award nominations.
New Lines Launched
Also in 2004, Michael Kors launched two new lines, MICHAEL Michael Kors, and KORS Michael Kors. These lines are sold in 350 stores in the United States offer ready-to-wear, handbags, swimwear, jeans, footwear and other accessories. Meanwhile, the company signed a contract with the Fossil to create and launch the Michael Kors watch line.
March 2011, the company celebrated its 30th anniversary with a new flagship store in Paris opened and one dinner party, the party is full of celebrities, models, singers, editors, It girls, actresses were attended.
Later in this year, Kors became the youngest designer who received The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from CFDA. A year later, Michael Kors company renewed its contract to work with Fossil, besides the watch line, Michael Kors Jewelry line were set to be created.
Kors has always been involved in charity, fighting hunger for more than 20 years. In 2013 he partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to help fight world hunger by designing the 100 Series watch. A portion of the proceeds from his special-edition timepiece helps WFP deliver food to children through its school meals program. In 2015, the designer is announced as a Global Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme, together with its customers the company has helped deliver over 10 million meals to hungry children around the world through the programme.The company is also a longtime supporter of God’s Love We Deliver, and worked with the New York-based organization to help distribute meals to people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.
In 2016, Michael Kors signed a major partnership with McLaren-Honda, becoming the official lifestyle partner of the world championship Formula One team for boosting the brand’s jet-set associations.
In July 2017, Michael Kors company announced its acquirement of the luxury footwear and accessory brand Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion. In November, the brand announced that Francesca Leoni was appointed as the new Senior Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for the Michael Kors brand.
Currently, Michael Kors stores are present in the most prestigious cities in the world including New York, London, Milan, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Through company owned shops and licensing partners they offer their consumer products including accessories, footwear, watches, jewelry, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, eyewear and a full line of fragrance products.
The origin begins with René Lacoste (1904-1996) during his tennis career he wore a small crocodile embroidered on the pocket of his jacket and he was called “the Crocodile.” Maybe due to his fierceness or perhaps because a certain bet with his team captain where the prize happened to be a suitcase made in alligator skin. In any case, Lacoste embraced the name to the point of getting the crocodile embroidered on his blazer and as simple as that, the tennis myth came along with a clothing legend.
The Lacoste Polo is Born
Officially in 1926 Lacoste, a practical man, adopted the short-sleeved shirt for both on and off the tennis court. Since then, his style has inspired the so-called functional elegance. In 1933 René Lacoste retired from tennis, founded La Société Chemise Lacoste with André Gillier, then designed and decided began to produce a button-neck short-sleeve sweater in white piqué cotton, with a small green crocodile embroidered on the left side of the chest. The garment was immediately successful as sports clothing, especially in tennis and golf, thanks to having a longer back than front, so as to remain well tucked inside the pants even after large or brisk movements.
In 1941 he was appointed as President of the Fédération Française de Tennis, meanwhile he infused colorful life to his clothing line with a range of tones on the polo shirts, in addition sneakers and the first children collection were conceived.
In 1963, Bernard Lacoste took over the management of the company from his father René. Significant company growth was seen under Bernard’s management. Also, at this time Lacoste jerseys were manufactured in 4 colors, in 1967 in 21, and were equally suited to men, women and children. By the end of 1963 around 300,000 products were sold annually.
Success and diffusion arrived during the 1960s when sporting fashion became more popular. The brand reached its height of popularity in the US during the late 1970s and became the signature 1980s “preppy” wardrobe item, even getting mentioned in Lisa Birnbach‘s Official Preppy Handbook of 1980.
Creativity and innovations have been always center points at Lacoste, therefore in 1970 Ruben Torres was appointed as fashion designer. He had many outstanding achievements during this period, including the creation of the memorable advertising campaign “Crocodiles”, the first boutique on Avenue Victor Hugo, Paris and the fragrances collection embodying the joie de vivre feeling characteristic of the brand.
In 1986 Guy Paulin is appointed Fashion Designer. The world was changing quickly and in 1996 the first Lacoste website was launched under the direction of Gilles Rosies as Fashion designer, appointed in 1994. At this time, the company also began to introduce other products into their line including shorts, perfume, optical and sunglasses, tennis shoes, deck shoes, walking shoes, watches, and various leather goods.
Lacoste is known for their crocodile logo plus several other key DNA elemnts. This includes stripes, color blocking, piping, rib knit sweaters, punch (tennis racket handle material)，monochrome, and net pattern. The style has always been for people with a preppy wardrobe who play a lot of tennis or golf.
Creative Director: Christophe Lemaire
In 2000 the new creative director was Christophe Lemaire, a “student” ofChristian Lacroix. He had the task of introducing the brand towards modernity, though remaining linked to its sport roots. He took over from Gilles Rosier, who had widened the crocodile’s horizon of sportswear. But it was until the arrival of Christophe Lemaire, that Lacoste’s first fashion show was presented in New York City, 2003.
Also, an agreement was signed with Samsonite for the manufacture and distribution of leather goods. The diversification is transverse compared to the other three areas of business: activewear, which represents 20%, sportswear with 60% and Club clothing. By 2001 consolidated turnover was €850 million, +8% compared to 2000: 75% was represented by clothing.
In May of 2002 Lacoste eyewear aimed at the Brazilian market. The Group L’Amy, which produces and distributes the crocodile’s glasses, signed a distribution and production license agreement with Technol Group, a South-American eyewear producer. Also, this year 600,000 pieces of leather goods were sold, generating a turnover of €10 million.
In January of 2003 the company opened a store on Fifth Avenue, New York. By the end of 2003 the brand is distributed in 120 countries and has 718 own-brand boutiques, 433 in Europe, 156 in Asia and 129 in America, most of them franchised. 65% of Lacoste is in the hands of the Lacoste family, now in the second generation; the remaining 35% is owned by the French company Devanlay, which also produces and distributes clothing. In the last ten years, the annual growth rate has been constant around 8-12%, transforming a single-manufactured brand, the shirt, into a lifestyle. The shirt, however, is the best selling item and is still produced as it was originally, using 38.63 miles of Egyptian or Peruvian cotton and mother-of-pearl buttons. The Italian market ranks third for importance, with about €70 million of turnover.
Lacoste relaunches its “1963 tennis shoe” with contemporary colours and patterns. The shoes style is named “RENÉ” in tribute to their inventor. Then, in 2006 the René Lacoste foundation is created. Its mission is to support and fund projects for children to transmit key values through sport.
In 2008 Lacoste celebrates its 75th anniversary. To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Lacoste looked back on its tennis history by fast-forwarding 75 years to the year 2083 and how tennis will be played in the future. Through a 3D TV, A space age tennis player showed off his new moves on a new court. Meanwhile, Lacoste released another video to explored champion tennis player, Andy Roddick’s vision of tennis past present and future. Other videos explored the connection Lacoste brought to the game of tennis of the past and tennis of the future through its present as a sportswear powerhouse.
Creative Director: Felipe Oliveira Baptista
In 2010 Portugese designer, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, becomes the new fashion designer of Lacoste. He offers an essential reinterpretation of the brand values.
Also that year, Lacoste creates the Lacoste lab in collaboration with fashion designer Christophe Pillet to promote innovation.
Then, in 2011 Lacoste opens new flagship stores, designed by Christophe Pillet, in Paris and Hamburg. Also at this time, 53 million Lacoste products have been sold through 1,165 stores and over 2000 departments stores across 114 countries. The brand claims, two crocodiles were sold every second.
Acquired By Maus Freres
In November 2012 Lacoste was bought outright by Swiss family-held group Maus Frères. Also, for the first time, Lacoste opens a boutique in Paris entirely focused on women. Next to that, they open their first store in Shibuya, Tokyo, followed by Miami and a new flagship store in Knightsbridge, London. The brand re-strategized their social media and now the facebook page attracts 10 million followers.
80th Anniversary Logo
In 2013 for Lacoste’s 80th birthday, they released an anniversary logo along with an exclusive collection of high-end wares. The items in collaboration with Maison Francaises range from leather goods, to jewelers and bakeries, producing everything from crocodile duffels to eclairs. The whole set goes on display at Colette in Paris starting June 10th.
In 2014 Lacoste is named the official partner for the Olympic and Paralympic French teams.
In 2016 Lacoste opens a new flagship store in the World Trade Center, New York, followed by one in Paris.
In February 2017 in honour of the brand’s 85th birthday, Lacoste announces that they will swap New York Fashion week for Paris fashion week for the SS18 collection. Also, tennis player Novak Djokovic was named brand ambassador for Lacoste. This obligation includes a five-year contract and he will appear in advertising campaigns.
Today the brand is continually evolving, is always fresh and dynamic as his founder. Now in an environment where the “casual Friday” occurs almost everyday, this is transformed for good into “casual elegance” and thrilling collaborations like the latest between Lacoste and Supreme are happening as a response to the changing times.
