Miuccia had been making black waterproof backpacks since 1970, out of a nylon fabric called 'Pocone'. She unveiled the classic Prada handbag - simple, sleek, black nylon in 1985 and became an overnight sensation. The bag was functional and sturdy, practical and fashionable. The high price tag that accompanied the handbags caused an onslaught of designer knock-offs, which only helped to make the genuine Prada articles more in demand. In the 1980's, other labels were creating designs that played on sexuality. Frilly, lacy, brightly colored garments that were low cut on top and short on the bottom were popular. Prada hit the runway in 1989 with its pret-a-porter collection, with elegant, simple pieces featuring clean lines, luxurious fabrics, and basic colors. The fashion world took notice, and Prada's popularity skyrocketed.
By the 1990s, Prada was a leading force in fashion. The garments and accessories were smart, sophisticated, and extremely high quality. Luxurious fabrics and simple styles, mostly in blacks, browns, grays, greens, and creams, became the signature Prada look. The apparel was sexy and spoke of confidence without revealing too much skin. Accessories included skinny leather belts, elegant high heeled shoes, and of course, the classic handbag.