Lorenzo Bertelli is gradually being prepared for the post of CEO of Prada

Lorenzo Bertelli is gradually being prepared for the post of CEO of Prada

2023-04-24 14:55:12

Dhe man has two souls in his chest. 34-year-old Lorenzo Bertelli is preparing to take over Prada, Italy’s most important independent fashion brand. This is the beginning of his life as a manager in a pinstripe suit. He largely has to leave behind his life in the leather suit of a rally driver. He has been one of Italy’s best pilots in recent years. “Cruising through the woods at 200 miles an hour is different than moving on a sailboat at 40 to 50 knots,” said the scion of the Bertelli-Prada family, which has long sponsored sailing, in an interview.

In 2017 he gave up his professional career as a racing driver. Today, as one of two sons of the Bertelli-Prada family, Bertelli is Director of Marketing, Sustainability and Digital at the Italian fashion house. But as best he can, he wants to continue as a part-time driver. Last year, Bertelli took part in the World Championship rally in New Zealand in a Ford Puma, and in February this year he drove a Toyota in the snowy World Championship race in Sweden. And he is looking for opportunities to compete in another race this year, he announced. “Adrenaline has always been an important component of my life.”

More and more, however, Bertelli is said to direct its bursts of energy towards the Prada group with its almost 14,000 employees. This week, in line with his professional role, he tried to convince journalists of the family-owned company’s sustainability efforts. “This commitment must be a daily task, it must become routine for every employee,” he said. As a major polluter of the environment and climate, the fashion and textile industry is increasingly being targeted by critics.

Whether in the tanneries or when dying fabrics – the burden on nature and the environment is considerable, especially due to the companies that put many collections on the market every year. A luxury manufacturer like Prada does not belong directly to this “fast fashion” market segment, but “we are increasingly being held responsible for the entire industry because of our well-known brands”. This is why the Italian house, together with several European brands, wants to present a joint initiative for the recycling of clothes and leather items under the name “Re.Crea” this year.

Nylon made from old fishing nets

Prada can also point to some successful efforts in-house. So today the company uses regenerated nylon; Among other things, they work together with the Italian company Aquafil, which produces reusable nylon from abandoned, floating fishing nets in the sea, in which fish repeatedly get tangled. Also, in the past year, Prada has forged ahead into making gold jewelry from recycled gold. “The industry, from Cartier to Tiffany, is following our initiative with excitement,” says Bertelli.

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