PRADA

From Mario Prada’s gallery shop to today’s world-class Miuccia luxury made-to-order Italian fashion group. Read the story and anecdotes of the Prada brand.

Index

  1. From the Origins to 2000s
    1. The Origins
    2. Miuccia: The Rebellious and Ingenious
    3. The Eighties: Nylon and American Success
    4. The Return to Milan
    5. The Nineties: The Foundation and the Big Acquisitions
    6. The Epicenter Project
  2. From 2000 to 2005
    1. A New Venue for Collections
    2. The 2000 Budget
    3. Acquisitions of 2001
    4. The Epicenter of New York
    5. Financial Situation in 2002
    6. Prada Point to Japan: The Epicenter of Tokyo
    7. The Epicenter of Los Angeles
    8. Departures and the Launch of the First Perfume
  3. From 2005 to 2010
    1. Short Film’s
      1. Trembled Blossoms
      2. Fallen Shadows
    2. Prada and Contemporary Art
    3. The Waist Down Show
    4. Prada Transformer
    5. The America’s Cup
    6. Fondazione Prada
  4. From 2011 to Today
    1. Fondazione Prada in Venice
    2. The “24 Hour Museum” Project
    3. The Exhibition “Impossible Conversations”
    4. Prada “The Great Gatsby”
    5. The Prada Gallery and Journal Projects
    6. Two New Short Film’s
      1. A Theraphy
      2. Cavalcanti Castle
    7. Acquisitions of 2014
    8. Pradasphere
    9. Marchesi Pasteries
    10. The Restoration of the Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari 
    11. The Past Forward Project
    12. Prada Opens Observatory
    13. The Shaping Conference at Creative Future

From the Origins to 2000s

The Origins

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Van For Deliveries 1918
Van For Deliveries 1918

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Portrait of Miuccia Prada
Portrait of Miuccia Prada

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Nylon Shopping Bag 1978 By: Albert Watson
Prada Nylon Shopping Bag 1978 By: Albert Watson

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada 2001 Epicenter of New York
2001 Epicenter of New York

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).

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada 2003 Debut of Prada Epicenter in Tokyo
2003 Debut of Prada Epicenter in Tokyo
  • 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)

Mame Fashion Dictionary: 2004 Debut of Prada Center in Los Angeles
2004 Debut of Prada Center in Los Angeles

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

Short Film’s

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.

Trembled Blossoms

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).

Fallen Shadows

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Layout of the Waist Down exhibition
The Layout of the Waist Down exhibition

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).

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Waist Down show
The Waist Down show

Prada Transformer

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Prada Transformer Project in South Korea
The Prada Transformer Project in South Korea

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: "Luna Rossa" the Prada Catamaran
“Luna Rossa” the Prada Catamaran

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.

Fondazione Prada

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Foundation Milan Across Isarco 2
Prada Foundation Milan Across Isarco 2

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Foundation in "Corner of the Queen in Venice"
Prada Foundation in “Corner of the Queen in Venice”

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada "24 Hour Museum" Project
Prada “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”

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada for The Great Gatsby
Catherine Martin and Miuccia 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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II After Restoration
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II After Restoration

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

A Theraphy

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.

Cavalcanti Castle

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.

Pradasphere

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Pradasphere in Hong Kong
Pradasphere in Hong Kong

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.

Marchesi Pastries

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Marchesi Pastry Shop on via Monte Napoleone 9
Marchesi Pastry Shop on via Monte Napoleone 9

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari
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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Foundation Opens Observatory
Prada Foundation 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.

Salva

MIU MIU

Miu Miu is the instinctive and playful Prada counterpart. They share the same creative matrix, bourgeois spirit, and syntax, but deliberately breaks it.

Index

  1. The Beginning
  2. The Inspiration: Miuccia Prada
  3. The Movement Growing
  4. Miu Miu Brand Identity
  5. Groundbreaking Advertising Campaigns
  6. Women’s Tales 2012
  7. International Store Openings 
  8. Current Situation

The Beginning

In 1993 the brand, Miu Miu, is created as a womenswear line. Miuccia Prada, the designer, choose the nickname to bring the concept of femininity to the extreme. With a light, ironic style, and at times naive. The point of this brand for Miuccia is to offer a free expression zone.

Later, in 1994 Miu Miu launched their Men’s line. It is a contemporary take on Prada Men’s line. When the Prada brand is reaching the minimalist pinnacle, Miu Miu proposes an idea of naïve sophistication.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Miu Miu First Fashion Show
First Fashion Show

The Inspiration: Miuccia Prada

Experienced by nature, Miu Miu empowers a sense of vivacity and youth, understood as a mental condition, not an ancestral one. As a designer, Miuccia Prada focuses on moods that affect styles. For her, it is always irrelevant to determine the material.

