Italy has been home to some of epicentres of the world fashion industry, including Milan, Rome, and Florence. It is one of the leading countries in fashion industry, alongside France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Fashion has always been a key part of Italy’s cultural life and society. Italians are best known for their attention of dressing-up well; “la bellafigura”, remains traditional.
Milan is one of the “big four” global fashion capitals, along with New York, Paris, and London. Occasionally, the “big five” also includes Rome.
So, it is not surprising that some of the top apparel brands in the world had their success start in this country.
In fact, Italian luxury fashion houses are synonymous with unmatched creativity with their unique designs, elegant tailoring, and exquisite fabrics, making French, Swiss, or other luxury groups want to add them to their portfolio of top brands.
Luxury fashion designers like Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana have won the hearts of millions of people, bringing a magical juxtaposition of creativity, flawless craftsmanship, and successful business flair.
Designers’ unique Italian style stepped into the spotlight in the 1950s through their unmatched creative haute couture collections. They used simple shapes and finest fabrics which were sewed manually to ensure that the style is reflected in each of their creations.
Moreover, Italian manufacturing and craftsmanship is mainly revered as the finest quality in the fashion industry, making the “made in Italy” trademark a global point of reference for quality and excellence.
Many French, British, and American luxury high fashion brands – like Chanel, Dior, Balmain, and the main line of Ralph Lauren – depend on Italian craft factories, located in highly specialised areas in the metropolitan area of Naples and in the centre-north of Italy; Tuscany, Marche, Veneto, and Piedmont, to produce parts of their designs and accessories.
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up five of the most renowned Italian fashion brands you should know.
Founded in 1960 by a one-man fashion powerhouse, Valentino Garavani. The designer studied fashion at an early age, to eventually pursue a formal education in Paris. He then returned to Rome to open his own fashion house and blended the grandiose, opulent nature of the Parisian fashion houses into his own outstanding Italian label.
The brand has a diversified portfolio of products that includes clothing, bags, fragrances, accessories, and footwear for men and women.
Valentino made his name with a very unique shade of red he used for most of his gowns that soon it became famous all around the world, and known as “Valentino Red.”
Founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace, the Italian brand can be described as brash and audacious; it is a brand that sounds expensive, feels expensive, and is – undoubtedly – expensive.
Versace is best renowned for its bright colours, bold patterns, and vibrant graphics. In addition, the use of Medusa in the brand’s logo draws on the Greek mythological character and her ability to strongly affects whoever looked at her.
Founded in 1921 by Italian businessman and fashion designer Guccio Gucci, the Florence-born fashion label is one of the oldest Italian clothing brands going.
The designer was being inspired by the luxury lifestyles of people he met when he was working in the Paris and London hotel trade. He juxtaposes this aesthetic with the talented and highly-skilled local craftsmanship of Tuscany. The brand soon became popular with the Italian gentry and international shoppers, and eventually has become one of the most lucrative fashion businesses in the world.
The designer Giorgio commenced his eponymous brand in 1975, dictating how classy people should choose their clothing since then. He also introduced leather goods, other fabrics, and accessories through its younger lines that include Emporio Armani and Armani Exchange.
In addition, he has revolutionized the way women dress by adding unique, elegant classic pieces to his collections. Using some unique techniques along with the finest fabrics have managed to create timeless creations. He best renowned for creating minimalist designs that are easy to adapt, match and wear on various occasions.
Husband and wife Edoardo and Adele Fendi started their eponymous brand in 1925 through a fur and leather goods shop in Rome, and immediately experienced great acclaim for their flawless design and unique style.
In the 1940s, the next generation of the Fendi family — five sisters Paola, Anna, Franca, Carla, and Alda — took over and started introducing a more youthful perspective. Then in the 1960s, long-time designer Karl Lagerfeld joined the label and adopted a revolutionary trend based on reinvention and experimentation, leading the brand into a new era of street style cool, elegant, unique, and instantly-recognisable fame.
Up to date, the Italian brand continues to carry its classic identity of Italian style, empowered by decades of knowledge.