Paul Smith (1946) is an English tailor and designer. The first thing he sold was a pocket handkerchief with the British flag. Today, in the stores, everything is from robots to ties. He is always unconventional. It has transformed the tailoring into an explosion of colors, inventions, fashion trends combined with the oldest quality of fabrics. He still has the spirit of a twenty-something, cutting-edge designer, which is why he continues to ride the crest of the wave.
His clothes are like his personality: amusing and serious at the same time, eccentric but wearable. He opened a multi-brand shop in Nottingham in 1970, and nine years later opened his first proper shop, revolutionizing the concept of selling space, which from then on was no longer just the space used for the display of goods, but a meeting point for anyone interested in style.
His first menswear fashion show was in 1976 in Paris. From that point on the label has grown from strength to strength. The brand’s reputation has never ceased to grow. He has also been asked to be a consultant to the Prime Minister Tony Blair.
You Can Find Inspiration in Everything (and if you cannot, look again!)
In February 2001, Paul Smith joined The Queen on the Birthday Honors List, an acknowledgment of his contribution to British fashion. Later, in November he published You can get inspiration from anything (and if you cannot, look again!). It is not a fashion monograph, nor a clothing catalog, but a collection of images where the author is portrayed in the most diverse situations. The volume, 288 pages, was edited by Alan Aboud who has co-authored the author as an art director for more than ten years. The project was also signed by Jonathan Ive (iMac designer). At the same time, he opened a shop in London at the Royal Exchange.
Paul Smith in Milan
In March 2002, Paul Smith opened his first single store in Italy, via Manzoni in Milan. The project is by Sophie Hicks. Then, the first men’s shoe store was opened in Paris. The following month, in collaboration with Cappellini, the Mondo furniture collection will be launched during the Milan Furniture Show.
During the same period, the designer organized Great Brits, an exhibition that pays homage to the greatest British designers. The exhibition was held in his own studio in Milan at Viale Umbria 95. The designer chose four young names: D. Mathias Bengtsson, Tord Boontje, Daniel Brown, and Sam Buxton.
In 2003, after the enormous success achieved with the first collaboration, Reebok commissioned the designer to create a new collection of 80’s men-women shoes, named after Paul Smith, Reebok 2. The materials are mainly orange and blue nylon and real red and blue leather. Exclusively worldwide, only in the stores of Paul Smith (around 250 worldwide) you can buy the first book written by David Bowie at the “modest” sum of £ 295, Moonage Daydream: the truth behind Ziggy. Each of the 2500 numbered copies is autographed.
Boutiques and Iconic Stripes
In February 2005 he opened his first shop for the Pink line in the Daikanyama district of Tokyo. The flagship store measures 120 square meters and is entirely for womenswear and accessories. It is called Paul Smith Pink+. Then, in March he released the Black collection, following an earlier Blue version, the second official women’s line to be found in department stores such as Harvey Nichols, Harrods, and Selfridges.
Paul Smith boutiques are known for a distinguished playful design. Every boutique is designed and decorated differently, but all are full of color and character, mirroring his personality. This concept reflects his unconventional design.
In 2006, with the intention of using it only for a season, the stylist launches the iconic signature of Paul Smith Stripes. There are not many styles that can be worn either by a two year old girl, or a 35-year-old man. The stripes are perhaps the only candidate. The rows have the power to make a highly distinguishable surface, which, speaking of clothes, explains why they have never been kept in great care.
The Recent Year’s
In 2009 Paul Smith made a collection of bike clothes in association with Rapha. In this period, he opened stores in Dubai, Bangalore, Leeds, Antwerp, Los Angeles, and London.
In mid-November 2013 the company celebrated their 40th anniversary in the fashion world at the London Design Museum with the exhibition Hello, My Name is Paul Smith. The goal is to explore all aspects of the designer’s career, including future development. Accurate reproduction of Paul Smith’s studio, as well as an immersive installation, reveal some of his inspirations. The exhibition is a real journey through its collections, a day in the life of a parade and collaborations with other brands.
In 2017, in Florence, Paul Smith lit a fluorescent light in his youth line, PS by Paul Smith, and re-launched with a focus on basic clothes. The designer argues that the cornerstone of his business is the basis:
“Well done, of good quality, simple cut, made with special fabrics and easy to wear.”
Paul Smith has not presented his collection to Pitti Man for 23 years, but has considered Pitti Uomo 91 the right occasion to present his new collection. The latter translates his attitudes towards classic and bizarre in terms related to the new generations.
In 1835, at the age of fourteen, Louis Vuitton left Anchay, his native village in the Jura Mountains of eastern France, close to the Swiss border. He undertook this long journey by foot, ending up in Paris two years later. Upon his arrival, he was hired as a box maker/packer by Romain Maréchal. This work was based on manufacturing boxes and crates used to pack everyday objects and large wardrobes.
First Boutique in Paris
In 1854 he opened his first leather goods store on rue Neuve-des-Capucines, Paris. He offered very light trunks in poplar wood and baggage more suitable for the new means of transport. Then, he began to attract the admiration of fashionable people. His designs were ergonomic, made for strength, and lightness. His perfection of the flat trunk is now considered the beginning of modern luggage.
Beginning in 1859, the Asnières site, both a family residence and atelier of the company, is born. Still today, Asnières is a symbol of the Vuitton family’s personal and commercial success.
His skill is noted by Empress Eugenia of Montijo, who calls him to make his luggage. This experience helped him to understand that the old luggage used during the time of horse and bugee, with a curved form cover, had become useless obsolete. So, they decided on a modern type of luggage, which could be used in the trains, the new way of transport
Son Georges & Grandson Gaston
Louis Vuitton continuously innovates fabrics and patterns to protect the products from counterfeiting. In 1875, the creation of the first vertical wardrobe trunk, with each part being thoughtfully designed, guaranteed the success of a company already specializing in travel.
In 1886, Georges Vuitton, created the tumbler lock, an ingenious closing system. A major invention that allowed the same customer to open each piece of luggage with a single key. Later, in 1888, the Damier Canvas pattern is introduced and trademarked. Tragically, in 1892, Louis Vuitton sadly passes away and his son Georges officially takes over the company, along with his grandson Gaston-Louis.
The Monogram Canvas is Born
In 1896, the birth of the famous Monogram canvas. Louis Vuitton’s son, Georges, created the “Monogram”, a small piece of cloth printed with the initials LV that guaranteed the originality of the product. Also, he patented waxed cloth bags, like the “steamer bag.” Louis Vuitton’s grandson, Gatson, began to collect travel items and old luggage dating back to the 16th century. These pieces are now part of the collections at Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris.
Members of the aristocracy and royalty never traveled without their own special Louis Vuitton trunks and cases, for example, the Prince of Egypt Youssouf Kemal, and the Sultan Ismaïl Pacha.
For Luigi Barzini and Scipione Borghese who, in 1907, organized the Beijing-Paris car race, the maison designed rainproof cases. The trunk of the explorer Savorgnan de Brazza could even contain a camp bed, and the one made for the opera singer Lily Pons could hold 36 pairs of shoes. The trunk designed for the orchestra conductor Léopold Stokowski contained a little desk with a small table and shelves for books and music.
In 1914 Georges Vuitton unveiled a shop along the Champs Élysées in an Art Nouveau palace that became the symbolic store of the maison. Through this time the brand grew into pure luxury and in 1983 Louis Vuitton became partner of the America’s Cup: the first edition of the Louis Vuitton Cup was born.
Louis Vuitton Merges with Moët-Hennessy
Since 1959, the company’s production has expanded to include a line of bags, small leather goods, and accessories. In 1987 the company Louis Vuitton merged with Moët-Hennessy to become the colossal multinational company LVMH. Its first important acquirement came the following year: The Maison Givenchy. Bernard Arnault, in 1989, became president and starting in 1993, LVMH started acquiring diverse fashion houses Christian Lacroix, Emilio Pucci, Kenzo, Fendi, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Bulgari and Loro Piana.
In 1997 the artistic director of the brand became Marc Jacobs, who launched in his first year the first prêt-à-porter apparel line. In the same year, the company launched a “City Guide” line of luxury travel guides in the major cities of the world; Berlin, Athens, London, Moscow, Rome and Paris.
The following year, the men’s line was introduced. Marc Jacobs work consisted in revitalizing the brand, instilling an aspect of fashion that was new. Fundamental steps in this direction were the collaborations with artists like Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami that reworked the classic LV logo redecorating it with glaring modifications. Thanks as well to the advertising campaigns that used celebrities like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, the brand was able to become an inspiration in the eyes of a public ranging from 20 to 70 years old.
