Prada continues to strengthen its position
as the premium-chic global brand by owning the sweet spot between old-school
Italian quality and contemporary edginess. Resisting the temptation to simply
reinterpret its archives, as many fashion brands do, Prada continues to look ahead. Its firm focus on the future
differentiates the brand from its peers in the increasingly competitive luxury
sector-as does its consistency across all touchpoints. This year, Miuccia Prada
left her role as Chairperson to assume more control over the company's
strategic direction as co-CEO alongside her husband, Patrizio Bertelli. Under
the leadership of Germano Celant, Fondazione Prada continued to support the arts
by designing costumes and luggage for Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel, funding restorations in Italy, and collaborating
with artists, including Damien Hirst, on projects stretching from St.
Petersburg to Paris. Corporate sponsorship continues to cover the seven seas with
Luna Rossa, Prada's America's Cup yacht.
The new Prada
Technical Academy, a school with classes
taught by retired employees, will reinforce the brand's links with exquisite
craftsmanship and serve as an investment in emerging talent. Retail highlights included
Prada's expansion across a variety of markets and the opening of a massive new
store in Milan's Galleria, opposite the brand's original 1913 location. In addition,
the company plans to open 50 Prada menswear stores to leverage growth in a
segment that currently accounts for only about a quarter of its sales. This retail
expansion strategy-coupled with a strong brand position-will prove to be key to
Prada's long-term growth.