Wardrobe for the well-off

Iconic Italian fashion brand eyes Austin as emerging ‘luxury center’

Iconic Italian fashion brand eyes Austin as emerging ‘luxury center’

Prada store
Austin's about to get a lot more luxe. Prada/Instagram

Austin’s shopping scene continues to go upscale. Prada plans to set up shop in Austin, following fellow Italian fashion house Gucci into the Capital City.

Prada, an iconic retail brand known for its high-end handbags, shoes, and clothing, is targeting Austin as part of a three- to five-year expansion in the U.S.

“We are underinvested in the U.S.,” Paolo Zannoni, chairman of Prada’s parent company, told The Wall Street Journal. “That’s going to be a significant area of growth and profitability.”

Prada already operates stores in major U.S. cities like Dallas and Houston, but now plans to open locations in emerging “luxury centers” such as Austin, Atlanta, Seattle, and San Jose, California, according to a corporate presentation given November 18 in Milan, Italy.

“There are now some states where the consumer has become richer, more educated, and more open to brands like Prada,” Zannoni told the WSJ.

The timetable for Prada’s entry into the Austin market is unclear. The WSJ offered no details about the Austin store, and representatives of Prada couldn’t be reached for comment.

Also unknown is where Austin’s Prada store will open. But it’s a safe bet that it’ll land somewhere at North Austin’s Domain mixed-use complex. Gucci is set to open its first Austin store early next year in the Domain area.

study published earlier this year by Luxe Brand ranks Prada as the eighth-most-popular luxury brand online, up five spots from the 2020 list. The study took into a brand’s account Google searches, web traffic, and social media reach.

“Founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, Italian luxury fashion house Prada has grown into one of the most notable luxury brands in the industry,” Luxe Brand notes.

For the third quarter of this year, The Lyst Index ranked Prada fourth among the world’s hottest fashion brands and products.

Prada’s parent company posted sales of nearly $2.2 billion in the first nine months of this year. As of June 30, the Prada brand owned and operated 106 stores in the Americas.