Louis Vuitton City Guides
Megastores were opened in London, New York and in 2000 a flagship store in Hong Kong. In 2002 Louis Vuttion registered a turnover of €4,194 million and operating results of €1,297 millions. All markets grew: Europe (+8%), USA (+12%), Japan (+15%). At the end of the year there were 299 own-brand shops. Of these, 7 were new: 1 each in Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, Moscow, Amsterdam, Macao, and Germany, the restyled and reorganized stores numbered about 30.
In December 2002 Yves Carcelle became the president of Louis Vuitton. By 2003, the company sold goods in 50 countries exclusively through more than 300 boutiques of its own property. By April, Louis Vuitton opened its first shop in New Delhi, India. Later, in September 2004, the Shanghai store, the largest store in the Asia-Pacific area, was restyled. Louis Vuitton had 13 shops in China. At this point, Louis Vuitton was arriving in South Africa and India. Serge Brunschwig, head of South-East Asia sector says,
“The future markets are India and South Africa. We are preparing big marketing operations and the opening of stores. In this way we create an emotional impact and start to introduce the Louis Vuitton universe into the luxury niches of new consumer markets.”
Overall, the brand has 335 own-brand, own- property stores all over the world. “To mark the company’s 150 years, we have accelerated the expansion project with 21 new openings, from the New York Building on the Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, to Osaka and Shanghai.”
New Collections & Campaigns
In the 2005 campaign, the actress Uma Thurman became Louis Vuitton’s new testimonial. Later, in July, the diversification process of the French brand continued. After a line of jewelry was launched, Louis Vuitton eyewear (sunglasses) made their appearance. Zeiss is the chosen partner to produce high protection lenses.
Louis Vuitton launched new icon purses including one in Nomad Leather, a Monogram Mini Lin line, Damier Azur line, along with the new edition of the icon locks in 2006. The company published a book ‘Louis Vuitton, Icons’ by Edition Assouline. Also, new openings occurred with the Louis Vuitton House in Manhattan and Taiwan.
In 2007 The exhibition, Takashi Murakam, occurred along with a temporary opening of the Louis Vuitton boutique in a museum. This year also marked an iconic collaboration of Marc Jacobs and Richard Prince. The ‘Ultimate Travel Bag’ was created, and the Core Values Advertisement Campaign with Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Catherine Deneuve, and Mikhail Gorbachev debuted. This year also saw the opening of the first store in Cyprus, Greece.
In 2008 The Damier collection launched a new Graphite Damier line. Also, the company celebrates the 10th anniversary of the City Guides collection. Sofia Coppola is honored with a collection under her name that is launched in Tokyo. Stephen Sprouse in New York is celebrated with a tribute in his honor. In Auckland, New Zealand, the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series takes place. Another inauguration for the Takashi Murakami exhibition of Guggenheim Bilbao is admired.
Faithful to its heritage, Louis Vuitton has opened its doors to architects, artists and designers across the years. Also while developing disciplines such as ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, watches, jewelry and stationery. These carefully created products are testament to the company’s commitment to fine craftsmanship.
The success of the Louis Vuitton label is based on grand French style, which recognizes the beauty of an object in its function and mobility. Louis Vuitton has brought unique designs to the world, combining innovation with style, always aiming for the finest quality.
The commercial policy is based on exclusivity, especially to combat against the rising attempts at falsification. For this reason, the fashion house’s products can only be acquired in their single brand stores or online at their official website www.louisvuitton.com. The brand’s attention isn’t limited just to the fashion system: interested in new trends, Louis Vuitton run a cultural space at 101 Champs Élysées where young artists were left to propose and promote their art. Nowadays, this space is not open anymore.
In 2010 Louis Vuitton published the book 100 Malles de Légende, a work that traces the story of the maison through a photographic support of more than 800 shots.
In February 2011, the first app of Louis Vuitton was launched, following the collaboration of the brand with Apple. “Look at the world through the eyes of Louis Vuitton”, the brand’s motto that they presented to refined travelers from every corner of the world. Vuitton’s success was unstoppable. Also, their campaign, “City Guide,” the line of luxury travel guides, updated a 2011 edition with new and unexpected cities like Porto Cervo, Beirut, Courchevel, Gstaad, Oxford, Palma de Mallorca and Thessaloniki.
2014 is another turning point, when Marc Jacobs, the creative director of the maison, is replaced by Nicolas Ghesquière, the French fashion designer discovered in 1997 by Balenciaga.
Louis Vuitton, in 2016 has an estimated $ 20 billion value, and is at number 19 of Forbes’ list of the 100 most prestigious brands in the world.
Today, the Maison remains faithful to the spirit of its founder, Louis Vuitton, who invented a genuine “Art of Travel” through luggage, bags and accessories which were as creative as they were elegant and practical. Since then, audacity has shaped the story of Louis Vuitton.
Currently, Nicolas Ghesquière remains the Creative Director of Women’s Collections.
The origins of Prada begin in 1913 when Mario Prada, Milanese luxury craftsman, opened a shop at Galleria Vittorio II in Milan.
Prada is innovative in the field of travel goods, accessories, and luxury goods. The branded uses refined materials, high quality craftsmanship and state of the art design for its products. The brand has quickly become a point of reference for leather accessories and items precious from all over the world.
Thanks to the quality of its creations, Prada meets the demand of the most demanding, experienced clients of the international market, and of high society. In 1919 Mario became an official supplier of the Real Casa d’Italia, obtaining the right to include the coat of arms and the Sabaudi knots in his own brand. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
On the other hand, Mario Prada ideas made it clear, his goal was to:
“Collapse the shortage of objects that participated in the adventure of stylism, but with detachment; They were fashionable, and unable to go fashionable in the course of a season.”
Miuccia: The Rebellious and Ingenious
Mario’s granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, is an ex-jury of the good bourgeoisie, a sixty-year-old passionate about theater and mime, enrolled at the Small Theater School and the Udi (Union of Italian Women) of the Communist Party.
In 1978 Miucca became part of the family business. Together with her partner and husband, Patrizio Bertelli, they transformed the brand into a world-class luxury goods Made in Italy business. After Miucca took over, the brand begins to compete with Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, Gucci.
The company becomes highly industrial, and at the end of 1997 Prada can rely on:
8 establishments with 1184 direct employees;
119 single-store shops, of which 94 are directly controlled;
A total turnover of 1,147,202 billion lire.
The stages of this ascent to the top of international fashion are marked by Miuccia’s creative intuitions and Patrizio Bertelli’s clever business strategies and communication.
The Eighties: Nylon and American Success
In the early 1980s, Nylon handbags arrived in a patented material, Pocono, originally used for military parachutes. Bags are identified by the iconic logo: an inverted metal triangle inspired by the closure of Mario Prada’s trunks, which soon become objects of worship. In 1979 the first shoe collection was launched.
In 1983 he opened the first Green Store in Milan, designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi. It is characterized by a particular shade of light green that will soon be recognized worldwide as Green Prada. From this moment on, Prada opens a network of Green Stores all over the world, the color remaining so unique. (Source: “Prada“, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
In 1988 the big jump in women’s clothing took place. The decade of the most spectacular hedonism and consumerism of the century. Opposed to “minimalism”, Prada’s fashion is actually the conceptual elaboration and aesthetic disorder of our time, but without any abstraction.
The return to Milan
Prada is Miucca, a bourgeois and schismatic girl who has become a character, with her stage in New York. She turns naked legs even at 10 degrees below zero, wears woolen socks with sandals, and wears a second-long chiffon skirt over rough tweed, which invented her wind-jacketed jackets.
Only after becoming a “case” in the United States and the Anglo-Saxon press, the Prada-Bertelli reported collections on the Milanese catwalks. The Italian journalists who, before the American trip, left empty whole files of the fashion shows in Melzi d’Eril , are left outside the door of the new Via Maffei.
There is a scandal in print, with accusations of censorship. But, the name Prada becomes popular far beyond the fashion world. Also, because the couple follows the common passion for contemporary art, and become collectors to patrons.
The Nineties: The Foundation and the Big Acquisitions
1993: Prada Foundation was founded, followed by the first exhibitions: Eliseo Mattiacci and Nino Franchina. In the same year the Men’s line and Miu Miu, the independent brand created specifically for Miuccia, were created.
1995: The Prada Foundation, a Milan art space, hosts artists such as Anish Kapoor, Michael Heizer, Louise Bourgeois, Dan Flavin, Laurie Anderson, Sam Taylor Wood, Mariko Mori.
1997: Patricia Bertelli, a sailor expert, decides to sponsor and take part in the 2000 America’s Cup in New Zealand.
The choice is to support the new line Prada Sport, a research laboratory for new materials, forms, and behaviors.
June 1998: Prada becomes an important shareholder of Gucci, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. However, in January 1999, with 34.4% of Gucci by the French group, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), Prada surrenders its shares to Bernard Arnault. In six months the brand achieved a surplus of 192 billion Lire to invest in the increasingly international brand development.
