Formerly a political science student and mime, Miuccia Prada took over her grandfather’s fashion house in 1978. Setting her focus on changing Prada’s strategy and aesthetic, Miuccia’s arrival shook up the house. Within just a couple of years, she designed a backpack crafted out of nylon. Though it does not seem like much now, especially since the material has become synonymous with the brand, it was a revolutionary design decision at the time. Up until that point, Prada was strictly a purveyor of luxury leather goods, supplying high-end luggage to Milan’s elite (including the royal family). The backpack, named the Vela, was an instant hit, becoming the very first style to earn the ‘IT bag’ title and proving that nylon was not the anti-luxury material many had considered it to be. Miuccia quickly began using it to make ready-to-wear as well.