Celebrities play an important role in any luxury brand’s ecosystem. Advertising can only go so far; shoppers often look to celebrities for style inspiration (whether we like to admit it or not), so it’s always interesting to watch how stars react to an important new design.
I have a big spot for Prada bags in my heart. One of my first premiere designer bags was a Prada Nylon Messenger Bag that I carried for college, and while I know that sounds ridiculous, it was nothing short of amazing.
Over the past six months, we’ve discussed the problems that plague Prada’s handbag business (and, therefore, its business at large) on a number of occasions. Chiefly among them are the brand’s reliance on saffiano leather, which is not really a luxury material, and the lack of diversity in its bag mix.
Last week, I spoke with Chavie Lieber of Racked about Prada’s current profit woes, much of which are tied to the recent underperformance of the leather goods that make up roughly 40% of Prada’s business.
Prada’s handbags tend to be overwhelmingly staid; the brand has positioned itself, season after season, as the source for work-appropriate power bags for women with corner offices (or corner office aspirations), and although Miuccia allows for an artistic departure here and there, whimsy is usually not her stock in trade.