In the following years:
The purchase of the majority of Helmut Lang;
Participation in De Rigo (glasses);
A minority stake in Church’s, English shoes;
Then the big hit, the purchase of Jil Sander (75 percent of ordinary shares and 15 of those listed on the Stock Exchange);
Finally the winning public offering of the Church’s majority and the alliance with Bernard Arnault and his Lunch for the holding of the Fendi brand. It is the end of August 1999.
The Epicenter Project.
In 1999, the brand inaugurated a unique project in collaboration with AMO, the think-tank of Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and the architect Rem Koolhaas. Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli entrust AMO with the task of analyzing world shopping trends, conceptualizing new products and applying their findings to new types of stores. Thus, the project of three Epicenter projects, designed outside the type of Green Store, is designed to become a true experimental laboratory.
Strong with an identity that transcends the simple brand, the company continues to affirm its originality in new and unexpected ways. He is among the first to collaborate with visionary architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron, winners of the prestigious Pritzker Prize. The Epicenter of New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles, so different from the classic concept of the store, are the result of A careful analysis of the dynamics of the market in contemporary society and of revolutionary architectural innovation. In these boutiques are exposed luxury goods that are the result of extraordinary technology and design, alongside a multitude of exclusive activities and events. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project)
From 2000 to 2005
A New Venue for Collections
At the beginning of the year, the company is recognized by Interbrand among the 100 most important brands in the world. Starting in 2000, Prada presents its collections in Fogazzaro Street, Milan, in a former industrial establishment. The building, renovated for this purpose, is constantly being reconfigured, giving rise to new architectural environments. In order to enhance the concept of collections, in fact, unique movies, videos and sound settings are projected. (Source: “Prada“, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)
A joint venture with LVMH, called Lvp Holding Bv, is formed in July for the acquisition of 51% of Fendi’s ordinary shares. In October, the acquisition of 100% of Azzedine Alaia’s shares will take place. The Eyewear and Beauty collections debut.
The 2000 Budget
Consolidated sales grew 56.6% compared to 1999. Gross margin increased by 49.8%. Net income was down 184 billion lire (-42.7%). However, the 1999 figure is influenced by the gain on the sale of Gucci shares to the LVMH, net of which the profits would be 134 billion.
The debt remains high, but it is not due to financial mismanagement, but from the many acquisitions carried out in 1999 and 2000: Church’s, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Fendi (joint venture with LVMH) and Azzedine Alaia. Significant ratio of net debt to net equity improved in 2000, thanks to Prada Holding’s capital increase of €260 million.
The budget of the Jil Sander House, which accounts for 10% of total turnover, showed a turnover of €134.8 million. The markets with the largest competitive presence is Germany and American. In Italy, the brand is present in Milan, with a showroom in Piazza Castello.
Acquisitions of 2001.
February: Acquisition of 70% Santacroce.
April: Acquisition of 51% of the company Car Shoe, a brand created and patented in 1962 by the Lombard artisan Gianni Mostile, shoe manufacturer for motorcycle enthusiasts. The value of the operation was not known.
July: Acquisition of 70% of Genny, a Marche company led by Donatella Girombelli. Rumors add up to $100 billion to $120 billion in sales, a figure that must be taken out of the high debt.
November: Agreement with LVMH for the sale of 50% of the Prada Group’s holding in Lvp Holding BV (holding Fendi’s shares owned by LVMH and Prada) for a value of €295 million. Prada and LVMH had purchased 51% of Fendi in 1999, paying $425 million. The figure serves to lower the indebtedness of the Italian Group.
The Epicenter of New York
After three years of research, Prada opens the first Epicenter in New York, at Broadway’s Guggenheim Museum SoHo. Rem Koolhaas and OMA create a scenic spectacular design of a wooden wave linking the ground floor to the bottom. With suspended and motorized hanger cages that move along a network of ceiling mounted rails, and a real stage that Gets out of the wave to host special events. The project has an immediate success and remains one of the most prominent contemporary Prada stores worldwide.
One of the most important features of the New York Center is the northern wall that extends for a whole block, reaching the length of sixty meters. From the earliest designs, OMA conceived the wall as a kind of canvas on which to apply temporary wallpaper. Prada and New York Design Studio 2 × 4 have created different wallpaper to produce ever-newer content. Almost at the same time as the opening of the New York Center, Prada started designing the second Epicenter, located in Tokyo, with the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. (Source: “Prada”, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)
The long-awaited listing on the Milan Stock Exchange is postponed due to the unfavorable time. The multiple acquisitions made in recent years have exacerbated the debtor situation of the Group, which, in order to face it, is considering issuing. It paves the €700 million bond in favor of Prada. The demand from investors was five times higher than the availability. The €700 million will be used: 300 for capital increase and 400 for repayment of debts.
Financial situation in 2002
March: Debut in Moscow, in the central Tretyakov Passage, the first single-member in Russia. Group Partner is Mercury Distribution.
June: A joint venture was established with the Puig group for the creation and distribution of perfumes and cosmetics marked by the Prada brand. With the purchase of the remaining 25% of Jil Sander, Prada has total control of the German brand.
August:. The remaining 24.29% of Genny Spa is found. The Genny and Byblos brands, to which Ozium is added, are present in the high-end prêt-à-porter and in other product lines including leather goods, glasses, and perfumes through contracts License.
September: Fabio Zambernardi is the design director of the Prada and Miu Miu brands for clothing, footwear, and accessories lines. The limited edition GTS Chrono-Automatic IWC for Prada watch is launched.
Prada and Miu Miu’s direct sales outlets total 160. Group revenues amounted to €1.57 billion. The business volume has maintained a balanced geographical distribution: 26% Italy, 25% rest of Europe, 23% North America and 26% Japan and Asia-Pacific area. Historical brands Prada and Miu Miu contributed 83% of total revenues. Consolidated net income is €27 million.
Prada points to Japan: The Epicenter of Tokyo
March: An agreement was reached for the distribution of Prada glasses with the company Avante-Garde Optics (Luxottica Group) in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Bertelli announces Group plans for the year. Investments will fall from €130 million in 2002 to €100 million, and will be channeled mainly in the relaunch of younger brands.
Debut a new flagship store in the Ginza district of Tokyo. The third in the Land of the Levant. For the occasion, Prada has produced a Limited Edition Series (2000 copies) exclusively for the Japanese market.
The new Epicenter Prada debuted in Tokyo, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron. The six-story building, located in the Aoyama district, is one of the city’s most recognizable architectural works. The green glass façade protrudes from a diagonal grid that forms the structure, while it houses commercial areas, lounges and spaces for events. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
July: A ten-year license agreement with Luxottica Group, a world leader in the optical industry, for the production and distribution of sunglasses and watches with the brands Prada and Miu Miu, begins. The deal contemplates the acquisition by Luxottica of the 100% production and distribution companies of the Prada Group, for a total value of €26.5 million.
The Epicenter of Los Angeles
In 2004, it opens the flagship store of Hong Kong. Miuccia receives New York’s International Award from Cfda.
After the success of the New York Center, OMA plans a new space on the historic Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. In some respects, the new project is the reverse of New York: a wave rises from the road level, rises to the second floor and goes down again. The facade is made up of a single aluminum plate. Many of the inner walls are made up of a special resin sponge that gives an unusual ‘porous’ appearance to the spaces. (Source: “Prada”, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)
In the same year, the brand expanded its activities by sponsoring Luna Rossa, a sailboat participating in the America’s Cup, and the consequent introduction of the ad hoc technical clothing line the following year.
In April, an agreement was reached with Aedes. This will give rise to Real Estate International, which acquires Prada Group real estate assets for an estimated value of about €100 million and with a capital gain of €30 million of Prada.
Meanwhile, Helmut Lang’s acquisition is completed. The brand headquarters in New York are moved to Milan, while opting for the suspension of Genny’s clothing line, acquired three years earlier.
Departures and the Launch of the First Perfume
In 2005, Simonetta Ciampi was appointed design director for bags and accessories. In the following period, the Prada Group became lighter. With the sale of Helmut Lang, Jil Sander (2006) and Azzedine Alaïa, which returned to 100% in the hands of the Franco-Tunisian designer, while investors entered Banca Intesa, a 5% stake. This involves the incorporation of the Lamos shoe factory and in conjunction with the announcement of the start of the auction.
