By  on February 8, 2006

PARIS — Signaling a strategic push for her more affordable and experimental ready-to-wear line, Miuccia Prada will show her Miu Miu collection March 5 during Paris Fashion Week instead of in Milan.

This confirms a WWD report of Jan. 12. A Prada spokesman said Tuesday the firm is finalizing a location for the runway show, but declined further comment. Miu Miu's Paris show is tentatively scheduled at 3 p.m. on a day that also boasts shows by Valentino, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton.

That one of Italy's most influential designers is decamping to the French capital underscores its reputation as the premier global showcase for creative fashions, home as it is to major designers from France, England, Japan, Belgium, Holland and beyond. Valentino and Costume National are among Italian brands that already show in Paris.

The move also comes as when Prada Group is putting major muscle behind Miu Miu, whose spring advertising campaign features actresses Kim Basinger and Camilla Belle.

The shift to Paris also will help distance Miu Miu from the flurry of second lines that clutter Milan Fashion Week, from Blugirl and Just Cavalli to Moschino Cheap & Chic.

It is understood Miuccia Prada is keen to leverage Miu Miu's distinct identity — even allowing it to compete for glory with her main collection, which she presents in Milan Feb. 21. During men's fashion week in Milan last month, the Miu Miu collection garnered more ecstatic praise than the main Prada line.

Launched in 1992 and named after its creator's nickname, Miu Miu was initially billed as affordable "antifashion fashion" and is synonymous with funky footwear and sophisticated, youthful clothes with retro airs. It has often associated itself with emerging artists, actors and musicians, populating its ad campaigns with the likes of Chloë Sevigny and Ludivine Sagnier. But in recent seasons, Miu Miu has carved out a higher positioning in its pricing, styling and product assortments.

The label has a history of globe-trotting and moved its show to the U.S. for three seasons starting in 1994. Miu Miu showed once in London in 1997 before returning again to Milan.

Miu Miu has 27 directly operated stores, plus four franchises, and is believed to generate revenues in excess of 110 million euros, or about $131.7 million at current exchange rates.

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