In the early twentieth century Mario Prada (Miuccia Prada’s grandfather) traveled the world in search of precious materials, exotic leathers and luxurious fabrics, but also to discover sophisticated craftsmen and manufacturers to realize his designs. The first Prada products (bags, suitcases, gloves, walking sticks, bottles and glasses) were made by Alsatian and Austrian leather artisans, Bohemian crystal-makers, English silversmiths, as well as by Italian artisans using materials such as rare ivory, tortoiseshell, ebony and precious stones and leathers from all over the globe.
This curious connoisseur’s spirit remains at the heart of Prada, and translates into a sort of antidote to homologation and globalization so often seen among its competitors. Using Mario’s original approach, Prada collaborates with many different artisans to produce its designs utilizing the traditional craftsmanship, materials, and manufacturing techniques of a specific region.
This tactic will be soon explicit in the new “Made in…” project, a series of local products with special labeling declaring the origin of each piece.
“Prada Made in Scotland” will be a collection of traditional tartan wool kilts from U.K.workshops using traditional manufacturing and weaving techniques.
“Prada Made in India” is the label for a collection of handmade garments from workshops that specialize in Chikan, one of the most ancient Indian embroidery. Items will consist of handmade ballerina flats, woven sandals and artisinal handbags.
A series of jeans produced by Dova, a leading denim manufacturer, will carry the label “Prada Made in Japan.” The trousers can be custom ordered in four different varieties of cloth and seven different washes, making every article one of a kind.
“Prada Made in Peru” is a line of alpaca wool knitwear from the most traditional workshops of Peru.
These collections will be in stores starting in 2011.