Also in 2005, for launching the first female fragrance, Miuccia Prada invites filmmaker Ridley Scott, and her daughter Jordan, to collaborate on the production of a short film. To represent the complexity of the feminine essence, Jordan chooses an ancient 1st-century poem entitled “Thunder Perfect Mind”, which illustrates the countless facets of the female psyche. “Thunder Perfect Mind” is shot by father and daughter in Berlin, and has Daria Werbowy, protagonist of the different female roles of wife, virgin, mother, daughter, and lover. (Source: “Prada”, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)
From 2005 to 2010
In March 2007, Prada launched Prada Phone by LG, the first fully mobile touch screen phone. More than a million pieces sold in 18 months of presence on the market. The process of asset optimization gives its fruit: Prada S.p.A. Closes 2007 with record profit of €127 million, up 65.8% over the previous year.
At the beginning of 2008, during the New York Fashion Week, Trembled Blossoms is presented. In line with Prada’s creative process, Tremclothing, bags, and packaging. The Trembled Blossoms movie is presentedbled Blossoms is born out of contradictory ideas. The interweaving of Miuccia Prada’s many inspirations, ranging from Art Nouveau to Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings, are perfectly restored by surreal designs by artist James Jean, which stimulate the creation of wallpaper, animated shorts, printed fabrics, at the New York Center in the fall of 2007, accompanied by a live performance by the Coco Rosie group, which made up the soundtrack of the film.
The film is subsequently screened during a series of exclusive events in the Epicenter of Los Angeles and Tokyo. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
An animated short film, entitled Fallen Shadows and directed by James Lima. Inspired by the collection by Steven Maisel in the campaign with Linda Evangelista, features an innovative technique of overlapping digital and traditional images: a hand-painted backdrop makes the background a new generation animation created entirely on the computer. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
Prada and Contemporary Art
The Waist Down Show
Among the projects for art, Waist Down, is an itinerant exhibition that collects and exhibits the most original and significant models of skirts created by Prada from 1988 to today. The show is conceived by Prada and AMO as a modified event from time to time based on the exhibition space intended to accommodate it. The inauguration of the exhibition takes place in 2004 at the Tokyo Interstate, the second location is the famous Peace Hotel in Shanghai.
In 2006, Waist Down moved to New York City Center in SoHo to continue at the Los Angeles Downtown in Beverly Hills and finish with the inaugural installation of the Prada Transformer in Seoul. Each evolution interprets and conforms to the different exhibition spaces, mixing activities and features of the event with the culture of the host city. With Tokyo in 2004, Shanghai in 2005, New York and Los Angeles in 2006, and Seoul in 2009. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).
Subsequently, the Prada Transformer project is an installation housed for six months next to the historic Gyeonghigung Palace in downtown Seoul, capital of South Korea. It will combine several disciplines within a single building, gathering the various facets of Prada while respecting its autonomy and uniqueness.
Designed by Prada, in collaboration with architect Rem Koolhaas, tetrahedron has been conceived to host four events dedicated to art, cinema, fashion, and the world of culture. Each event has a distinct planimetry: hexagonal, rectangular, cruciform, and circular. Compared to any typical exhibition space that suits everything, the Transformer literally overturns, adapting its appearance to the features of each event.
In recognition of the cultural value of this cutting-edge project, the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano wanted to include the Transformer on his state trip to Korea. This is the only case in the history of the Republic, where a private building is included in the program of the official visit of the Head of State.
The America’s Cup
The Prada Group’s horizons transcend the boundaries of fashion: art, architecture, cinema, culture. Also, major challenges such as the America’s Cup are an integral part of the core values of the brand. Passionate and competent sailor, in 1997 Patrizio Bertelli launched an Italian challenge to America’s Cup, the most important sailing international competition. The ‘Red Moon’ boat wins the Louis Vuitton Cup, the Challenger selections for the 2000 America’s Cup, thus winning the right to challenge the New Zealand defender, which will then be defeated in a fierce final. But ‘Luna Rossa’ will remain a national phenomenon, an icon that has written one of the most important pages in the history of Italian sports. Never before had a sailing event been so followed in Italy.
A few months later, the new Prada Foundation in Milan, curated by Rem Koolhaas, opens to the public in May 2015. An area of 17,500 square meters in an industrial complex of the early twentieth century. In the field of art and culture, the Foundation is considered a true reference world-wide. The attention and interest of Miuccia and Maurizio Bertelli for the contemporary art world lead to the decision to open a space where presenting exhibitions realized in full collaboration with Italian and international artists.
“Prada Foundation is an initiative that aims to receive and retransmit the deepest mental provocations of the art of our time.” Miuccia Prada.
Over the years, the Prada Foundation has explored several research subjects, opening up to issues related to areas such as architecture, philosophy, science, design, and cinema.
From 2011 to Today
Fondazione Prada in Venice
Starting June 2, 2011, the Foundation opened a new exhibition space Ca ‘Corner della Regina”. A prestigious eighteenth-century building overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice, after an important conservation restoration intervention. This impressive historic building, which was made available by the Venice Civic Museum Foundation for 6-12 years, has inaugurated a complex and articulated exhibition that reflects the multifaceted activity of the Foundation.
As of June 24, 2011, the Group placed 20% of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, recording an initial valorization of the company at €9.2 billion, with the offer covered 3.5 times the available shares.
The “24 Hour Museum” Project
In 2012, Prada launches the “24 Hour Museum” project, conceived by Francesco Vezzoli, in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas’s AMO study. The installation for the “24 Hour Museum” has proposed three distinct moments, each inspired by a particular type of museum space: historical, contemporary, and forgotten. In the three areas, Francesco Vezzoli has imagined a “museum that is not there.” Where he exhibited his homage to the eternal feminine, and the interpretation of classical sculptures that allude a contemporary feel.
In the tradition of collaboration with artists and multiple approaches to the creative process, Prada intervenes to create a new project of linguistic and visual experimentation. The whole exhibition lasts 24 hours, a stage for a great party Baroque.
The Exhibition “Impossible Conversations”
Also in 2012, the Costume Institute, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hosts the exhibition Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. From May 10 to August 19, 2012 (preceded on May 7 by the Gala Benefit Event), the exhibition explored the unexpected affinities between the two Italian stylists belonging to different epochs.
Taking inspiration from Miguel Covarrubias’s “Interview impossible” for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton gave rise to unreal conversations between these two women. Suggesting, new keys to reading their innovative work.
Elsa Schiaparelli’s and Miuccia Prada’s icons are presented in galleries. Along with 8 videos that simulate a series of conversations between the two stylists directed by Baz Luhrmann to illustrate how in their work they have explored similar themes through very different approaches.
Prada for “The Great Gatsby”
In 2013, Miuccia Prada collaborated with costume designer, Catherine Martin, to create a collection of over 40 exclusive evening cocktail dresses by Miu Miu and Prada for “The Great Gatsby” by Baz Luhrmann. A special show of selected costumes was exhibited at the New York Center from May 1 to May 12, then moved to the Tokyo Expo Center from June 14 to June 30, and finally moved to the IFC Mall in Shanghai from 11 to 21 September 2013.
The show, “Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada Dress Gatsby”, combines evening dresses, hats, footwear, and jewelry with sketches, scene photos, backstage footage, and movie trailer. Also, mannequins wore the looks of each character accompanied by video from both the film and behind the scenes. Curated by New York’s 2 × 4 studio, the show was designed to change at each stage in order to reflect the unique features of each city that hosted it.
The Prada Gallery and Journal Projects
In 2013 Prada acquires an entire sky-earth portion of a property in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II overlooking the Ottagono and overlooking the historic store dedicated to female collections.
The project “The new Prada Gallery” is being developed in several phases. The first one sees the opening in 2013 of the new Prada Man shop on the ground floor of the palace. The spaces are entirely restored according to the aesthetic and architectural apts of the historic store of 1913.
The next phases of the project include the opening of a dining area on the mezzanine floor and the opening of exhibition spaces devoted to the Prada Foundation.
Also, in 2013 is the launch of Prada Journal, a literary competition in collaboration with Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore and Luxottica. The literary competition also arises from the curiosity of exploring innovative languages through forms of expression that converge on the written word, creating an independent platform of interest and an unusual editorial search reserve. Prada Journal had two more editions in 2014 and 2015.
Two New Short Film’s
In 2013, Prada presents Cannes’s short film “A Theraphy”, written and directed by Roman Polanski, starring Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter. The author of The Pianist and Carnage has imagined a somewhat weird psychoanalytic sitting where Tim Burton’s wife interprets a rich and bored lady, gripped, while Kingsley is her analyst.
In 2014 another film collaboration: an 8-minute short film directed by critically acclaimed American director, Wes Anderson. Cavalcanti Castle is perfectly located in Anderson’s authoritative universe, only this time in Italy. It’s September 1955, and Jason Schwartzman just went to slam with his racing car against a statue of Jesus. The result is a popular story about cases of fate in a typical ‘Andersonian’ style.
Close to its first centenary, is a holding company employing more than 7800 employees and distributing its products through a network of 353 stores in more than 70 countries.