Convinced by the changing nature of fashion, Miuccia Prada manages to capture a sensual and glamorous restlessness that will soon become an indispensable part of the Miu Miu DNA.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Purse Details
Purse Details

Miuccia Prada focuses on a clientele that is particularly attentive to the new, unswerving, and sophisticated trends. Miu Miu expresses Miuccia Prada’s vision of an alternative style. Always characterized by a strong personality, completely independent of the Prada brand.

Turning fashion into a mental state and using change as a tool, Miuccia Prada has built a world around Miu Miu, a trademark and at the same time a new way of communicating.

The Movement Growing

Later, in 2002, Fabio Zambernardi, becomes the design director of both Prada and Miu Miu. Also, both brands combined a total of 160 direct sales outlets.

A year later, a boutique debuts in Tokyo, in the Shibuya district. Also, both Prada and Miu Miu enter a ten-year license agreement with Luxottica Group, a world leader in the optical industry, for the production and distribution of sunglasses and watches.

In 2005 the Miu Miu Men’s line is temporarily frozen. Later, after the trials of presenting the collections at the New York, London and Milan fashion weeks, Miu Miu finds its final and natural location in the fashion calendar of Paris in March 2006. By 2007, Miu Miu’s annual sales of womenswear had risen to $297 million, and as it grew in sophistication. Later, in 2008 the Miu Miu Men’s line is closed permanently.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Miu Miu First Fashion Show in Paris 2006
First Fashion Show in Paris 2006

Miu Miu Brand Identity

Comparing with the fashion world in its undisputed capital, Miu Miu uses the magnificence of the Parisian scenery as the ideal stage for its experimental essence, combining the savoir-faire of Parisian couture with a rare and sophisticated elegance, never forgetting irony.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Miu Miu a set up at the Palais D'Iéna
A set up at the Palais D’Iéna

Featuring a state-of-the-art spirit, Miu Miu blends in a constant cross-fading concept of indoors / outdoors, town / country, male / female, couture / street, past / future. The prints create excesses, breaks and counterpoint. Footwear, ironic and eccentric, are a focal point. The boundaries between high and low, trash and elegant are deliberately ignored.

The dialectic of the bourgeois style is then revised. The contrasts are ostentatious rather than hidden. Each piece is made with careful attention to detail. In this perfect frame insert strangeness, contradiction, and intentional errors. Arguing and exquisite finesse are the keys.

Groundbreaking Advertising Campaigns

Innovative advertising campaigns have marked a striking styling: initially shot in a neo-realistic style by Corinne Day and Ellen Von Unwerth, Miu Miu’s images soon developed their unmistakable uniqueness by choosing celebrities as a testimonial.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Miu Miu Fall 2017 Advertising Campaign
Fall 2017 Advertising Campaign

Since the debut with Drew Barrymore in 1995, the cast has changed constantly and abstractness of narrative style has become a trademark: Kim Basinger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Vanessa Paradis, Stacy Martin, Hailee Steinfeld, Chloë Sevigny, Amanda Seyfried, Elle Fanning just to make some names, they all participated in print campaigns, made with a cinematic style. The intention is always to define a vision of fluid and spontaneous femininity.

A volatile touch of nonchalance and a sense of senseless unreality persist as a fundamental note of the essence of Miu Miu, constantly changing and never equal to herself.

Women’s Tales 2012

Women’s Tales is an ongoing short film series for the female universe. Made by important international filmmakers with different intellectual formations express their vision of femininity.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Miu Miu Carmen Chloë Sevigny's Film
Carmen Chloë Sevigny’s Film

It invited filmmakers to celebrate femininity in the 21st century, exploring it with a critical eye. This means embracing the infinite complexities and contradictions of women to reflect and excite them.

In the series of shorts, the Miu Miu collections play a prominent role, alongside famous actresses and models. The Miu Miu leaders act as a contrast to narrative drama. Power, desire. Vanity, refinement. Rites, rules. Dreams, nightmares. Even the smallest moment in a woman’s daily life contains many facets. Women’s Tales narrates these moments and emphasizes the fundamental, enriching role of clothing.

International Store Openings

Miu Miu opened its first boutique in China in the MIX in the city of Shenzhen in 2009. Later, Miu Miu expanded into the North American market. A store was launched in Houston, Texas, in The Galleria during the summer of 2011. Also, in Short Hills, New Jersey, in the fall of 2011. Miu Miu also opened their first Australian boutique at Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne. Then, a second opened at Westfield Sydney in 2011. A branch opened in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2010 and is situated in the Fraser’s department store.

