Miuccia Prada worries the Italian fashion industry could fall into "second league".
The designer and entrepreneur is wary of foreign investors, and what compromises they could bring to production of high fashion, as well as the view of Italy in the wider world.
She told La Repubblica newspaper: "With the sale of our luxury labels to foreigners, our entire system risks falling into second league.
"Because if our brands cross our borders, the credit, glamour, fame and decision making is in the hands of others, and we are abandoned, downgraded."
However, she was also quick to point out she sees her home country as the best in the world in terms of production, but warned many top designers are moving to Paris rather than Italy.
Miuccia, 63, also said the impression outside of Italy is that the country has "less resources, culture, protagonists, ideas, vitality and money," than others and as it is less attractive, "fashion goes elsewhere, looking for the best, looking for that attraction that is called glamour".
She also said she has chosen Paris to show her Miu Miu line, adding: "We live in a weak cultural world, we are a country that has never wanted or known how to protect and promote its immense landscape and artistic patrimony."