The Prada company, founded by Mario Prada, began life in 1913 as a luxury leather purveyor. The business's expansion into the powerhouse we know today didn't begin until Mario's granddaughter Miuccia Prada took the wheel in 1978. Miuccia Prada had been a serious student of both politics and mime, not design, but she had a strong enough sense of fashion to steer the Prada name to success on runways and on racks. Under her watch, the company has also expanded into several constituent brands like the fashion-forward and commercially successful Miu Miu label, so-called after Miuccia herself. Throughout, her adventurous eye has led Prada to set trends rather than following them. Whether with a nylon backpack or the revolutionary architecture of a retail store, Prada has time and again gone her own way. In 1995, Prada, who is an art collector, co-founded the Fondazione Prada to support contemporary art.