Everything You Need to Know About Prada

Prada store in Hong Kong (SourceLicence)

We have an extensive range of Prada eyewear here at B Sunglasses. Prada is, without doubt, one of the finest fashion houses in the World, so it is a source of intense pride for us that we have acquired such vast Prada sunglasses and glasses collections. But sourcing the best new Prada eyewear collections isn’t enough for us; we also want to spend a little time talking about the brand’s history, it’s aesthetic, and its unique approach to eyewear design. So, keep reading for everything you need to know about Prada!

A Brief History of Prada

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Mario and Marino Prada founded a shop called Fratelli Prada (Prada Brothers) in Milan in 1931. The shop specialised in artisanal leather goods which mostly consisted of imported handbags and luggage trunks from English. It’s very unlikely that the two brothers had any idea the Prada name would grow into the vast fashion empire we know today. As a family business, the Prada legacy is an interesting one, as Mario Prada had believed strongly that the women in his family shouldn’t run the family business; but it was his daughter rather than his son who took over from him. This was because Mario’s son had no interest in taking over the Prada business when his father died. Mario’s daughter Luisa, however, was very keen to take on her father’s mantle, and she proved more than equal to the challenge. Gradually, the Prada name accrued more and more acclaim in Milan’s renowned fashion scene, but the real changes didn’t occur until Luisa’s daughter took over…

It was when Luisa’s daughter, Miuccia Prada, took over the company that the Prada brand began to transform into the huge towering fashion house we know today. Miuccia’s first move was to no longer import English products; from then on, Prada would champion only Italian materials and Italian design. Miuccia’s next move was to expand the range of bags to include totes and backpacks. This was back in 1979 and these bags were incredibly tough and hardwearing. Although not an instant hit, gradually news spread of Prada’s tough, stylish bags, and they became Miuccia’s first commercially successful change to the company!

The classic Prada handbag (SourceLicence)

After totes and backpacks, Prada brought out a nylon tote bag and began to expand through Europe and into New York city. Then, in the mid-80s, Prada brought out its first line of shoes and its now-classic handbag, which was both stylish and very hardwearing. It’s this quality craftsmanship that has earned Prada such prestige over the years, and which is now an integral part of the brand’s identity. In 1987, Prada took the next big fashion leap by designing a ready-to-wear clothing line and sunglasses soon after.

Today, Prada is one of the biggest fashion houses in the World, and it puts a lot of time and attention into its eyewear collections. The brand has changed so much since the original Fratelli Prada shop and we have Miuccia Prada to thank for this! If you’re interested in all-things-Miuccia, you will probably appreciate our Miu Miu sunglasses collection; Miu Miu is often referred to as the wild little sister of Prada. Miu Miu was wholly Miuccia’s idea, as she wanted to create more avant-garde fashion label that appealed to a younger audience. As Muiccia is the Creative Director of both Prada and Miu Miu, both labels reflect different parts of Miuccia’s fashion identity.

Prada’s Brand Aesthetic

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We’d rather not waste too much time talking about Prada’s brand aesthetic. This isn’t because it’s not interesting, but just because it’s easier to just show you Prada’s various sunglasses and glasses and let you see their aesthetic for yourself. Prada’s austere, practical aesthetic sets it apart from many of the other big Italian designers, who usually lean towards bigger, brighter colours and designs. The larger-than-life styles of Gucci, Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana have set a precedent for Italian eyewear design: bigger and bolder is better. Prada’s sunglasses are often on the bigger side of things, but they are smaller than many of the other big Italian designers and they usually have finer lines and more subtle designs. So, it’s Prada’s sophistication and understatement that sets it apart from other Italian designers; in fact, it has much more in common with Saint Laurent — arguably the most successful French fashion house.

Prada’s Sunglasses

Often, a brand’s sense of style is most easily discerned by their range of eyewear, and Prada is no exception. Prada’s range of sunglasses is diverse, so we’ll try to discuss as many different styles of sunglasses in this section.

Prada’s Round Sunglasses

An assortment of round sunglasses from Prada (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

Round sunglasses have come back into fashion in recent years and they’re showing no signs of leaving any time soon. Round sunglasses have a vintage feel that harks back to the early 20th century, when they were the most popular style. Prada has taken a lot of time designing a range of different round sunglasses, modernising the style with subtle, intelligent design choices, such as using metal wire, ornate double bridges, and white variations on the original Havana (tortoiseshell pattern). Prada manages to add flare and sophistication to the classic round sunglasses style without disturbing the shape too much or overdoing the design.

Prada’s Square Sunglasses

An assortment of Prada’s square sunglasses (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

Prada’s square sunglasses are a little more varied than its round collection. With just the four examples above, you’ll see how Prada has played with and slightly altered the traditional square design. The colour palette is relatively dark and subtle and the darker frames are often highlighted by brighter metal accents on the bridge or the temples. Unlike with its round designs, Prada has done its best to avoid the exact geometric square, opting instead for softer, more elegant edges.

Prada’s Irregular and Geometric Sunglasses

An assortment of Prada’s irregular and geometric sunglasses (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

Few designers can keep their creativity in check when they experiment with interesting new sunglass shapes. But this is exactly what Prada has done with its range of irregular and geometric sunglasses. Prada is perhaps the best example of a designer that is able to try create new designs without losing its sense of identity; it’s geometric designs are elegant, refined, and understated, but they’re also incredibly creative. This is Miuccia Prada’s influence shining though!

Prada’s Cateye Sunglasses

An assortment of Prada’s cateye sunglasses (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right)

Lastly, we’re looking at Prada’s cateye sunglasses. The cateye style’s feminine, feline elegance is a perfect fit with Prada’s sophisticated aesthetic. There’s a vintage look to all of the models in our Prada cateye collection, and there is a broad range of colour patterns and finishes to appeal to most people’s tastes. Whether you like the classic Havana pattern, shiny black, or grey and orange stripes, there’s a pair of Prada cateye sunglasses for you. Although many of Prada’s eyewear designs toe the line between contemporary and vintage, Prada’s cateye designs are well and truly vintage. And we’re totally fine with that!

 

That’s it for this guide. We haven’t quite covered everything you need to know about Prada… but we hope you’ve learned a few things you didn’t already know and that you have a good sense of the stunning sunglasses coming out of Prada’s design studios. Browse our Prada collection and keep an eye on our sunglasses sale page in case one or two of our Prada models are reduced in the near future!