Miu Miu’s success and the return of ballet flats

Yes, it’s true, ballet flats are back in fashion and Miu Miu has a lot to do with it! Just a quick peek at social media will showcase the brand’s popularity through the viral Miu Miu skirt, the Wander bag and the present favourite, ballet flats. Due to its important role right now in the fashion world, it’s only right to explore the history of the brand and the core factors that have fuelled Miu Miu’s success.

Miu Miu was founded in 1992 by Miuccia Prada and is the sister brand of Prada. The brand was launched in 1993 with their Fall/Winter line being cowgirl themed. The focus for the first years of the brand’s formulation was in propelling it out from the shadows of Prada with separate showrooms set up in 2005. The vision of the brand is to be an “outpost for the most refined femininity, a tangible expression of the energy conveyed by women’s natural contradictions and provocative personalities to contemporary society”. Based on its focus on modern and rebellious femininity, Miu Miu has often been thought of as the more youthful and affordable alternative to Prada with its clothing and accessories typically tailored to a younger audience.

Throughout its history, the brand has been no stranger to scandal. In 2015, Miu Miu’s ad campaign, which appeared in Vogue, was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). This was due to a complaint by a member of the public that the ad was sexualising a model, Mia Goth, who looked underage. ASA labelled Miu Miu’s ad as ‘irresponsible’ and banned it for breaching the advertising code. However, it was argued by both Miu Miu and Vogue that Mia Goth was 22 at the time and that there was no sexual tone to the advertisement. Nicole Kidman wearing Miu Miu’s mini skirt and bra top, on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood 2022 issue, also created controversy. However, many of the criticisms were based on ageism. The actress said that she really wanted to wear the outfit and show a different side to herself, highlighting how Miu Miu’s clothes align with their goal of empowering an embrace of modern femininity.

Despite the scandals, the brand has achieved great success. Miu Miu was ranked second place in the Lyst Index’s Q1 2023 rankings. The brand was reported to have generated “€432 million retail sales in 2022”. It was reported in the Lyst Index’s Q2 2023 rankings, in which Miu Miu came in at fourth place, that the brand saw “double-digit growth across all product categories”. The Lyst Index’s Q3 2023 ranking of brands and products ranked Miu Miu in first place, labelling it as the hottest brand in the world.

Miu Miu’s huge success is owed primarily to its clever campaigning and, who could forget, the viral mini skirt. Miu Miu has a history of choosing ‘it-girls’ to promote the brand. This can be seen from the brand’s muses consisting of Elle Fanning, Mia Goth, Lupita Nyong’o and Emma Corrin. Popular celebrities such as Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid and Sydney Sweeney have starred in campaigns. The brand’s marketing has been especially well-received in East Asia with South Korean idol Jang Won-young chosen as their brand ambassador.

The Miu Miu skirt set, which first graced the runway in 2022, has dominated the fashion world, creating a storm on social media and numerous influencers wearing it to high-profile events. The skirt has created such a frenzy for many reasons. Firstly, the set itself plays on the popularity of Y2K fashion with its low-rise skirt and cropped top. It created controversy due to its shortness and boldness, much like Diesel’s micro belt/skirt, but this only increased intrigue. The look still manages to maintain a chic edge through the formal school/work-inspired materials and cut. The manner in which Miu Miu uses and reclaims past trends to generate popular pieces and the brand’s experimental and layered style, which balances elegance and playfulness, is the core reason behind its rise to the top.

Miu Miu has continued its streak of being a trendsetter brand. This is highlighted through it being the main reason behind the return of ballet flats. The brand’s satin ballet flats were first showcased in their 2022 Fall/Winter runway. And yes, ballet flats have been popular in the past. But, for most of you, just like me, they will probably be remembered as school shoes or shoes for recitals or formal events. However, the rise of ballet core and the restyling of ballet flats by Miu Miu has pushed them to the forefront of fashion. The ballet flats are one of Miu Miu’s most popular products right now. There are numerous ways to style them from truly embracing the ballet core look, through pairing them with leg warmers and short skirts, to a more practical everyday look with jeans and a jumper. Ballet flats, just like the Miu Miu skirt, have become the key focus for fashion influencers on social media. It seems that the trend is here to stay, well, until another takes its place.

Miu Miu has established itself as one of the hottest brands. It has churned out numerous viral products and appears to be one of the key brands influencing fashion trends. This has been achieved through the brand’s great campaigns, use of famous faces and unique pieces. One can only wait to see what else Miu Miu has in store for the fashion world.

Featured Image: Michael Burrows on Pexels 

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