What’s in a name? Well in fashion circles, the name Prada is one of the most well known, but do not be confused with the illustrious Italian fashion house; the subject of our blog this week is Spanish fashion designer Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada. Born in 1960, she is also a high-ranking member of the Spanish nobility: one of the Grandees of Spain (Grandes de España), Marchioness of Castelldosrius and Baroness of Santa Pau.
She burst onto the fashion scene in 1981 when she launched her first women’s collection with a show in Madrid and went on to enjoy commercial success after partnering with the Spanish department store chain El Corte Inglés – the 4th-largest of its kind in Europe. She then took her colourful designs and trademark heart motifs to fashion shows around the world and extended her lines to include men’s and children’s collections as well as accessories, a household range, perfumes and more.
Agatha was one of the promoters of La Movida Madrileña, an artistic and cultural movement which emerged during the Spanish transition after the death of General Franco. It was a movement which encouraged freedom of expression and the breaking of taboos which had been imposed by the Franco regime. The Movida Madrileña was also credited with bringing about some changes to in the Spanish language; it brought the street dialects Pasota and Cheli – associated with the youth culture of Madrid in the early 1980s – into the open. Cheli expanded so rapidly during this period that several of its words were accepted by the Royal Spanish Academy, so you may pick up a few of them during our Spanish courses in London.