On March 26, 2015 Miu Miu presents his new project with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. The 720-square-meter building, located in Miyuki Street in the Aoyama district of Tokyo, is the heart of Japanese brand activities. The project is placed diagonally with respect to the famous Epicenter Prada, also designed by the Swiss study. Contrary to the fully glazed Prada building, the discreet Miu Miu metal facade looks dull and hotter. The typological model chosen by the architects is that of a box placed directly at the road level, with the lid slightly raised to mark the entrance and allow passers-by to look inside.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Miu Miu Tokyo shop, Herzog & de Meuron Project
Tokyo shop, Herzog & de Meuron Project

Current Situation

In 2013 Miu Miu, along with Prada, created a collection of over 40 exclusive evening cocktail dresses for “The Great Gatsby”.

In August 2015, Miu Miu launched its first fragrance which captures the spirit of the brand. The surprising combination of lily of the valley and the Akigalawood, creating a feeling of natural and timeless in a contemporary way.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Miu Miu The First Female Scent
The First Female Scent

Today, Miu Miu’s worldwide expansion strategy is based on occupying some of the world’s prime retail positions in cities including New York, London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Beijing, and Hong Kong. Miu Miu’s global boutiques are the bricks and mortar embodiment of the experimental spirit of the brand. Continually evolving, the shops suggest a dramatic but playful attitude to shopping and dressing up.

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Salva

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

Christian Louboutin, French shoe designer, was born in Paris 1964. His iconic element is the high-end stiletto, with the red sole.

Christian Louboutin, designer of the world’s most iconic red sole stiletto.

Index

  1. Young Rebel
  2. The Launch
  3. Louboutin Red
  4. Brand Expansion
  5. Current Situation

Young Rebel

Christian Louboutin, French shoe designer, was born in Paris 1964. His iconic element is the high-end stiletto, with the red sole. At the age of 12 his true fascination with shoes began when he visited the Musée National des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, where he saw a sign forbidding women wearing sharp stilettos from entering a building, for fear of damage to the wood flooring. This image inspired his work.

Christian expresses, “I wanted to create something that broke rules and made women feel confident and empowered.”

He studied drawing and decorative arts at the Académie d’Art Roederer. In his teens he left for Egypt, and spent a year in India. After this he came back to Paris in 1981. He created a portfolio full of his extravagant high heel drawings and sent it to the top fashion houses. This was a success, and he was hired by Charles Jourdan, one of the most respected shoemakers in Paris. Through his work with Jourdan, he met Roger Vivier, who claimed to have invented the stiletto, and they started a long and meaningful collaboration. Also, he freelanced for Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Louboutin. A portrait of the designer.
A portrait of the shoe designer.

The Launch

In the late 80’s he left fashion, became a landscape gardener, and contributed to Vogue Paris. This only lasted a few years before he started to miss working with shoes, and decided to launch his company in 1991. His first collection was presented in 1991, then in 1992 he opened a boutique on Rue Rousseau in Paris. Princess Caroline of Monaco was his first customer. She complemented the store when a journalist was present and he published her comments, which helped Louboutin gain recognition. After this, clients such as Diane Von FurstenbergMadonna, Nicole Kidman, Cher, and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy soon followed.

Louboutin Red

The Louboutin signature is the red sole, first created in 1993. He claimed he was trying to liven up the design of his shoes, when he “spontaneously grabbed his assistants red nail polish and started painting the sole red.” He exclaimed, “I instantly knew that it would be a success.” Through the 90’s and 2000’s Louboutin brought back the popularity of the stiletto, and in 1998 he received the Fashion Footwear Association of New York Award for the best shoe designer of the year.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Louboutin. Iconic Red Sole Stiletto.
Iconic Red Sole Stiletto.

Brand Expansion

In 2003 he extended outside of shoes and launched his first collection of handbags. Then, in 2011 he launched his first men’s line.

Since the brand’s launch, Christian Louboutin’s creations have been immortalized in museums, on fashion week runways, red carpets, and in pop culture around the world. A woman’s natural beauty has always been at the center of the designer’s inspiration. 2014 welcomed the launch of Christian Louboutin Beauté with its first nail polish, Rouge Louboutin, accompanied by a full range of Noirs, Nudes and Pop colors. The brand’s highly anticipated ‘second chapter’ of beauty, lipstick, launched in September 2015, followed by three signature Christian Louboutin fragrances in September 2016 and a striking collection of eye amplifiers, Les Yeux Noirs, in March 2017.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Louboutin. The Beauty Collection: Lipstick, Nail Polish, and Perfume.
The Beauty Collection: Lipstick, Nail Polish, and Perfume.

Current Situation

With a prolific collection of women’s and men’s shoes, day and evening handbags, and small leather goods Christian Louboutin now counts more than one hundred boutiques around the world. Also, there are several locations dedicated to men’s and a one-of-a-kind beauty boutique located in the heart of Paris’ 1st arrondisment, just two doors away from 19 Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Christian Louboutin. Flagship Store in Paris.
Flagship Store in Paris.

