Where it all began for Prada: the original storefront in the Galleria in central Milan, now part of a much larger Prada store in the central internal piazza. Founded 100 years ago this year by brothers Mario and Martino Prada (hence the “fratelli” in the signage above), Prada remained a small company turning over less than $0.5M p.a. selling imported leather goods until grand-daughter Miuccia Prada took over in 1978, started listening to Patrizio Bertelli, and begain designing tote bags from ballistic nylon. Today Prada is publically traded on the Hong Kong Stock exchange, with >$2.5B in revenues, and as already discussed, quite acceptable profit margins. As part of the BAM project Prada is my choice for shoes only; I now own five pairs of Prada shoes, and one pair in particular is probably the most comfortable and stylish pair of shoes I ever owned.
Another day, another acquisition. This time a jet black suit ($1500 minus the 10% discount) that looks about 1000% Giorgio Armani.
With an Armani blue shirt, Hermes tie (acquired in Mexico) and Prada shoes I took on a major business meeting in the USA feeling relaxed and confident.
It took a while to pick this one out, as “fashionably black” is not a typical look for me, but I have to admit I am starting to understand the black thing.
Normally I would not have touched black clothes, now I am seeing the possibilities for coordinating more easily with a wide range of other Armani colours and styles. I am constantly surprised at how this little detour into fashion, style, appearance – yes, even narcissism, about which I will write some more in the future – is teaching me things that I would have considered utterly superficial just a few months ago.
It reminds me of a clever little scene in The Devil Wears Prada:-
It is a little odd that I although I once laughed at this scene from the point of view of neophyte Andy, I now find it funny from the point of view of Miranda, and quite realistic to boot.
I guess you are never too old to learn something new.
Back in December a savvy Giorgio Armani employee in Florence advised me that the only shoes that really go with Armani clothing are those made by Prada, and how true that has turned out to be. Giorgio Armani makes incredibly elegant, subtle clothes, but the shoes just don’t have the same degree of elan. Prada, on the other hand, makes wonderful shoes, and they look fantastic with Armani clothing; it is no coincidence, I think, that Giorgio Armani and Prada shops are typically co-located. Last week I purchased my fourth pair of Prada shoes, handing over US$465.00 with satisfaction. They are probably the most stylish and yet practical pair I have found to date, extremely comfortable and solid, good for work and leisure use. Wearing Prada shoes + Giorgio Armani clothes I actually feel very different, and it is a nice feeling.
On a quiet Friday a few weeks back I visited Prada in Munich and spotted some very nice new shoes. Sadly they did not have my size.
But these shoes are so new that they are not yet on the internet.
The Prada product code in the shop was 2DD031. Googling the Prada code usually reveals thousands of links.
This search produced precisely none.
Two days later they appeared for the first time on a search:
Prada 2DD031, in Black
Have I become so fashionable/stylish that I have discovered a new product before anyone else?
How did this happen?