Miuccia Prada, who currently runs the company, is the granddaughter of the founder Mario Prada. Miuccia inherited the family business in 1978.
Although she's been really successful as a fashion designer and as a business woman, Miuccia Prada initially resisted joining the family business. She studied political science and actually trained as a mime after college.
With her husband Patrizio Bertelli she's really expanded the focus of the Prada business.
After taking the reigns at Prada, Miuccia introduced one of the most successful designs, black tote bags and backpacks made out of nylon decorated only with this small triangular Prada logo. So simple but so recognizable. The first ready to wear fashion collection was launched in 1989 and the first men's wear collection debuted in 1993.
That same year she also introduced Miu Miu, the secondary line that's based on her nickname. In 1993 Prada won an award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, their International Award for Excellence in Design.
One of the key elements in the Prada brand has been their association and their affinity with art and in initiating art projects, Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli have really consolidated Prada's position as a conceptual brand.
They've commission avant-garde artists to build their stores and they did an interesting sculpture installation in Marfa, Texas and they have a foundation that supports projects in contemporary art. So people look to Prada for conceptual fashion.
A lot of Miuccia Prada's designs at first seem odd or sometimes even ugly but they're quickly adapted and become really coveted and have influenced main stream fashion.