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Online PR News – 24-July-2009 – – Prada is an Italian fashion label designed by Miuccia Prada, specializing in luxury goods for men and women (ready-to-wear, leather accessories, shoes, and luggage and hats), founded by Mario Prada in 1913. Prada is considered one of the most influential clothing designers in the fashion industry. The label is synonymous with opulence and quality, and is widely regarded as a status symbol. Like numerous other luxury brands, Prada battles against counterfeiting and ensures authenticity only from its official boutiques (found globally) and online store.
First opened as a leathergoods shop in Milan in 1913, the Prada label was taken in by designer Miuccia Prada in 1989 and transformed into the luxury goods, fashion house recognized today.
The company's merger and purchasing sprees slowed down in the 2000s. However, the company signed a loose agreement with Azzedine Alaia. Skin care products were introduced in the United States in October 2000. A 30-day supply of cleansing lotion was marketed at the retail price of US$100.To help pay off debts of over US$850 million, the company planned on listing 30% of the company on the Milan Stock Exchange in June 2001. However, the offering slowed down after a decline in spending on luxury goods in the United States and Japan. In 2001, under the pressure of his bankers, Bertelli sold all of Prada's 25.5% share in Fendi to LVMH. The sale raised only US$295 million.
By 2006, the Helmut Lang, Amy Fairclough, and Jil Sander labels were sold. Jil Sander was sold to the private equity firm Change Capital Partners, which was headed by Luc Vandevelde, the chairman of Carrefour, while the Helmut Lang label is now owned by Japanese fashion company Link Theory. Prada is still recovering from the Fendi debt. More recently, a 45% stake of the Church & Company brand has been sold to Equinox.
According to Fortune, Betelli plans on increasing revenue of the company to US$5 billion by 2010.
Prada manufactures its wares in Italy, apparently keeping labor costs down by using Chinese laborers at the plants.
Prada is the main buyer from the Turkish leather factory DESA, which was found guilty by the Turkish Supreme Court of illegally dismissing workers who joined a union. The Clean Clothes Campaign, a labor rights organization based in Europe, has called on Prada to ensure that freedom of association is respected at the factory.
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