Who's Down With O.P.P.? Other People's Prada

Prada. What else is there to say? Without even knowing the brands full history, the name exudes luxury and style. Over the years I’ve developed quite the affinity for the Italian legend. They are exceptionally well made, ridiculously expensive and wear like a tailor-made suit. I am very proud to say that I am a Prada owner because I know that this is the I Ching of handbags and it’s craftsmanship will last me the rest. of. my. life. I purchased mine at my beloved Saks Fifth Avenue, of course, but this isn’t all about me as much it is about all of us. I’ve been inspired this past Fourth of July with an Independent spirit. Independent and breaking free from that loathsome negative thinking. I’m over it. The gossip, jealousy and evil eyes...please. Let’s seriously toss aside our animosity and judgmental attitudes and embrace honoring all of the wonderful women around us and, in my case, their amazing luxury purse collections. Men effortlessly stay out of each other's business, quickly get over fights and maintain lasting relationships for decades. How do they do this? They are men and I won’t get into the psychology of it all but it doesn’t matter because women will never be this way. However, we can learn from the legacy that this 4th of July has left me with. This legacy is to Honor all of the fabulously stylish women around me in one way or another. Today in honor of a handful of my fabulous friends and their very refined taste for high end accessories allow me to present a little collection of Prada from lives past and present. From the original rich leather designs envisioned by Mario Prada in 1913 to the Pocone fabric pioneered by Miuccia Prada, each one comes with it’s own little story too, no embellishments needed. Enjoy.

This first piece in the collection was purchased in Nice. It’s owner was on her way abroad to study French when Prada caught her eye in an airport boutique window over 25 years ago. Though she only carries it about twice a year rotating it amongst others in her bag collection, it is one of her favorites. Rich red leather and a gold link strap characterize this bag’s unique appeal making it truly a one of a kind. This is Prada perfection and the bold color will last generation after generation. So will her ability to speak French. Très chic, mon ami.

This very 90's Prada backpack was carried by one of my dearest friends in prep school. Yes, She carried this very stylish piece when we were a mere 15 years old. Some people are just born with it. This bag also pays tribute to a little piece of Hollywood gold entitled Clueless. In reality it was a gift from her sister, which she carried everyday while the rest of us sophmorically shot daggers across the room coveting her acquisition. See why I'm writing this? it was gorgeous then and so cherished now that it’s kept in special storage. She was shocked that I’d remembered it’s existence but how do you forget utter class? Like I said, some people are just born with it and the rest of of us never forget.

This piece belongs to a
fabulously proclaimed Citizen of the World.
That fits the bag’s personality perfectly as this satchel is essential for the jet setting type as they need quick monetary access traveling from place to place. Snapped while we sipped coffee, this modern piece is fashionable and functional oozing luxury in slick black and polished silver details. One of many pieces in the owner’s collection, she professes that this is one of her favorites, though she wouldn't dare tell the others.

Viewing Prada’s collections are like attending a live art show with wearable pieces to take home, if you are lucky enough to afford them. You can check out their latest collections and download fashion shows on their website (Music is amazing for every show!). They are known for the simple sophistication and luxury fabrics and textiles used to define their lines every season. With Miuccia at the helm, Prada has become one of the most successful luxury brands of all time with a time honored tradition spanning almost 100 years.

Their brand extends from bags and men & women’s wear to eyeglasses and fragrances all with the same luxury quality standards. Their colorful print ads in my monthly Vogue Magazine have me staring at them for a long while before I turn the page. Like their designer pieces, the ads are stylish & engaging. I find myself longing to add another Prada piece to my collection. Longing is the operative word here. In the meantime, I will thank my friends for their amazing taste which all similarly pay their due respects to the fashion icon that is The House of Prada. They and Prada inspire me.

(Photo: Prada Spring/Summer 2011)