Italy’s large and influential fashion industry is based in Milan, but has expanded widely to include Florence, Rome and of course, the rest of the world. Italian designers have famously created a range of men and women’s clothing lines, handbags and shoes. Designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Armani, Valentino, Versace, and Prada have established brands that guarantee high quality and elegance.
Hollywood stars have long adored and adorned Italian designs. From Marilyn Monroe and Salvatore Ferragamo to Jennifer Lopez and Versace, the red carpets are overflowing with glamorous gowns, handbags, shoes and jewelry made in Italy. The fascination with Italian style extends way beyond tinsletown, however, as the whole world appreciates Italian fashion sense, which can only be achieved through their tradition of seduction and refinement that has been handed down through generations.
Although major fashion destinations like London, Paris and New York host all the famous Italian brands, most headquarters and flagship stores remain in Milan. The most prestigious of all fashion streets is Milan’s Via Monte Napoleone. It is the most significant street of the city’s Fashion District, known as the Quadrilatero della moda. The most elite Italian designers and shoemakers keep boutiques on this esteemed street.
Still an important stop on any fashion traveler’s rounds, Florence offers the competitive high-end fashion street Via de' Tornabuoni. Legendary shoe and garment design house Salvatore Ferragamo is located on the street and has been based in Florence since 1928. Legendary brands Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci also maintain headquarters in Florence.
Rome's pedestrian only Via Condotti promises fabulous designer shopping as well. Recognized as a power city for fashion, many brands have their roots and headquarters in the Italian capital. These include Bulgari, Fendi, Valentino, Laura Biagiotti and Brioni.
There are in fact other stops to include on a very thorough tour of Italian fashion cities. Though not as big or famous for fashion, cities such as Venice, Turin, Naples and Bologna are additionally of significance for Italian clothing creation and the industry. For example, Venice is the birthplace of Italian fashion house Roberta di Camerino, famous for its handbags.
A passion for fashion is not only evident in the country’s upscale stores, but also in its everyday people. Fashion is as much a national pastime as soccer and drinking coffee. Almost all Italians are of the attitude to dress with attention to detail and confidence, all while seeming effortless. To see the latest fashion trends one need only browse the local piazzas, hip cafes and streets. Italians are known for dawning elegant trends that also possess durability, are classic and made of genuine quality. However for them, it is not as much about the clothes as it is a manner of an individual's pride in a composed yet sensual sophistication.