The man in the picture is none other than Mario Prada. Yes, that Prada. Like many Italian leather workers who rose to prominence, Mario Prada made leather luggage for the class of people who could afford to travel in those days. He opened a leather goods shop in 1913, in Milan, Italy, along with his brother. They imported, designed and presumably made leather travel goods for an exclusive clientele. One of their more popular leathers was walrus hide, used to make steamer trunks. As air travel came along after the war, the Prada brothers shifted towards handbags and lighter goods. (Early air travel not only restricted luggage weights, they even demanded that passengers sat in particular places on the plane to balance it.)
Mario Prada passed away in the 1950′s, and his granddaughter took over the company to make it what it is today. But, the heart of the Prada name was leather goods and leather craft. They cannot match a quality hand-made bag, but the design sense of Prada is something to emulate.