Why Prada’s Galleria Bag Will Never Go Out of Style

It bags come and go but this one is a forever classic.

by Christina Holevas

Collage by Ashley Peña
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Miuccia Prada’s influence on modern fashion is well documented. The legendary designer, who took over her family’s manufacturing and leather goods company in the late ’70s, transformed the house of Prada into a leading fashion powerhouse with a knack for setting trends. With each creative whim, Mrs. Prada ushers the fashion pack into a new era. In the ’90s she introduced minimalism, in the 2000s the high-low mix, the list goes on. Despite this forward charge, the house does not shy away from referencing its rich history.

Scarlett Johansson in Prada’s latest Galleria campaign

Courtesy of Prada

In 1913, Mario Prada, Miuccia’s grandfather, opened the first Prada flagship in the historic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Located in Milan, the Galleria is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls and a notable architectural landmark. The four-story double arcade, covered by a glass dome and filled with natural light, is known for its blend of neoclassical and art-nouveau design. To this day, it remains a hub of social activity and an important symbol of Milan’s cultural heritage. It also remains the home of the now-historic Prada flagship, over a century after its establishment.

Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Prada first introduced its Galleria bag, an homage to the historic shopping arcade, in 2007, and it immediately became an archetypal style of the house. First offered in Saffiano leather, a material patented by Mario Prada and a leitmotif of the brand today, the bag is classic Prada—sleek, stylish, and pragmatic. The Galleria references classic handbag styles of the past, particularly 1940s frame bags, with their rectilinear shape and curved top handles. In the years since its creation, the Galleria silhouette has been reimagined in a spectrum of colors and leathers—from bold, contrasting hues to exuberant embellished styles. What remains throughout each update, aside from the iconic Prada triangle logo, is the bag’s impeccable Italian craftsmanship. Each one is meticulously hand-finished and composed of 83 individual pieces.

Scarlett Johansson in Prada’s latest Galleria campaign

Courtesy of Prada

Over the years, the Galleria has earned its place on the arms of a wide range of celebrities and it-girls. Kate Middleton, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, Hailey Bieber, and Gabrielle Union have all been spotted in the style. For the 2023 offering, Scarlett Johansson, star of Wes Anderson’s latest colorful jaunt Asteroid City, posed for a campaign lensed by American artist Alex Da Corte.

Much of what we see from Prada is an instant classic, and the Galleria is no exception. Its timeless design and unwavering relevance will make it a coveted piece for generations to come.