Open Saturday and Sunday. Visits are free, with limited slots at 10am – 11:30am – 2pm – 3:30pm. ID / Identity Card essential.
Prada was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, Miuccia Prada’s grandfather, in Milan. Located in the prestigious Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Prada was an exclusive store selling luggage, accessories and luxury goods, in fine materials and of sophisticated workmanship. The Milan store became a firm favourite with the aristocracy and the most sophisticated members of the European elite. In 1919 Prada received the warrant of “Official Supplier of the Italian Royal Household”, and since then has been entitled to display the royal Savoy coat of arms and figure-of-eight knots alongside the company logo.
Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli started working together in the late 70’s, laying the foundations of the international expansion that was to come. Patrizio Bertelli broke new ground in the luxury goods sector, introducing a new business model in which he kept direct, internal control over all processes, applying uncompromised quality criteria across the entire production cycle. Miuccia Prada’s creative talent and avant-garde approach attracted the attention of the global fashion industry, while her ability to look at the world from an unconventional vantage point allowed her not only to anticipate, but quite often, to set new trends.
The luxury Group now produces men’s and women’s leather goods, clothing and footwear, combining contemporary, cutting-edge sophistication with one-of-a-kind, sublimely-crafted products. The Group also operates in the eyewear and fragrance sectors. The Prada brand is part of the Prada Group, a global powerhouse in the luxury goods market, as well as a business icon. The group’s business model, capable of combining industrialized processes with sophisticated workmanship, top quality and the level of detail characteristic of craft production, set a world precedent. The Prada Group also includes: Miu Miu – Miuccia Prada’s “other soul” – a brand with a strong personality and as provocative and sophisticated as it is cool-headed and cutting-edge; Church’s, a high-end men’s footwear manufacturer established in the British town of Northampton in 1873; and Car Shoe, inventor of the original driving moccasin with uppers perforated with rubber studs, patented in 1963. In March 2014 Prada Spa acquired 80% of Angelo Marchesi srl, aiming to preserve the pastry shop’s historic mores while expanding its celebrated imprint.
On 24 June 2011, Prada Spa listed 20% of its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
PRADA GROUP HEADQUARTERS IN MILAN, VIA BERGAMO 21
Constituting the headquarters of the Prada Group, the complex of buildings is located in an area covering over 10,000 square metres between via Bergamo and Via Fogazzaro, Milan. The project has retained the architectural character of the outer buildings, while creating the space within to meet the group’s requirements, including executive, administrative, styling and design offices, workshops and a room in which to hold fashion shows.
The goal has been to create functional and essential settings without decorative elements. Systems, furnishings and details have been designed to fit each function. Natural light is one of the elements that helps to define the spaces and their functions, while artificial light is planned ad hoc according to the needs of the individual offices. The result of almost four years of work (1996-2000) is a series of spacious and bright spaces characterised by elegant and functional furnishings.
THE PRADA SPACE AT VIA FOGAZZARO 36, MILAN
The space in Milan, Via Fogazzaro 36 – inaugurated in 2000 – was designed as a location open to the different languages of communication and for regular staging of the Prada shows as well as occasionally of other events by the Group. Some activities by Fondazione Prada were also held there in the past, particularly contemporary art and architecture exhibitions and conferences, as well as cinema festivals.
Given the complexity and structural diversity of each individual event, the intent has been, right from the first time it was decided to open up the space to the public, to reduce any refurbishment work to a minimum. The original appearance of the building, which dates back to the early twentieth century, was therefore maintained as far as possible, restricting finishes to a minimum and leaving the stuccoed and restored parts on view, thus underlining by contrast the existing decoration. The industrial cement floors aid in emphasising the effect required, by bringing out the original features of the place, with its distinctive monumental size and its pared-down minimalism.
The connotations of the venue are perceived by visitors thanks to a marked neutrality which, in this way, has made the place flexible and open to the architectural solutions adopted on each occasion according to the various needs. The building, originally used as an industrial space, later served as a store for the records of a bank. The area is 48 metres long and 29 metres wide and has a flat surface of approximately 1400 square metres, for a maximum height of 6 metres. A row of pillars, approximately 5 metres high, run along the longest axis, in the centre of the parallelepiped, creating large segmental arches laterally that cross those formed by the series of the same pillars.
The internal structure of the building consists of 11 bays, the first of which currently forming the entrance foyer of approximately 165 square metres with both a staircase and ramp for access, while the area dedicated to secondary spaces measures approximately 630 square metres.