by Stephen Garner
Miuccia Prada

The British Fashion Council has announced that Miuccia Prada will receive the “Outstanding Achievement Award” at The Fashion Awards 2018 in partnership with Swarovski. Mrs. Prada will be honored at this year’s ceremony on Monday, December 10th at the Royal Albert Hall in London, for her outstanding contribution to the global fashion industry.

Miuccia Prada has held the position of lead creative director and co-chief executive officer of the Italian fashion brand Prada for 40 years. Miuccia took over the family business in 1978 and began work with Patrizio Bertelli, who pioneered the introduction of a new business model in the luxury industry, based on direct control of all processes, applying rigorous quality criteria through all stages of production. A business model that goes hand in hand with Miuccia’s maverick creativity. The family business transformed from a small leather goods house into one of fashion’s ready to wear powerhouses. Initially with an understated industrial black nylon back pack that countered the idea of traditional, conservative luxury and onto a hugely successful ready-to-wear line for women, ‘a uniform for the slightly disenfranchised’.

Through her unconventional observation of society and her maverick ideas, Miuccia defines a product culture based on a creativity that is in a constant state of evolution. A free unconstrained process that enhances the DNA of each brand ensuring uniqueness and exclusivity. Miuccia’s constant questioning and discussion of how to make a piece immune to trend for trend’s sake results in lasting pieces which reflect concept instead of trend and aspects of people, personalities and ideas.

Prada debuted its first catwalk in 1988 to critical acclaim and cemented Mrs. Prada as a key fashion player. Since then, the fashion house has showcased womenswear and menswear collections in over 100 catwalk shows. These collections led to iconic campaigns from the Italian house which originated in black and white and evolved to high contrast and color in the 2000s and have always featured the biggest models of the moment; Carla Bruni to Amber Valletta, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell, all photographed by the best photographers including Steven Meisel, Glen Luchford, David Sims and Peter Lindbergh. More recently Prada released its 365 campaign taking a new direction with several narratives intended to place the high-fashion designs in realistic environments as opposed to a more fantasized setting. The campaign depicts office life, city landscapes and beaches. Mrs. Prada skillfully places design in the real world and the psyche of her consumer.

The Prada Group has evolved under her leadership to include Miu Miu – Miuccia Prada’s “other soul” – a brand with a provocative, nonchalant and sophisticated attitude; Church’s, leading traditional high-end men’s footwear manufacturer; Car Shoe, footwear brand known for its iconic studded rubber sole moccasin, and Marchesi 1824, historic pastry shop, renowned for its exceptional contemporary interpretation of traditional specialties.

“Mrs. Prada’s intuition for the zeitgeist and her blending of multiple creative disciplines including fashion design, art and architecture since the beginning have made her a pioneering force in our industry,” said Stephanie Phair, chairman British Fashion Council. “I am truly looking forward to celebrating Mrs. Prada’s outstanding contribution to the industry on the 10th of December.”

“We are thrilled to be honoring Miuccia Prada with the Outstanding Achievement Award for being an incredible design maverick and for spearheading the evolution of the Prada group from a family business to a global brand,” added Caroline Rush, CEO of British Fashion Council. “We look forward to celebrating with her on the 10th of December alongside industry family and friends.”

The Outstanding Achievement Award celebrates the overwhelming creative contribution of an individual to the fashion industry, who throughout their illustrious career has constantly shaped and reshaped the fashion world through their innovation and creativity. Previous winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award include: Donatella Versace, Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld, Dame Anna Wintour OBE, Terry and Tricia Jones and Manolo Blahnik CBE to name only a few.