Rare now is the fashion brand that doesn’t do art in some way, does not sponsor, show, collaborate or co-mingle with artists and galleries. It can look like a crushing embrace. But one designer has been doing it for longer and with more sophistication and commitment than any other.

Miuccia Prada, who trained as a mime artist before joining the family operation, established the Fondazione Prada in 1993 and began collecting art; seriously and with serious intent. The Rem Koolhaas-designed New York Prada store, or Epicenter, which opened in 2001, was more gallery and performance space than glittering showcase for product. But Prada has been careful to compartmentalise the fashion brand and the Fondazione. It has its permanent curators, commissions as well as collects, and puts on museum-standard shows.

Last year, the Fondazione Prada campus, also designed by OMA, opened in Milan; twice the size of Renzo Piano’s new Whitney in New York and twice the fun. It has redefined what a private gallery can and should be. It’s an engaging new cultural hub for a city known more for commercial thrust and will be Prada’s real legacy.

Miuccia Prada is one of our 20 Game-Changers. Read about the other 19 here

As originally featured in the October 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*211)