Prada S.p.A. is an Italian fashion label specializing in luxury goods for men and women (ready-to-wear, leather accessories, shoes, luggage and hats), founded by Mario Prada. The label is referred to by some people as a status symbol.The company was started in 1913 by Mario Prada and his brother Martino as a leathergoods shop – Fratelli Prada (English: Prada Brothers) – in Milan, Italy. Initially, the shop sold leather goods and imported English steamer trunks and handbags.The company’s merger and purchasing sprees slowed in the 2000s. However, the company signed a loose agreement with Azzedine Alaia. Skin care products in unit doses were introduced in the United States, Japan and Europe in 2000. A 30-day supply of cleansing lotion was marketed at the retail price of US$100.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 Gucci Handbags, 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. 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.Prada, along with Calvin Klein and Gucci, is known for the practice of casting new Dior Handbags to walk exclusively in their runway shows. Usually, one of the models chosen as an exclusive will open a Prada show. An exclusive or opening spot in a Prada show is among the most coveted bookings in the modeling world. Previous Prada Fendi Wallets and openers who have gone on to success in the fashion world include Daria Werbowy, Gemma Ward, Suvi Koponen and Sasha Pivovarova, who went on to appear in Prada’s ad Gucci Wallets for six consecutive seasons after opening the Prada fall 2005 runway Fendi Bags.In 1997, Prada posted the revenue at US$674 million. Another store in Milan opened that same Prada Wallets According to the Wall Street Journal, Bertelli smashed the windows of the Designer Purses a day before the opening, after he had become deeply unsatisfied with the set-up. Prada also acquired shares in the Gucci group, and later blamed Gucci for “aping his wife’s designs.” In June 1998, Bertelli gained 9.5% interests at US$260 million. Analysts began to speculate that he was attempting a take over of the Gucci group. The proposition seemed unlikely, however, because Prada was at the time still a small company and was in Burberry Handbag debt. Funding Universe states that “At the very least, Prada had a Snow Boots as one of Gucci’s largest shareholders (a 10 percent holding would be required for the right to request a Discount Prada on the board) and would stand to profit tidily should anyone try to take over Gucci.” However, Bertelli sold his shares to Moet-Hennessy • Louis Vuitton chairman Bernard Arnault in January 1998 for a profit of Coach Purses. Arnault was in fact attempting a take over of Gucci. LVMH had been purchasing fashion companies for a while and already owned Dior, Givenchy, and other luxury brands. Gucci, however, managed to fend him off by selling a 45$stake to industrialist Designer Handbags Pinault, for US$3 billion. In 1998, the first Prada menswear boutique opened in Los Angeles.