Acquisitions of 2014
In March, Prada SpA announces the acquisition of 80% of Angelo Marchesi Srl, owner of the Milanese pastry factory founded in 1824. The same year is the acquisition of the historic tannery Mégisserie Hervy at Isle, near Limoges. The acquisition was carried out jointly with Conceria Superior SpA of Santa Croce, a long-time industrial partner of the Prada Group. The aim of the operation is to ensure the recovery and revival of a productive structure which is an example of excellence in the tannin tradition of lamb skins and in particular of “plongé” tassels, with the aim of preserving its precious craft know-how.
Also in 2014, the launch of the Pradasphere project, an exhibition dedicated to the Prada brand and curated by the 2 × 4 studio in New York. The first edition is hosted by Harrods in London for a month. The exhibition follows the multifaceted obsession of the brand through fashion, art, architecture, cinema, sports and more, forty showcases, a pop-up store, video installations, and the elegant Marchesi pastry shop. The second edition of Pradasphere took place in Hong Kong, in a space specially created for the occasion.
After the acquisition of Angelo Marchesi Srl, in September 2015 Pasticceria Marchesi presents at the space, via Monte Napoleone 9. This is the first place after the opening of the historic Milanese coffee. Marchesi Monte Napoleone remains faithful to its style and its impeccable quality, offering a wider range of products. Designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, the new shop extends over an area of 120 square meters and the interiors reinterpret the atmosphere and charm of Via Santa Maria at Porta 11 / a.
Within a year, Pasticceria Marchesi opened a third shop in the heart of Milan, within the emblematic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a symbol of the city. At the new space, located on the mezzanine floor of the building that houses Prada Man. You can access via stairs or elevators from both Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Prada store. The new Marchesi space is spread over an area of 250 square meters and reinterprets the atmosphere and fascination of the historic shop of Via Santa Maria alla Porta. Located in a charming setting marked by numerous arch windows, overlooking the beautiful frescoes and precious floors to the mosaic of the Gallery.
The Restoration of the Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari
On November 4, 2016, Giorgio Vasari’s restored the masterpiece in Santa Croce, fifty years after the Flood. Thanks to the commitment of Opificio delle Pietre Dure and the contribution of Prada, Getty Foundation, and Civil Protection. The ceremony takes place in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and Patrizio Bertelli, Managing Director of the Prada Group, Irene Sanesi, President of the Opera of Santa Croce, Marco Ciatti, Director of the Dure Stone Store, and Antoine Wilmering, Getty Foundation Senior Program Officer.
Giorgio Vasari’s Last Supper, which water and mud swept through this museum’s hall on November 4, 1966, has been preserved for decades in a Superintendency depot along with many other flooded works. After fifty years, thanks to new technologies, the restoration and the painting have been relocated to the Cenacolo. Thanks to the new technology, the Structure of Pietre Dure and the support of Prada, Getty Foundation and Civil Protection to make this possible. The Return of the Last Supper to Santa Croce is a virtuous example of patronage that has seen together in more than ten years. Thanks to Prada, who made it possible to intervene on the painting, the Getty Foundation for wooden support, and Civil Protection who allowed studies and surveys.
The Past Forward Project
Past Forward is a multi-platform film project born in 2016 by the collaboration between Miuccia Prada and US director and screenwriter, David O. Russell. Acclaimed for films such as American Hustle, The Fighter, and The Positive Side. Russell has imagined Past Forward as a dreamy, surreal, and silent landscape with an eclectic cast that re-plays scenes in variable combinations. The result is an unreliable story, a parallax view in which scenes, characters, costumes, genres, and even multiple endings, repeat and turn away. Rejecting the logic of conventional fiction. Russell represents his characters as elements of a complex collage, leaving the spectator the task of decoding what experience, memory, dream, and understanding overlap and differences between them.
Prada Opens Observatory
In December 2016, the Prada Foundation opens Osservatorio, a new exhibition space dedicated to photography and visual languages. Located at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Observatory is a place of exploration and investigation of the trends and expressions of contemporary photography. The constant evolution of the medium and its connections with other creative disciplines and realities. In a historical moment, in which photography is an integral part of the global digital communication flow, the Prada Foundation, through Osservatorio’s activities, questions the cultural and social implications of current photographic production and its reception. It extends the repertoire of modes and tools with which the Foundation interprets and relies on the present.
Located on the fifth and sixth floor of one of the central buildings, the Osservatorio is above the octagonal, at the level of the glass and iron dome covering the Gallery created by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867. The environments, rebuilt in After World War II following the bombings that struck the center of Milan in 1943, they underwent a restoration that made available an 800 m2 exhibition space developed on two levels.
The Shaping Conference at Creative Future
In March 2017, the Prada Group presented to Milan “Shaping to Creative Future”, a conference organized in collaboration with the Yale School of Management and the Politecnico of Milan School of Management. The event explored new possible connections between sustainability and innovation. This led to a confrontation between entrepreneurship, culture, and the international academic world. During the first day, at the Prada Foundation, teachers from both universities met with representatives of companies and associations to work out a critical perspective that was the focus of discussion on the next day. The following day, at Prada’s headquarters, entrepreneurial personalities, and spokespersons of international organizations met at a plenary conference, enriching the debate with inspirational insights and personal experiences.
The origins of Tod’s dates back to the turn of the twentieth century, when Filippo Della Valle, Diego’s grandfather, founded a small shoe manufacturer.
“My family has always had leather as a ruling force,” recalls the current chairman, Diego Dalla Valle. “My grandfather Filippo was a shoemaker, who worked in his kitchen at home, at first helped by my grandmother and then by the six children as they grew up. Twice a week my dad (Dorino), who was in charge of production, and uncle Pasquale, in charge of marketing, would travel by night on bicycles, or in freight trains, to save money, to Pescara, Forlì and Bologna, to sell our products to wholesalers who serviced the market stalls.”
In 1920 Tod’s started from a leather an at home shoe making workshop, founded by Fillippo Della Valle in Sant’Elipidio, Marche, Central Italy. Later, in the 1940s, Dorino Della Valle, took over the company after Fillippo’s death, and slowly started to grow this small shoe-making factory. He took on greater responsibilities within the structure of the footwear manufacturer that was producing, at the time, only women’s shoes.
At the end of the 1960s, Dorino Della Valle completed business on his own, with the help of his wife. Diego Della Valle, the son of Dorino Della Valle exclaims,
“my mother, Maria Micucci would stitch together soles and uppers, letting me sleep in the baskets of shoes to keep an eye on me.”
Diego Della Valle Enters the Company
Dorino expanded the company into the US successfully, and started to sell his shoes in major department store in US. Diego began working for the company in the 1970s, after an attempt at university studies. He took just four exams in two years, in the department of law.
“In effect, the lack of a desire to study has always been a family disease. So I went back home and started working with my father.”
Through the 1970s Diego Della Valle expanded Fillippo’s workshop into a wider impact to the whole industry. Then, in 1979, Diego Della Valle became President of Tod’s. Also at this time, the vice president was his brother, Andrea Della Valle.
Renamed to Tod’s S.p.A.
In 1986 Diego Della Valle became the sole administrator of the company, which in the meanwhile had been renamed Tod’s S.p.A. New concepts in terms of product lines, marketing plans, and corporate strategy transformed the family workshop into one of the leading players in the production and marketing of luxury footwear and leather goods.
Later, the brands Hogan and Fay were introduced into the Tod’s Group in the 1980s.
Hogan stood out for its high design content. The basic model, inspired by English cricket shoes from the 1930s, was made with a double overlapping upper in order to make the shoe more durable. With a foam rubber padding of the edges and the insole, and a sole with an undulating design to ensure maximum flexibility. Initially focused on the production of footwear for women, men, and children, Hogan recently diversified into leather goods.
Founded by the Tod’s Group in the late 1970s, the Fay brand was originally born in the United States, specializing in the production of robust corduroy cotton and nylon fishnet jackets jackets closed by four hooks inspired by American fire-fighters. Today the brand features male and female lines, complete with accessories, and a kids line. Fay is characterized by the distinctive Double Life philosophy. In each Fay collection, the garments are designed to address different business and business opportunities. Also, Leisure is for the city or the most dynamic outdoor contexts. The “Fay Code” is today synonymous with informal, sophisticated, cosmopolitan and versatile elegance. The expression of an Italian taste that, inspired by an international breath, combines quality, luxury and research in a timeless balance between tapestry and innovation.
In the 90s Fay joined the eloquent quality of Made in Italy and the style of tradition. The brand evolved into a cosmopolitan taste that moves its footsteps from tailoring to anticipate new urban scale trends worldwide, listening attentively to a constantly moving audience.