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Tod’s SpA

The Tod’s brand produces Made in Italy luxury shoes and leather goods. The styles have became icons of modern living. A symbol of the perfect combination of tradition, quality and modernity.

Index

  1. The Origins
  2. Diego Della Valle Enters the Company
  3. Renamed to Tod’s S.p.A.
  4. Hogan
  5. Fay
  6. The Production
  7. The Gommino Loafer
  8. Turnover and Investment in the Early 2000s
  9. Enter into BNL
  10. Expansion and Collaboration
  11. Tod’s Acquires Roger Vivier
  12. Current SItuation

The Origins

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Tod's Family Portrait
Tod’s Family Portrait

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Tod's Diego Della Valle Portrait. Photographer: Emanuele Scorcelletti
Diego Della Valle Portrait. Photographer: Emanuele Scorcelletti

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

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.

Fay

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.

The Production

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Tod's Craftmanship
Tod’s Craftmanship

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Gommino Loafer
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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Tod's Diana D Bag
Tod’s Diana D Bag

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Colosseum
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.

Current Situation

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Tod's Headquarters
Mame Fashion Dictionary: Tod’s Headquarters at Sant’Elpidio a Mare, Italy

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.

Church’s

English brand of shoes that is a recognized leader in the men’s handmade luxury footwear industry. Known for high-quality shoes with modern style and elegance. Representing the English artisan-made shoe all over the world.

The Origins

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Artisan
Church’s Artisan

The brand dates back to 1675, when the company founder’s great-grandfather, Stone Church, was born in Northampton. A town known for a successful leather and footwear industry since Cromwellian times. The shoemaking skills were passed down generation to generation to Stone’s great grandson, Thomas Church. In 1873 the brand Church’s was created by the brothers Thomas, Alfred, and William Church.

Church’s began exporting outside of Europe to the United States, Canada and South America, and received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Exports from Queen Elizabeth II in 1965.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Heritage Shoe Craftsmanship
Church’s Heritage Shoe Craftsmanship

There are 250 production steps for each pair and the process takes 8 weeks. The firm’s headquarters is in Northampton, the town which provided the boots for Cromwell’s army in the Irish War. It also provided 70% of the shoes worn by the British soldiers fighting in the trenches along the Marne in the massacre of World War I.

The Goodyear Model

The shoe factory, besides producing the classic leather shoe, first invented the technique to combine the preciousness of the most valuable and futuristic rubber comfort used for soles. That is how the Goodyear model was born, a lace-up leather shoe with para rubber. The first exports were made in 1887. The début in America came in 1907.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Goodyear Flexible Rubber Collection 2012
Goodyear Flexible Rubber Collection 2012

In 1998 the turnover was 240 billion liras. At this point, the griffe is still guided by the family’s descendants, even if they no longer control the majority of shares. In Summer 1999 Diego Della Valle, “Mr. Tod’s,” bought up 8.6% of the shares. Patrizio Bertelli of Prada bought 9% and, at the end of August, launched a friendly takeover bid to acquire control, offering a 20% premium over the share price, of the Stock Exchange’s price, worth about 310 billion liras.

Prada Acquires Church’s

Later in 1999, Church’s is taken over by Prada Holding, a Dutch company at the head of Gruppo Internazionale, which is among the world leaders in luxury design. The acquisition occurs with the explicit intent of “optimizing” the business opportunities of the brand, with full respect for its English identity. The main strategic plan foresees the rationalization of production criteria and the introduction of marketing logic in the planning of collections and new products. This is to allow a further expansion of production capacity and the development of a collection that includes classic categories as well as more contemporary offerings connected to the seasons.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Shanghai Ebony White Classic Shoe
Church’s Shanghai Ebony White Classic Shoe

A New Chapter

In January 2002, a second single-brand boutique in Milan, after the one on via Sant’Andrea, is opened in September 2000. The 600 square foot shop in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is on two floors (shop and warehouse), with walls in teak and wengé floors. It was designed by Roberto Baciocchi.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Store Milan at La Rinascente
Church’s Store Milan at La Rinascente

During this year, the Church’s Group turnover amounts to €61.2 million, with a return to operating profitability and expected further growth in 2003. At this point, there are 48 single-brand points-of-sale, of which 47 are privately owned and 1 is a franchise. The brand is available in 895 multi-brand shops. The group employees a total of 700 people all over the world, with a production centered 95% in England and 5% in Italy for the women’s Collection. The expansion policies of the brand have involved the retail channel and the opening of new single-brand shops in the most important international capitals. The new boutiques are in Milan, in 2001; Paris, on Rue Saint-Honoré; Rome, on via Condotti; St. Moritz, on Palace Arcade, in 2002; and New York, on Madison Avenue, in 2003.

