Miuccia Prada
Billionaire Fashion Mogul

Published on March 21 2014

Miuccia Prada Net Worth : $11.1 Billion

Miuccia Prada (née Maria Bianchi) is a 64 year old Italian fashion designer and Chief Executive Officer of Prada S.p.A (a fashion label). With a net worth of $11.1 billion, she is the 3rd wealthiest person in Italy and she is married to the 5th wealthiest Italian, Patrizio Bertelli, her business partner.

Although Prada was an unlikely candidate to inherit the House of Prada given that she has a Ph.D. in Political Science and once worked as a mime, she still took over the business from her mother Luisa Prada who had in turn inherited it from her father Mario Prada, its founder. At the time the company dealt mainly with the production of high-end leather bags and suitcases.

However, Miuccia used her skills as a fashion designer to propel the company to stardom when she designed a line of nylon handbags that flew off the shelves like hot cake. Moreover, she brought sophistication to the label’s merchandise by introducing her own designs effectively revitalizing the company. What’s more, she shifted gears from bags to women’s and men’s clothes, shoes and fragrances that the world seems unable to get enough of thus the label now has more than 250 shops in 65 countries. 

Notably, while Prada has concentrated on the designing part of the business, her husband, Patrizio, has concentrated on the distribution of the products. Notwithstanding, Prada has not just concentrated on high-end fashion: she launched the Miu Miu label to cater for the slightly lower-end market and thus has increased her turnovers. Furthermore, she has also bought out some of her competitors further consolidating her empire. 

In 1995, Miuccia and her husband created the Fondazione Prada an art exhibition space in Milan that provides its visitors with “the most profound and thought-provoking art projects of our times” according to Miuccia. Since its inception, Fondazione Prada has featured numerous prolific artists including Anish Kapoor and Michael Heizer.

In fact, the foundation offers artists an opportunity to showcase their work in ways they could only dream of but probably not afford. What’s more, Prada’s own work has also been recognized: she won the Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award in 1995 among other awards.

Having been recognized as one of the most well dressed women in the world, Miuccia has passed her fashion sense to her employees: she has been quoted as saying that she does not approve of what she calls 'the desperation of the sexy' whereby young ladies go to work skimpily dressed. She explained that it is o.k. to look sexy once in a while but there was really no point in over-doing it.

As breathtaking as Prada’s rise to the top has been, it hasn’t been without its share of hurdles: most notably is the lawsuit filed against the fashion house by Rina Bovrisse accusing it of discrimination in the workplace. The house has countersued for defamation and the case is still pending in court.

Miuccia and Patrizio have two children Lorenzo and Giulio Prada.

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