Excellence in quality is an absolute must for the entire group. This is guaranteed by the high proportion of craftsmanship in the manufacturing process and a strict control of the raw materials and all the phases of the production process. Tod’s shoe manufacturing requires more than 100 working phases, from handmade leather to sewing of individual components of each model. A shoe can be made up of 35 pieces of leather, each of which is treated and manually checked before being assembled.
The entire process involves several skilled craftsmen in carrying out a precise task. The skins come from the best tanners in the world and, like fine wine, some pieces have to wait years to reach the right color and consistency point. Every single piece is checked by the experts to evaluate their color, strength and thickness to achieve a perfect homogeneity, otherwise it is discarded. Once the finished product is reached, every pair of shoes is carefully examined and the defective models are eliminated.
The same procedure is followed in the realization of the bags, which stand out for a craftsmanship similar to the old procedures used for saddlery.
Production is primarily carried out in 9 fully owned plants, 7 for footwear, and 2 for leather goods. Also, a part is outsourced to a few specialized workshops, which the company has established stable and long-lasting working relationships. Diego Della Valle has always rejected espansionist policies by acquiring some luxury players.
“I do not see the advantages of a pole. Each brand has its own research and product offices, advertising campaigns are autonomous, as well as mono-brand stores. In short, synergies are limited to production and logistics. With the risk that buyers do not have organizational structures and managers to devote to what they have bought, they eventually do not control anything anymore.”
The Gommino Loafer
The “gommino” was born in the late 1970s. Diego Della Valle had noticed that they needed footwear ideal for casual chic occasions where a classical Italian prefer to wear a pair of chinos and a blazer and began working on this 50s prototype. The loafer if lightweight, flat, entirely hand-sewn, with rubber balls on the sole, so it simply called “rubbery” and worked. This featured an unusual sole that had 133 little raised rubber circles. In order to make one pair of loafers required 100 manufacturing steps, many of which involved hand labor. The strong point of the Tod’s line was also the selection of fine American leathers and British hides, all rigorously water-repellent and produced by quality, small-scale tanneries.was created with the intention of combining classic Italian style with the functionality of a versatile shoe that can be worn on any occasion.
The loftier has become international famous and worn by movie stars such as Michael Douglas, Catherine Deneuve, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel Jackson, Orlando Bloom, George Clooney, Claudia Schiffer, and Cindy Crawford.
In 1997 the company launched a collection of classic, modern and chic handbags, able to reflect the same spirit of the footwear line. The most famous was the D Bag, bought by Princess Diana in the Paris boutique, demonstrating the company’s elegant style.
Turnover and Investments in the Early 2000s
By 2000, Tod’s debuted in the electronic market of the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2001, the rise in economic indicators was still in double figures. Turnover increased by 26.6%, while the EBITDA, registered a leap upward of 31.5%.
In 2002, a year of crisis for the luxury sector, the manufacturer had a repeat year. Net revenues amounted to €358.2 million, a 12.5% increase, the EBITDA was €91.8 million, a 13.9% increase. That same year, investments in non-physical immobilization of capital, amounted to €28.6 million, due to the expansion of the network of direct distribution and sales, which grew by another 21 new shops. The capital locked up in material investments amounted to €15.8 million, of which 38% was allocated for the construction of a new manufacturing plant adjoining the headquarters of Sant’Elpidio a Mare. All the investments were self-financed, given that the financial situation was in the black to the tune of €46.7 million.
Enter into BNL
The label Tod’s, accounted for 57.2% of total sales, continues to bring in the lion’s share. During the same period, the company acquired 4.6% of Italy’s Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, so that Della Valle is now the third-largest shareholder, after the Basque group BBVA and Le Generali. Tod’s CEO, Diego exclaims,
“The objectives of this investment is to help, along with the other primary partners, to reinforce the stability of the bank. I am an industrialist, not a financier. I decided to buy into BNL on the basis of an industrial project, and I am in for the long term.”
At the end of 2002, the distribution network included 71 directly operated sales outlets, and 37 franchised stores.
In 2003 revenues and the gross operating margin of the first quarter of Tod’s SpA have increased, at constant rates of exchange, compared with the same period in 2002, by 3% and 17%, respectively. The label Tod’s, accounted for 57.2% of the total sales.
Expansion and Collaboration
In 2006, the comoany entered a collaboration with Marcolin Group to produce sunglasses collection. This year, they started to develop their market in China, and opened the first flagship store in Hong Kong. Until 2009, Tod’s has opened 13 boutiques in China.
Later, in 2011 Tod’s funded the renovation of the Colosseum.
That same year, the company began supporting the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, entering the Theater Foundation. The result of this valuable collaboration is the short “An Italian Dream”.
A year later, in 2012, the leather goods, and accessories of Tod’s became available on Mr. Porter.
2013 the company replaced creative director, Derek Lam, with Alessandra Facchinetti, who made an impressive debut in the 2014 spring summer collection, until her stepping down in 2016. Then, in 2014. Andrea Incontri appointed creative director of men’s wear of Tod’s. Dot’s of Life launched- a modern platform that encouraged people to share their lifestyle on social media through the brand, utilizing a key modern platform.
Tod’s Acquires Roger Vivier
In 2015 Tod’s partnered with Net-a-Porter.com, after their trial launch a year before, to sell their ‘ready-to-wear’ brand of accessories online. At this year, Tod’s SpA acquired Roger Vivier, a French luxury women’s shoe brand. A year later, in 2016 the brand revenue registered €419.4 million in sales in the first nine months of 2016.
Currently, the company’s headquarters still remains at Sant’Elipidio Marche, Central Italy, where Fillippo first started his small home-based workshop nearly 100 years ago. The rapid development of recent years has allowed the Tod’s Group to reach €1.004 million in turnover at December 31, 2016 and reach a number of employees that exceed about 5,000 employees.
As of December 31, 2016, the Group’s distribution network consisted of 272 DOS and 107 franchise stores, compared to 257 DOS and 99 franchise stores at 31 December 2015. Future objectives include the continuation of the investment plan under way, with continued research into new products and a growing international expansion of the direct distribution network.
Throughout Tod’s 90 years alive, they’ve been seeking perfection. Their legacy is intertwined with innovative thoughts and represented in an unprecedented approach. Tod’s everlasting mission is to understand and to pave the way to greatness, asserting the notion that with each step, perfection is possible.
Missoni is a luxury Italian fashion house known for their colorful knitwear. The company was founded by couple, Ottavio (“Tai”) and Rosita Missoni, in 1953. Read more to discover the couple built a multi-million dollar luxury business.
The company was founded by Ottavio (Tai) Missoni (1921) and his wife Rosita Jelmini (1931) in 1953, also the year they got married. They met in London during the 1948 Olympics. Ottavio was the Italian 400-meter running champion in 1938, world student champion in Vienna, and a finalist in the 400 meter hurdles. He also had a small firm in Trieste that produced tracksuits. The tiny Rosita, was young, but determined, and came with fashion experience gained. She gained this experience from her family’s firm, which produced shawls and linens for the home. The couple began with a small workshop in the basement of their home in Gallarate.
Their first client was the Biki boutique in Milan and then, in 1958, La Rinascente. Anna Piaggi was the first person to cite them in the press (Arianna, 1965), which also gave them their first cover in 1967. The first runway show, a collaboration with Emmanuelle Khanh, came in 1966. In 1967, they debuted at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, with a preview of the nude look. In 1969, they built the factory at Sumirago, with their house attached. Although, it was still a house and workshop, their success was by then worldwide. In 1970, Bloomingdale’s opened a Missoni corner in their New York headquarters.
The same year marked the invention of the “put-together” look, a free casual mixture and juxtaposition of stitches and designs. This became the distinctive feature of the Missoni style. Also, mixed with patchwork, colored stripes, and the black-and-white and rainbow “flame motif.” These were followed by Greek key motifs, grids, Scottish checks, folklore designs, and especially abstract African designs.
Materials included knitwear, furs, felts, tweeds, and elasticized fabrics. The variable thickness, textures, technical inventions, and color combinations of the yearn link to abstract and informal art. Decorative elements were taken from Anglo-Saxon applied art, a careful evolution of forms, and above all freedom and joyful creativity. These are the elements that have turned Missoni into a way of life, and their garments loved objects. All their garments are flattering in shape, color, and substance.
Womens Wear Daily listed them among their top 20 Fashion Powers, and Vogue America among the top 10 European designers with the greatest influence on international clothing trends. In 1972, The New York Times wrote:
“Missoni makes the best knitwear in the world and, according to some people, the most beautiful fashions in the world.”
In 1973, Missoni was awarded the Neiman Marcus Award. It was the first in a long series of recognitions: The Tony Award in 1976; the Premio Italia in 1986; and the Pitti Immagine in 1994. Rosita received the International Design Award in New York; Ottavio was made a Cavaliere del Lavoro in 1993, received the Pitti Immagine award in 1994, followed by the Honorary Royal Designer for Industry honor in 1997 in London. Towards the mid-1970s, they added furnishing fabrics and household linen to their collections of knitwear, accessories and jewelry. Ottavio began to display his tapestries in art galleries, first in Venice and then throughout the rest of the world.