International Expansion

A year later in 2003, an agreement is signed between Prada Group and Equinox. An important private equity investment company to support an ambitious worldwide expansion plan. This plan is based on the development of new and complementary categories of merchandise. An important part of the agreement is the complete autonomy of the Prada Group in design decisions and in the strategy concerning the identity of the brand. According to the agreement, Equinox acquired 45% of the capital of the Church’s Group. Then, later in December 2006, Prada acquired 100% capital of Church’s.

In 2008 the brand started a new development plan to begin opening more international stores. Including Venice, Bologna, Leeds, Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Current Situation

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's New Bond Street Boutique
Church’s New Bond Street Boutique

In 26 July 2011 church’s opened the first store dedicated to the women’s collection in the heart of London’s shopping district, New Bond Street.

Currently, there are 200 single-brand boutiques all over the world. The number of employees is about 2,000.

Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960). Famous Italian shoemaker with 20,000 models and 350 patents. He created multiple iconic luxury women’s shoes. Also known as “Shoemaker of the Stars.”

Index

  1. The Life of Salvatore Ferragamo
    1. Young Talent
    2. Immigration to the U.S.
    3. Shoemaker of the Stars
    4. Return to Italy
    5. The Wedge Shoe
    6. Salvatore Ferragamo’s Death
  2. Brand Expansion From 1970s to early 2000s
  3. World-Wide Expansion
    1. New Opening’s
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. New Creative Director
  4. World-Wide Expansion Continued
  5. Recent Years
  6. Financial Evolution
  7. Current Scenario

The Life of Salvatore Ferragamo

Young Talent

Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960). Famous Italian shoemaker. The 11th, out of 14 children, born in Bonito. A small village about 160 miles from Naples, from which emigration to America was often a necessity. At the age of 9 Salvatore, who left school in the third grade, created his first pair of shoes out of white cardboard for his sister’s first Holy Communion. From a young age he had clear ideas and wanted to become a shoemaker. Although, in southern Italy a shoemaker is one of the humblest professions, his parents, despite their poverty, were not happy with his choice.

At age 11 he was an apprentice in Luigi Festa’s workshop in Bonito, and by the age of 13 he had his own shop where he began to create women’s shoes. His workshop was located at home in a space between the front door and the kitchen, with the shop window facing a church. With five workers, of whom the oldest, was 18.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Portrait
Salvatore Ferragamo Portrait

Immigration to the U.S.

Then, in 1914, at age 16, he immigrated, via the ship Stampalia, to the United States to join his brothers who were already there. Girolamo was a tailor, Secondino a carpenter, and Alfonso ironed clothes in the tailor’s shop of the American Film Company in Santa Barbara. But in Boston, his brother-in-law Joseph Covelli, had already found him a job at the Queen Quality Shoes Company. They produced thousands of shoes a day, soles and heels in half a second, and one minute for sewing. Anyone would have been thankful for such a job, but not the young Salvatore. He had a more noble idea of the shoemaker’s profession. He couldn’t stand those machines. He exclaimed, “They made shoes that were heavy, clumsy, and squat, with a toe shaped like a potato and a leaden heel.” He left the factory, joined his brothers in Santa Barbara, and convinced them to combine their small savings and invest in a shoe repair shop. As told in his autobiography, Il calzolaio dei sogni (The Shoemaker of Dreams), Salvatore immediately understood that California, with its fast-growing film industry, would be the Promise Land.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Stampalia Ship
Stampalia Ship

It all started when the property manager at the American Film Company complained about the boots worn in the western movies. He believed, if they were easy to wear, the styling was no good, if the style was attractive, they hurt the feet of the actors. Ferragamo offered his services and produced boots for the manager. This was a success and the director Cecil B. De Mille said, “We would have won the West sooner if we had had your boots.” It was the start of Ferragamo’s career.

Shoemaker of the Stars

At this time in Hollywood 1923, the future of the “Made in Italy” movement was beginning. The biggest stars visited his boutique, including Mary Pickford. He created the original Ferragamo model for her in brown kidskin, “with two ears standing up in front.” Suddenly, stars of cinema in California, would only feel like stars if they were wearing shoes made by the “Italian shoemaker.” So, he soon became known as the “shoemaker to the stars.” He created pale lavender sandals for Jean Harlow, cork-shaped heels for Gloria Swanson, and slippers in multicolored satin for Lillian Gish. Also, loafers for both Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolf Valentino.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo First Hollywood Store
Salvatore Ferragamo First Hollywood Store

During the time of WWII there was a scarcity of materials, which fed his talents for new inventions. He used the strangest materials, including crystal, embroidery, feathers, kangaroo, antelope, sea leopard, and fish skins. This set him apart from other designers. Also, while in California he studied the anatomy of the foot and patented a system of putting thin layers of steel in the sole of the shoe in order to provide arch support. His success was due to the comfort of his shoes.

