After completing a PhD in political science, studying mime, and joining the Italian Communist Party, Miuccia Prada inherited her family’s leather company and began designing handbags, debuting her first women’s ready-to-wear collection in 1988. Since, Prada and her brand of intellectual, offbeat chic has transformed the business into one of the fashion industry’s leading luxury houses. Taking its title from Miuccia’s childhood nickname, Miu Miu was introduced in 1993 as the main line’s playful sister brand. At once effervescent, demure, sensual, and rebellious, Miu Miu’s designs uncover the many—and often contradictory—facets of modern femininity. Signature styles include crystal-embellished shoes, knit sweaters, and bejewelled collars, while leather handbags like the Matelasse, Ultimate, and Madras honor the Prada family’s leatherworking heritage. With the tagline “nobility and misery,” Miu Miu’s Fall 2016 collection charts the intersections of masculinity and femininity, as well as austerity and opulence, in its ladylike spins on mid-century workwear. Denim jackets, poplin shirting, and military-style coats are reworked in hourglass silhouettes, cut in opulent Baroque textiles, and embellished with lace and crystals.