Encyclopedia Prada

Making its U.S. launch today, a hefty tome simply titled Prada chronicles the adventures of its namesake empire, which has evolved from a few humble nylon backpacks in the 90s into an multi-faceted, international cultural juggernaut. Like a camera-shy Gengis Khan in a beaded cardigan, Miuccia the Conqueror oversees the entire dominion, and along with partner-in-crime and consort, Patrizio Bertelli, is constantly setting her sights on new territory.

Over its short history, the powerhouse has moved from simply setting fashion trends (which it continues to do with enviable ease), to pioneering industrial design, architecture, art and, yes, even yachting. Focusing on all of these groundbreaking extracurriculars (such as its collaboration with high-profile architects Herzog & de Meuron for its iconic Tokyo boutique), the book also includes highlights from previous campaigns and snippets from blogs and Ebay postings by the fawning faithful.

Prada concludes with ambitions plans for an expansive new museum on the outskirts of Milan, which we hope will include more than a few life-sized statues in heroic poses. During the Middle Ages, this chronicle is the sort of thing that would have been scribed by candlelit monks and bound in human skin. Prada comes in a less morbid embossed box set, available at Prada stores worldwide and Prada.com.

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