Same Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo with Sophia Loren
Salvatore Ferragamo with Sophia Loren

Return to Italy

Later, he returned to Florence, Italy in search of good artisans and opened his first workshop in 1927 with 60 workers. Then, in 1929, during the Great Depression, he faced bankruptcy. Ferragamo didn’t despair, and soon made a comeback. By 1938 he was able to acquire the Palazzo Spini Feroni on via Tornabuoni, which is today still the headquarters of the company. In that same year, he acquired the Michelangelo style villa Il Palagio in Fiesole.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo 1938 First Store in Florence
First Store in Florence 1938

The Wedge Shoe

Salvatore Ferragamos popularity continued. Maria José walked to the altar wearing his shoes. Mussolini, who suffered from corns and chilblains, wore his boots. The Maharani of Cooch Behar came and ordered 100 pair. From New York, Paris, and London came the ladies who wear Chanel and Schiaparelli. For evening sandals, he invented an upper in transparent paper. At this time, using steel for arch support was poor quality. So, he created the most iconic shoe of the century. It was an orthopedic model of a platform shoe, and people called it the wedge. It was made with a cork heel, that filled in the entire space formed by the arch of the foot. The model was a success, it sold everywhere. It marked a new era and immediately became a symbol of style at this time.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Wedge Shoe
Salvatore Ferragamo Wedge Shoe

Salvatore Ferragamo’s Death

Then, in 1940 he married Wanda Miletti, a 18-year-old girl from his hometown who was the daughter of the local doctor and mayor. She would be the mother of his six children: Fiamma (died in 1998), Ferruccio, Giovanna, Fulvia, Leonardo, and Massimo. All worked in important positions within the company after the premature death of their father in 1960. After his death, Wanda, his wife, took over the company.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Family Picture
Salvatore Ferragamo Family Picture

Salvatore left behind a company which was the symbol of the creativity and productivity in Italy. With 20,000 models and 350 patents. An infinite number of models marked different epochs, times, and fashions. Through the 50s Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland were considered the “It Girls” of Ferragamo. These women represented the beginning of the brands icon, which are still used today. The brand continues to use the “It Girl” in their brand language to communicate with the customer, and build brand image.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo and Audrey Hepburn
Salvatore Ferragamo and Audrey Hepburn

Ferragamo was famous for the creation of the wedge heel, French toe, platform heel, stage toe, the Roman sandal, the shell shaped sole, invisible nylon model, and the sculpted heel, shaped like the prow of a battleship. Also, you can’t forget the gloved arch shoe created for Maharani of Cooch Behar in 1938. Salvatore left a business that his heirs have carried forward, always remaining faithful to his professional standards and not just defending the status quo.

Brand Expansion From 1970s to early 2000s

During the 1970s, thanks to the initiative and preparation of Wanda, president of the company, the brand expanded and started offering total look collections. With fashion collections, men’s lines, perfumes, and eyeglasses, all of which gradually conquered the market. In 1978 his daughter, Fiamma, designed the Vara ballet shoe which became a best seller. Today, the Vara style ballet shoe is considered a Ferragamo iconic element.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Vara Ballet Flat
Salvatore Ferragamo Iconic Vara Ballet Flat

In July 1996, Ferragamo acquired Emanuel Ungaro, a luxury menswear line. Two years later the company turnover reached 850 billion liras, most of which came from Europe, U.S., the Far East, Africa, and Oceania. The company had 40 privately owned boutiques, plus several exclusive points-of-sale. Also, several of Salvatore’s grandchildren worked in the company. Following the birth of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, in Palazzo Spini Feroni, the company has committed itself to art exhibits and cultural activities, not just as a sponsor or patron. In 1999 the French designer Marc Audibet creates the new Autumn-Winter 2000-2001 collection. During this time, they appointed a new creative director of the menswear line, Massimiliano Giornetti.

World-Wide Expansion

New Openings

In 2001 the company introduced its world-wide expansion plans, created by architect Michael Gabellini, to renovate, or open, a total of 100 boutiques. The renovations were to gain a more sophisticated architectural style. A new store opens in Korea, in a prestigious commercial area of Seoul. The store occupies a four-storey building with a garden-terrace on the roof. And by 2003 new stores will open in New York, Tokyo, and London. They ended 2001 with €641 million in consolidated revenues, 46% coming from the Far East.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Seoul Store Opening
Seoul Store Opening 2001

Acknowledgments

In May 2001 Leonardo Ferragamo becomes president of Altagamma, an association founded in 1992 with 43 prestigious Italian companies as members.

