Like Louis Vuitton, Prada of Milan began as a manufacturer of trunks, but from its inception, it also produced women's handbags. Though its first purses were leather, in 1985 Prada made its mark in the world of handbags with its minimalist, black pocono nylon bag designed by Miuccia Prada, the granddaughter of one of the firm's two founders. Miuccia's new bag had a handle, so it could be carried, but most people (men and women alike) wore it as a backpack.

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