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nss G-Club Muse: Miuccia Prada

Her vision and her aesthethic changed forever the concept of fashion, and of being a woman

nss G-Club Muse: Miuccia Prada  Her vision and her aesthethic changed forever the concept of fashion, and of being a woman

On December, 10th, 2018, during the British Fashion AwardsMiuccia Prada was awarded with the Outstanding Achievement Award, for her unique ability to comprehend the zeitgeist and unite different disciplines, including fashion, design, art and architecture, since the beginning of her carrer, elements that made her a pioneer in this field. This is just the last of a long series of prizes already won by Miss Prada, but it's a clear sign of how much her figure and her work are still so powerful, influential and groundbreaking. 

Miucci Prada is a woman full of contradictions. Graduated in political science at the Milan Università degli Studi, with a brief experience at Piccolo Teatro as a mime, member of the communist party, feminist, she entered the family's company in 1977. The namesake brand founded by her grandpa Mario manufactured goods and items in premium luxury materials, and when the founder passed away, Miuccia's mother stepped in, until it was her moment, the time of Miu Miu, as her relatives would call her. 

For many girls passionate about fashion, this would be the job of a lifetime, a real dream come true, but Miuccia took years to come to terms with her being a feminist dealing with something so silly like dresses and shoes:

"I suppose I felt guilty not to be doing something more important, more political. I always loved aesthetics. Not particularly fashion, but I did it because I liked it so much. So I felt really uncomfortable until probably a few years ago. I’m not interested in the silhouette and I’m not able to draw. It’s complicated."

Miuccia remains an exception in the current fashion industry because, despite dozens of statements, intents, declarations, movements and demonstrations, the number of women leading a big brand like this is still too small, women dressing and designing for other women are still a minority. This is feminism too. "There is no Prada woman. I’m interested in women in general." Today Miuccia divides her time between the Prada men's and women's collections, as well as Miu Miu, "it’s like a triangle. But basically I’m trying to make men more sensitive and women stronger."

Another contradiction that characterizes Miuccia Prada is her political belief, her left-wing democratic, once communist, convinctions that seem quite unlikely for the leader of a millionaire multinational company, symbol of Western capitalism. Miuccia, along with Patrizio Bertelli, her partner both in business and in the private life, was able to take the small family business, with just a shop in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and turn it into a brand famous all over the world and into a multi-billion dollar empire. Nonetheless, Miu Miu still reckons herself and her fashion as democratic.

"If people take money out of their pockets, it means that what you are doing is relevant to them. I hope they don’t just buy because there is a logo but because the object is relevant to them. To sell is to prove that what you are doing makes sense. I’m completely against the idea that we do fashion for an elite — that would be too easy, in a way." 

But the fact that her intellectual, thought-after fashion, that isn't created just for the profit's sake, is actually something that people want to buy, perfectly responding to the needs of the market and the aims of a company, is something quite impressive. 

For a long time Miuccia was called the 'intellectual fashion designer', a definition that she hates, while she prefers to be defined 'intelligent', an adjective to be used also for her work, even in the arts. Her designs come from ideas and concepts, what really matters is the pure creativity, that differentiates her from all the other creatives. And if many people see her work as too conceptual and difficult to understand, Miuccia doesn't agree at all. Usually two days before a show, she is the one who finds a title for the show, a title that is clear, unmistakable, that has to convey her message even to the people who don't belong to this world, that don't have a background in fashion, or that are not interested in fashion. "If you don’t scream, no one listens. If you are too delicate, too subtle, your voice gets diluted. But you don’t have to give up the sophistication." During the '90s Prada's aesthethic was often defined as 'minimal', a definition that never convinced Miuccia. "I was hiding myself and my ideas.

The term 'ugly' entered the fashion dictionary thanks to Prada.

"Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer. The investigation of ugliness is, to me, more interesting than the bourgeois idea of beauty. Because ugly is human. It touches the bad and the dirty side of people."

It comes from me. It’s my soul. It’s my life. My work and my life are more or less the same thing, and I never consider that the work is something different. The job, the foundation, my personal life, it’s all one thing.