Prada sold bags, trunks and travel accessories and by 1919 Mario had become an official supplier to the Italian Royal House, this resulted in the brand becoming a benchmark for Italian aristocracy. In 1975 Miuccia Prada, granddaughter of Mario Prada, joined the family business creating her own backpacks in nylon. In 1977 Miuccia met Italian business man Patrizio Bertelli who had a leather goods business. He joined Prada as a business partner, and they eventually married. With Bertelli’s business intuition and Miuccia’s creative visions the pair were a good match. The first expansion was the women’s shoe collection in 1979, as well as the tote and backpack range. Together they opened brand accounts in upmarket department stores, as well as their own stores featuring the distinctive pale green which became iconic as Prada Green. The first ‘green store’ opened in Milan 1983 and they then expanded across Europe. In 1989 the first women’s ready to wear collection dropped and by 1993 Prada had expanded worldwide. They received the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for Muiccia’s accessories and then went on to be awarded ‘designer of the year’ in 1995 and 1996. With their additional business acquisitions, of Church&Company and Fendi S.p.A., as well as their own younger brand Miu Miu, Prada was now leading the luxury goods market in Europe. Since then Betelli sold labels such as Jil Sander and their share in Fendi due to debt despite success.
In recent years Miuccia Prada received the Women of the Year award in Los Angeles for her contribution to fashion, art and culture recognizing her lead role in the success of Prada and her creativity and contribution to society.