Prada is Luna Rossa’s sponsor since her very first challenge. The team was founded in 1997 by Patrizio Bertelli under the name of Prada Challenge for the America’s Cup 2000.
Prada was founded in Milan in 1913 by Mario Prada, Miuccia Prada’s grandfather. Located inside one of Milan’s most celebrated icons, the prestigious glass-covered Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcade, Prada was an exclusive shop selling luxury travel articles and accessories made with sophisticated techniques and the finest materials.
It wasn’t long before the shop in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II became a favorite port of call for the aristocracy and the more refined and elegant members of Europe’s upper classes. In 1919 Prada was appointed Official Supplier to the Italian Royal Household; as such, it incorporated the House of Savoy’s coat of arms and knotted rope design into its logo.
In the late seventies, Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli started their collaboration, laying the foundations for the company’s subsequent international development.
Patrizio Bertelli is the first in the luxury industry to introduce a new business model, applying uncompromised quality throughout the whole production chain and a constant, careful control over the entire process. Miuccia Prada’s creativity, able to infuse her work with thoughts linked to her day-to-day experiences and observations of the environment in an original innovative way - thus anticipating trends - never transcends the brand’s quality core-value and historic craftsmanship know-how. This skilful balance makes it possible for Prada to become internationally renowned, so much so that it was recognized as one of the 100 brands with the most value in the world (Source: Interbrand).
A key attribute of Prada is its capacity for innovation in all areas. Being a pioneer in introducing a new approach in the retail network, Prada is the first to launch a new, revolutionary concept of stores - the so-called Prada Epicenters - designed by internationally acclaimed architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron. An example which was later followed by all the leading brands in the industry.
Today the Prada brand includes men’s and women’s leather goods, ready-to-wear and footwear which synthesize an innovative, sophisticated and modern design coupled with the high quality typical of handcrafted products. Prada is also active in the eyewear, fragrance and mobile phone sectors.
Prada’s horizons go beyond the confines of fashion: art, architecture, cinema and culture in general are an integral part of the brand’s core values. The Fondazione Prada (Prada Foundation) was established in 1993 to present “the most radical intellectual challenges in contemporary art and culture”. It organizes contemporary art exhibits and other cultural activities that have enjoyed great consensus on an international level. The Prada Transformer in Seoul - designed in collaboration with architect Rem Koolhaas - represents one of the most interesting expressions of this approach. On March 28, 2011 the Fondazione Prada announced its new exhibition space in Venice, the Ca’ Corner della Regina, an historic palazzo on the Grand Canal which is going to be restored with the goal of offering to the city of Venice, and beyond, a stimulating program of important events in the realm of the Arts. From May 31st to October 2nd 2011 Ca’ Corner was opened to the public with its first exhibition documenting the multiple activities of the Fondazione Prada, such as the project for the new permanent space in Milan - designed by architect Rem Koolhaas - whose opening is scheduled for the end of 2014.
Prada is part of the PRADA Group, one of the global leading companies in the luxury goods sector, which embodies an original business model that successfully combines industrialised production processes with highly sophisticated workmanship and superb handcrafted goods. The PRADA Group also includes Miu Miu - Miuccia Prada’s vision of an alternative style - a brand with a strong personality, provocative and sophisticated as well as free-spirited and avant-garde; Church’s, one of the world leaders in the luxury footwear industry, established in 1873 in Northampton (Great Britain), and Car Shoe, the first producer of the driving moccasin, characterised by a patent soft sole with rubber studs, established in 1963.
The Group manufacturing is concentrated in 11 plants, 10 in Italy and 1 in Great Britain, plus research and development laboratories. Each phase of the production process is closely monitored and directly controlled: from the choice to the purchase of the raw materials (external suppliers included), to the creation of prototypes, through to the planning and coordination of external and internal manufacturing. The Group products are sold in more than 70 countries around the world: besides a selection of luxury department stores and multi-brand stores, the distribution network is composed of 461 (31 January 2013) directly operated stores, a strong point in the international growing process of the brand.
The Prada Group recorded sales of Euro 3,586 million in the financial year ended January 31, 2014, a 9% increase on financial year 2012. At constant exchange rates, sales grew by 13%. Sales by Directly Operated Stores totaled Euro 2,996 million with a 12% increase on the previous financial year (+18% at constant exchange rates). The growth was thanks to newly opened stores and to Same Store Sales Growth of 7%, which remained constant in all four quarters. Meanwhile, wholesale channel sales decreased by 7% (- 6% at constant exchange rates), entirely as a result of the strategy adopted by the Group in recent years to streamline the wholesale network and, in Europe in particular, to be selective of independent retailers based on quality and reliability. On the 31st of January 2013 the PRADA Group had 10.000 employees.
[For further details consult the website www.prada.com]
On June 24th, 2011, Prada Spa (HKSE code 1913) listed 20% of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; at IPO, the company was valued around 9.2 billion Euros.
The PRADA Group is the owner of the brand “LUNA ROSSA”, under which a ready-to-wear collection inspired to sailing has also been created. The brand “LUNA ROSSA” has been granted to the Team Luna Rossa Challenge for its challenge to the 35^ America’s Cup challenge.