Italy is largely associated with the world
of fashion being one of the largest garment producers in the world.
Italian contribution to fashion as it is now known is abundant and
authoritative. This is best seen in the numerous fashion houses
to be found in Italy.
Giorgio Armani – Milan
Armani is most famous for his use of menswear fabrics in creating
de-structured suits for women as an alternative to the usual power
dressing mode consisting of dark gray suits.
Renato Balestra – Rome
Balestra exhibited great talent for set designs in theater and cinema
but left his trademark on various collections ranging from “ready-to-wear”
to complete high fashion.
Benetton – Ponzano Veneto (Treviso)
The world’s largest consumer of wool in the garment sector,
Benetton started the business with sweaters in classic colors but
soon attracted the younger generation’s attention in the introduction
of its fun-colored garments thus the slogan – United Colors
Laura Biagiotti – Rome
Earning the name “Queen of Cashmere” due to her tireless
efforts to create garments from the yarn, Biagiotti guaranteed her
success from women living in cold climates. Specific attention is
directed towards creating flattering and comfortable clothes.
Brioni – Rome
One of the first men’s fashion houses in Rome, Brioni introduced
a new way of dressing for men that is both updated and classic in
Dolce and Gabbana – Milan
Dolce and Gabbana worked on the basic philosophy of creating fashion
for “real” women. Their preferred fabrics are lace,
wool and silk and their designs are mostly Mediterranean-inspired.
Salvatore Ferragamo – Florence
Known as the “Shoemaker to the Stars” Ferragamo incorporated
comfort with high fashion in his detailed study of the anatomy of
the foot. A ready-to-wear line for men was also part of the successful
Gianfranco Ferre – Milan
Ferre dabbled at the start on designing accessories but eventually
become famous for the dressmaker white blouse which was distinctly
Ferre. He holds the distinction of being the first Italian designer
of the prestigious French House of Dior.
Fiorucci – Milan
Fiorucci introduced to the young Italians the youth culture from
London consisting of T-shirts, jeans and glitter. He is most known
for being able to recycle past looks to be wearable in the present
Sorelle Fontana – Rome
The Sorelle Fontana gave Italian fashion its own look, devoid of
foreign influence. It had for its customers, foreign actresses and
women of aristocracy.
Gattinoni – Rome
Fernanda Gattinoni became famous for costumes created for “War
and Peace” and a collection of empire style clothes that were
highly successful in the 1960’s.
Romeo Gigli – Milan
Gigli, also known as the fashion minimalist, understatement master
and the romantic intellectual was known for his romantic tunics
and clothes with a close fit accentuated by draping.
Gucci – Florence
One of the first Italian names recognized world-wide as one of the
status symbols, Gucci classics included the handbag with the bamboo
handle, moccasin with the Gucci snaffle-bit, the belt-clasps and
Moschino – Milan
Franco Moschino has always encouraged individuality and often warns
against becoming fashion victims. He is described as a master of
cutting and stitching and his works are appreciated by the young
as well as the young-at-heart.
Valentino – Rome
One of his most memorable collections is the white collection in
1967 wherein the famous “V” logo first appeared. Range
of products includes various parts of attire and interior decoration.
Gianni Versace – Milan
Versace’s type of fashion is characterized by bright colors
and a hint of exhibitionism. His clothes for women were skin-tight
with low cuts and high slits.
Other notable fashion houses in Italy are Luisa
Beccaria, Raffaela Curiel, Enrico Coveri, Erreuno, Etro, Antonio
Fusco, Nazzareno Gabrielli, Istante Vesa, Krizia, Missoni, Prada,
Mila Schon, Trussardi and Egor Von Furstenberg in Milan; Bluemarine
– Ana Molinari in Carpi; Byblos and Genny Moda in Ancona;
Clara Centinaro, Fendi, Fendissime, Andre Laug, Litrico Alta Moda,
Fausto Sarli in Rome; Maska and Max Mara in Reggio Emilia; and Emilio
Pucci in Florence.
Italy’s fashion industry continues to provide
employment for millions of people and is one of the greatest factors
for the upturn of the Italian economy and its attraction to visitors.