In 1976, the first boutique was opened in Milan: 5 more followed in Italy, 2 in Paris, 3 in Germany, 3 in Japan, another 5 in the Far East, and 1 in New York.
Missoni in the Arts
Ottavio, who always wears a sweater, is listed among the ten most elegant men in the world. Also, a flower and a star were named after Rosita. They were a highly viewed couple in the fashion world.
25 years of their work was celebrated, in 1978, at the Rotanda della Besana in Milan, with a retrospective that moved to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York two years later. In 1994, in Florence and later in Milan, the Missoni world was described in the exhibition, Missonologia. In 1995, Gallarate celebrated with the exhibition, The Ottavio and Rosita Story. In 1996, there were two exhibitions in Japan: at the Sazon Museum of Art and at the Nagoya City Museum. Missoni creations feature in the permanent collections of the MoMA in New York, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Museum of Costume in Bath. The Missoni pair have also designed costumes for the opera (Lucia di Lammermoor at La Scala in Milan, 1983) and for ballet (David Parsons Dance Company, 1994).
The Next Generation
In 1997, the first all-fabric collection was created, produced and distributed by Staff International. In 1998, Missoni M was presented for men and women, in collaboration with the Marzotto Group. In the same year, the Missoni company acquired a new headquarters, a 6-storey building in Via Durini, Milan. Rosita and Tai moved there with their children, to whom they passed on the firm in 1997, at the peak of a series of new successes, feted by the press and consumers for their exemplary faithfulness to their own style.
Angela (1958) became art director, responsible for style; Vittorio (1954) commercial director; and Luca (1954) technical director. Nine grandchildren make up the Missoni tribe, guaranteeing the future of the firm. And so the tradition continues, with strong family connotations and an artistic-artisanal character, which, despite its vast expansion and international success, has made the name of Missoni so loved, and not just in the worlds of fashion and culture.
In 2000 Luca Missoni presented his first menswear collection for winter 2001-2002. Knitwear is reinterpreted with superimposed graphics, stripes, zigzags that look like brushstrokes, and flame motifs. It was the fruit of continual research into textiles, stitches, weaves, and patterns that has always been a part of the history of Missoni and of fashion itself. The collection played on the contrast between dry, plain fabrics, and soft silks and luminous knits. For Spring-Summer 2002, faded colors, pierced cotton piquet, very light cashmeres.
Later, in December of 2001, the Missoni Sport shoe collection would officially be produced and distributed by Big Time. The license is worth more than €13 million. As for the rest of the production, Missoni announced,
“We will not create any more licenses. From 2002, we will produce and distribute the Missoni Sport line ourselves.”
Powerful investments were made in a 2,500 square-meter space near Samirago, dedicated entirely to the Sport line. The shops and corner spaces were also restructured. Within the brand, the search for new types of fabric and knitting techniques continued. The white, beige, and gray flame motif remained popular.
In January 2003, after approximately 20 years of collaboration with Seibu, the company changed its Japanese distributor for its primary line. It signed a five-year distribution agreement with Kashiyama Onward, one of the largest textile industrials. Japan represents a market worth roughly €15 million and 25% of the brand’s business. The Missoni company closed 2002 with a turnover of about €130 million, which about €62 millions were made from its primary line. Also, new for 2003, celebrations for the company’s fiftieth anniversary, marked by two exhibitions, one in Milan and the other in Tokyo. Also, the opening of a new 70 square-meter boutique inside Harrods in London.
In April 2003 the new showroom was opened in Via Solferino in Milan. The building was an umbrella factory in the late nineteenth century, it is situated at the end of a courtyard in the historic center. Vittorio Missoni explained that the location is perfect, not just to present the different lines but also for shows, exhibitions, and other types of event. The former-factory belonged to distant relatives of Rosita’s grandparents.
Missoni Celebrates 50 Years
In May 2003 Missoni celebrated 50 years in business with a large runway show in the Town Hall square in Vienna, for the opening of the 11th Life Ball, a traditional charity evening held to raise funds to combat HIV/Aids. Later, in June the menswear collection, which represents roughly a third of the company’s turnover, was relaunched, focusing primarily on the development of accessories. In 2002, Missoni made €51 million on direct sales, compared to €48 millions the previous year. Exports (main markets Japan, USA, and Germany) accounted for more than 85% of the entire business. Alongside multi-brand stores, the company owns 12 directly controlled own-brand boutiques and about one hundred franchises.
In June 2003 at Milano Moda Uomo, Luca Missoni presented his collection: knitwear with a thousand colors mixed together, tight, micro polo necks in cotton crêpes printed with lozenges, sweaters in viscose and tulle. Including, cardigans with large, ostentatious zigzags, very light vests in linen thread, in a small net weave, or interspersed with lurex threads, transparent tops that simulate tattoos, and sweater-shirts in silk and lamé for evening wear.
In July 2003 fashion and design for the Japanese car Mazda, the sponsor of the AltaRoma runway shows. After the series of MX-5 sports cars, with exclusive interiors in numbered series, Missoni created the colors and interiors of the latest MX-5, made as a one-off and sold in an online auction to raise funds for AISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association). The fashion house celebrated its first half century.
Through November 2003, the celebrations continued and new Spring-Summer 2004 collection was presented in Tokyo, at the Yoyogi National Stadium. In addition, Tai and Rosita displayed more than a hundred outfits from the retrospective held in Milan the previous month, including the very famous blue tracksuit marked “Italia,” by Ottavio for the national athletics team in 1948, and the first gold Lurex suit from a far-off 1958. Japan, which represents a fifth of the company’s turnover, loves the Italian style and the event attracted 3,000 people.
January 2004, a contract was signed with Pagnossin, the head of the Richard Ginori 1735 group. It created the license for a line of tableware and household objects designed by Rosita, part of the Missoni Home project. Later, in April the third Golden Dame Award is held at the Poldi Pezzoli museum in Milan. “The people who make Milan great” include Ottavio and Rosita Missoni. The license for the production and distribution of the spectacles and sunglasses lines was agreed with Silvio Vecellio Reane (Allison, It. Holding Group), for a five-year period. Later, in September the license linking the company and the Marzotto Group was renewed until 2010. The launch of a women’s perfume signed by Estée Lauder was announced for Spring 2006.
The Universal Expo 2005 is held in Aichi, Japan, and Tai was invited to represent the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The stand includes the installation “Harmony from Diversity.” The work consists of mannequins “dressed” completely in patchwork knitwear and was the result of collaboration between Ottavio and Luca Missoni (Tai and Rosita’s second son) and the designer Angelo Figus. Later, in March the first Missoni shop in Catania was opened. Also, The Aramis and Designer Fragrances division of Estée Lauder and Missoni create a license that enables the beauty colossus to produce and distribute the perfume line.
In November 2005 Missoni signed a licensing agreement with Rezidor Hotel Group in order to create Missoni Hotel chain. The idea was to open 20 hotels around the world under Missoni trade mark. However, the agreement was terminated in 2014 and the two hotels under Missoni name, one in Edinburg and one in Kuwait, were rebranded and stayed as a property of Carlson Rezidor.
In September 2011 Missoni made a 400-piece collection in collaboration with Target. The collection was sold out in one day. Considering great success of the first collection Missoni collaborated with Target again in 2014, this time with Target Australia. Due to high interest for the collection, Target’s website was down on the day of launch.
2013 was a hard year for the whole Missoni family, Vittorio Missoni, CEO of the brand, died in an airplane accident near the coast of Venezuela. Then, 4 months later his father and creator of the brand, Ottavio Missoni, died in his sleep.
In April of 2015 MA*GA Museum in Gallarate (VA) is dedicating the exhibition MISSONI, L’ARTE, IL COLORE to Ottavio and Rosita Missoni. This exhibition created a dialogue with twentieth-century European art. the exhibition explored the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of a great Italian fashion house. The extraordinary culture and brilliance of its two founders.
Also, in May of 2016 The Fashion and Textile Museum hosted the exhibition MISSONI, ART, COLOUR, in partnership with The Woolmark Company. It explores the influence of 20th-century European art on Missoni’s fashion and textile designs
In 2017 Missoni created a capsule activewear collection for luxury e-commerce site mytheresa.com The collection include six pieces, created by Angela Missoni and the face of the campaign is Jennifer Missoni, Angela’s niece. On the last Fall Winter 2017 collection Angela Missoni gave a speech after the fashion show, reminding people to embrace unity, human rights, and family. She stated that pink is the new black, and walked with her whole family who are key representatives of Missoni’s knit unity.