One of the first things Patrizio Bertelli learned as a sailor is that you never stop learning. “I gained that knowledge quickly,” the Prada chief concedes. “Whenever you measure yourself with natural elements like the sea and the wind, you face an infinite variety of conditions—ones not necessarily predictable, and very different.”

But even with 30 years of experience under your belt, the sea can still be a threat.

Bertelli recalls the time he and his wife, Miuccia Prada (whom he claims is a great helmsman), were cruising down the Bocche di Bonifacio, the strait that separates Corsica from Sardinia, and were caught in a fierce storm: “It’s one of the windier parts of the Mediterranean, and we hadn’t checked the weather forecast. We learned what it’s like when the wind blows at 60 knots.”

Gales aside, the Mediterranean islands—Isola d’Elba, the Aeolian Islands and the Greek Cyclades—remain the favorite sailing spot for the Bertelli clan, which includes their two sons. “August vacations on our boat are sacred,” Bertelli stresses.

The complete article can be found in WWDScoop, a special publication of WWD available to subscribers.