The year of 2002 was full of good news and satisfaction. The company was acknowledged as the best brand of the year in China, where the label sells the most product. Then, beginning in June, Ferragamo starts a joint venture with Ermenegildo Zegna for the launch of the new brand Zefer, which ended later in 2013.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Zefer Brand
Salvatore Ferragamo Zefer Brand

Later in October Wanda Ferragamo, the president of the company, is named “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” by the “Committee of 200,” an organization that each year recognizes the top women managers and entrepreneurs all over the world. The ceremony took place in New York. The citation: “For success in the transformation of a shoe factory into an international luxury concern, in which the family maintains total control of its own flourishing business…”

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Wanda Ferragamo 2002
Wanda Ferragamo 2002

New Creative Director

At this time, Graeme Black became the new creative director of womenswear. The collection for Winter 2003-2004 experiments with shapes, volumes, and combinations. It interprets with common sense colors and references inspired by the Russia of St. Petersburg. Recalling Constructivist art and a certain nostalgia for decadent opulence and taste reinterpreted in a very modern way. There were precious fabrics and ornaments, brocades, inlays with strong visual impact, and irreverent combinations such as a crocodile jacket with jeans. The accessories included cartoon-like floral and mother-of-pearl-covered platform shoes, that even would have pleased Salvatore, the founder. As well as incredible bags made of snake-skin decorated with small silver coins.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Graeme Black
Creative Director Graeme Black

World-Wide Expansion Continued

Since 2002 the worldwide expansion plan is well under way. The distribution network had 16 new points-of-sale, including the important new boutiques in Osaka, Hong Kong (Pacific Place), Tokyo (Ginza Chou Dori), Amsterdam, and the historic center of Vienna, near the Hofburg castle. Also, stores in Shanghai Center (China), Paris (Avenue Montaigne), and Milan (via Montenapoleone) are re-opened after renovations.

In May of 2003 Ferragamo’s releases its very latest sunglasses, called the Maharani. These are special because they are inspired by the celebrated jeweled-sandal created in far off 1938 for the Maharani of Cooch Behar.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Maharani Sunglasses 2003
Maharani Sunglasses 2003

The Salvatore Ferragamo group ends the year with a consolidated turnover of €549 million, a 5% increase compared to 2003. Also, sales in Japan continue to increase. With 20% of their turnover there, a new flagship is opened in the heart of one of Tokyo’s most fashionable neighborhoods.

In 2004 Wanda Ferragamo is named Knight of the Big Cross by the president of Italy. In May of 2005, as part of the Fashion Project of the Province of Florence, with attendance by a large international public, Palazzo Strozzi hosts the fashion show in a memorable evening organized by Beppe Modenese. Then, starting in June 2005, Ferragamo Finanziaria enters a long-term agreement with the Porsche Design group to foresee the production and distribution of shoes, bags, and leather accessories.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Florence Store
Salvatore Ferragamo Florence Store

In 2006 new shops in Via Condotti were opened in Rome and Frankfurt. In November of the same year, Michele Norsa became Ferragamo’s new CEO. His managerial mind led the company to expand more and more, exploring new markets such as India, Latin America and Thailand. A year later, after a new CEO, Cristina Ortiz, was appointed as creative director for the womenswear line from 2007 and stayed till 2010.

Recent Years

In 2008 Salvatore Ferragamo company celebrates their 80th anniversary with an exhibition in Shanghai. Later, in January of 2010 Massimiliano Giornetti, current chief creative director of menswear, becomes creative director for the womenswear line. So, at this time, Giornetti was holding  a lot of creative power in Ferragamo being the creative director for both women’s and menswear lines.

They officially become a part of Milan stock exchange in 2011. At this time, the growth in Europe is positively driven by wealthy Asian travelers shopping in Europe and the group’s wide retail presence in China. Profits rose around 70% to €103.3 millions.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo 80th Anniversary Shanghai
80th Anniversary Exhibition Shanghai

Through 2013 Ferragamo focused on accessories, rather than footwear. In early October, they began to target a younger generation by using an “innovative” digital campaign and revamping physical stores. Also, continuing to renovate older stores in existing markets in Europe and the U.S. to boost profitability in its retail division.

Ferragamo reported a 26% rise in gross operating profits (EBITDA) to €131 million in the first half of 2013. The revenues are outside the Italian market, which has struggled to emerge from recession, and sells a higher-margin of leather goods, apart from shoes. China is still a growing market for Ferragamo, but going through a tough time.

Financial Evolution

Their world-wide expansion plan are a success. As of 31 December 2014, the Salvatore Ferragamo Group has posted total revenues of €1.332 million and a 5.9% increase at current exchange rates. At this time, political tensions in Russia and Ukraine reduced the number of shoppers traveling from the region to Europe lead to decreasing number of sales in some cities through Europe. In terms of the Asia Pacific region, China is the best performer with 37.2% of sales.

Salvatore Ferragamo open new shops in less well-known cities Yantai in China, Surabaya in Indonesia, and Cartagena in Colombia. They continue to renovate older stores in Europe and U.S. including Miami and Rome. Also, they reopened in San Francisco, on the west coast of America which is a popular destination for holidaying Chinese shoppers.

