SUCCESS STORY: Miu Miu, How To Master A Diffusion Line

Miu miu

“Designing for me is a very complex process. There are many ideas that I want to express in one object, very often contradictory. The creative process in Miu Miu is completely different from that of Prada. Miu Miu is not as complicated and thought out as Prada. Rather than being young, Miu Miu is immediate. Prada is very sophisticated and considered; Miu Miu is much more naïve. The solution, when I am working on Miu Miu, has to come immediately, instinctively, spontaneously with whatever is available at the moment. If I think three times, I stop.”
Miu Miu is the best dressing-up box you’ve ever owned.  Created as a counterpart to the established Prada brand, Miu Miu presents a sense of freedom, exploration and extroversion its big sister does not.  A women’s playground, it inspires fun, laughter and even rebellion at times – there are no rules.
In 1993 Prada was at its most minimalist; through tailoring and a dark palette, the brand empowered the modern women.  The nature of Prada’s designs gave the brand a serious and somewhat intimidating edge, and Muccia Prada saw room for something more accessible.  She envisaged a women with the same amount of independence but with less restrictions, rules and boundaries, and created the diffusion line, Miu Miu, to allow just that.
Miu Miu showcased its first collections at Fashion Weeks in New York, London and Milan,  with top models such as Kate Moss and Angela Lindvall, which helped gain initial interest from the Industry.  This first glimpse of the Designers anti-conformist and experimental, feminine designs quickly gained Miu Miu a following – these were women who has previously been weary of the suits and dark colours that Prada offered and revelled in the accessibility Miu Miu offered.  It’s unique and playful take on avant-garde fashion continued to lead the brand to success from there, receiving enormous enthusiasm at its first PFW in 2006.
Since then Miu Miu has been admired for its colourful campaigns, which present a youthful naivety relatable to all women, no matter their age or stature.  The brand has dressed stars such as Kylie Monique, Drew Barrymore and Reese Witherspoon and is a favourite among celebrity style bloggers and street stylists alike. Miu Miu now occupies some of the prime retail positions in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong and doesn’t look to be overshadowed by its older sister, Prada, anytime soon.  After all, who ever gets tired of dressing up ?

Now we’ve heard Muccia Prada’s Success Story, let’s put it into practise and analyse how she managed to successfully diversify an existing brand:
Brand Separation
Prada was already a globally successful brand when Muccia Prada branched out and created Miu Miu.  Why not just use Prada and create more diverse pieces within the brand ?  The continued success of Prada was possible because she decided against doing just that, thereby adhering to the tastes and desires of her already loyal customers and continuing to provide them with a brand they knew and loved.  The creation of Miu Miu allowed her to continue success with Prada’s audience, while targeting a new type of customer.  Her avant-garde pieces appealed to this new market, when they would have deterred the customers of Prada.
Getting Big Names on Board

Audiences who were used to seeing Muccia Prada’s designs take on the more serious and minimalist vibe that Prada specialised in at the time may have been dubious of Miu Miu’s somewhat ‘wacky’ pieces.  By involving major model faces at the time such as Kate Moss and Angela Lindvall, the brand gained credibility and also media attention in the Fashion world.
Distinguished Designs
Due to the existence of Prada, Brand Identity of Miu Miu was more important than ever in order that customers could differentiate between the two.  Muccia Prada’s quirky designs helped achieve just that.  Undeterred by style boundaries, each of Miu Miu’s collections presents us with something new and exciting, with unexpected colour combinations, textures and shapes.  While there are cross overs between Prada and Miu Miu, they are always seen as separate, with the latter viewed as the more fun, rebellious and ungrounded counterpart of her older sister.
Relatable Advertising Campaigns
Miu Miu’s campaigns are always memorable.  Just like the brand itself, they are edgy yet accessible, making Couture desirable to all.  Often the avant-garde clothes are modelled in slouchy positions, on the floor, or on chairs, making the World of High-Fashion relatable to all women of all ages.  They have aided enormously in the development on Miu Miu’s brand identity,  giving the brand a reputation for fun, joyfulness and unpretentiousness that all girls want to embody.

Photo Credit – Virtual Wolf Miu Miu – Creative Commons
by Stephanie Cvetkovic for Fashion Cross Functional

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