Salvatore Ferragamo continues to meet challenges due to a weaker euro, lower oil prices, and economic weakness in China. Also, US. Economic growth in China has slowed more than expected, and the United States, as a strong dollar hits tourist flows, have weighed on several luxury goods companies in recent months. Hong Kong deteriorated further in the third quarter. By contrast, Japan has a strong performance thanks to Chinese tourists.

Asia Pacific, the biggest market, experienced a 5% decline in sales in the first nine months of 2015. Revenues were up 1.3% from a year earlier, thanks to a 2.1% increase in the fourth quarter.

In 2016 revenues total €1.438 billion. There are increasing number of travelers shopping in places like airports, leading to expanding stores in main locations such as Dubai, Helsinki and Quito. New shops were planned also in cities like Copenhagen, Berlin, and New York.

The situation in china is not yet get recovered because of the falling oil prices and global security threats affecting tourist spending. But sales grow particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States, and push for e-commerce in Asia.

Current Scenario

Currently, Salvatore Ferragamo is going through major changes. In August 2016 Eraldo Poletto was appointed as CEO. Who is credited for doubling the sales at the accessibly-priced handbag maker, Furla, in the last five years. Also, 3 new creative directors have been hired after the departure of Massimiliano Giornetti. This includes Guillaume Meilland for menswear, along with Paul Andrew for Women shoes, and Fulvio Rigoni for Woman’s-Ready-to-Wear. The brand now focuses on creating unique and exciting campaigns to bring back its positioning of industry leader it  once had in the WWII era. Now, the Ferragamo “It Girl” is Lily Aldridge, and appears in their 2017 campaign.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Eraldo Poletto
New CEO Eraldo Poletto

Ferragamo’s designs will live forever. The classic ballet flat is always in style and most women’s go to shoe. The brand is known as the exemplary ideal shoe for women. It strives to be excellent in terms of quality, by keeping the production, and standard of craftsmanship, exceptional.

Same Fashion Dictionary: Salvatore Ferragamo Lily Aldridge Campaign 2017
Lily Aldridge Campaign 2017

 

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton is a French luxury goods brand that began by making trunks and luggage in 1854. Mostly known for their iconic LV monogram print, created in 1896, that appears on all their products.

Index

  1. The Origins
  2. First Boutique in Paris
  3. Son Georges and Grandson Gatson
  4. The Monogram Canvas is Born
  5. Personalized Luggage
  6. Louis Vuitton Merges with Moet-Hennessey
  7. First Artistic Director: Marc Jacobs
  8. Brand Expansion 
  9. New Collections and Campaigns
  10. The Style
  11. Recent Years 
  12. Current Situation

The Origins

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Portrait
Louis Vuitton Portrait

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 workshop of the company, is born. Still today, Asnières is a symbol of the Vuitton family’s personal and commercial success.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Historical Workshop Asnieres
Louis Vuitton Historical Workshop Asnieres

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton the Tumbler Lock
The Tumbler Lock

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Monogram Print Luggage
Monogram Print Luggage

Personalized Luggage

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Wardrobe TrunkWardrobe Trunk

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Trunk Leopold Stokowski
Louis Vuitton Trunk Leopold Stokowski

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 began to sponsor one of the most famous and prestigious sailing competitions.

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, and Donna Karan.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: 100 Year Anniversary Bag, Romeo Gigli
100 Year Anniversary Bag, Romeo Gigli

In 1996 the brand celebrates the 100-year anniversary. So, the son of Louis Vuitton, Georges Vuitton, engaged the most celebrated and esteemed fashion designers; Azzedine Alaïa, Manolo Blahnik, Helmut Lang, Isaac Mizrahi, Romeo Gigli, Vivienne Westwood, and Sybilla to create a limited edition of various iconic pieces from the house of fashion.

First Artistic Director: Marc Jacobs

In 1998 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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Creative Director Marc Jacobs
Creative Director Marc Jacobs

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton City GuidesLouis Vuitton City Guides

Brand Expansion

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Shanghai Store
Louis Vuitton Shanghai Store

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Uma Thurman Campaign
Uma Thurman Campaign

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton in Collaboration with Richard Prince
Collaboration with Richard Prince

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.

The Style

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton’ Craftsmanship
Louis Vuitton’ 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 runs a cultural space at 101 Champs Élysées where young artists are left to propose and promote their art.

Recent Years

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton 100 Malles De Légende
100 Malles De Légende

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Nicolas Ghesquiere
Nicolas Ghesquiere

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. The brand’s attention is not only directed at the fashion system: the interest in new trends has led the brand to open a cultural space on the Champs Élysées, where young artists have the opportunity to propose and promote their art.

Current Situation

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Louis Vuitton Spring / Summer 2017 Runway
Spring / Summer 2017 Runway

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. Also, Kim Jones remains the Creative Director of Men’s Collections.