The Italian city of Milan is recognised internationally as one of the world’s most important fashion capitals, along with Paris, New York and London. It is additionally recognized as the main sartorial hub in the country, with Rome and Florence being other major centres.
Milan has established a long history within the fields of fashion, textiles and design in general. Throughout the late 19th century, the Lombard capital was a major production centre, benefitting from its status as one of the country’s salient economic and industrial powerhouses. Milanese fashion, despite taking inspiration from the leading Parisian couture of the time, developed its own approach, which was by nature devoted to sobriety, simplicity and the quality of the fabric. Throughout the 20th century, the city expanded its role as a fashion centre, with a number of rising designers contributing to Milan’s image as a stylistic capital. Following this development, Milan emerged in the 1960s and 1980s as one of the world’s pre-eminent trendsetters, maintaining this stint well into the 1990s and 2000s and culminating with its entrenchment as one of the “big four” global fashion capitals. As of today, Milan is especially renowned for its role within the pret-à-porter category of fashion.
In 2009, the city was declared as the “fashion capital of the world” by the Global Language Monitor even surpassing its relative cities. In 2016 Milan’s ranking is 6th.
Most of the major Italian fashion houses and labels are based in Milan, even though many of them were founded in other cities. They include: Armani, Antonio Marras, Dolce&Gabbana, Etro, Iceberg, Les Copains, Missoni, Miu Miu, Monclear, Moschino, MSGM. N°21, PradaTod’s, Trussardi, Valentino, Versace, Ermenegildo Zegna and the eyewear company Luxottica, owner of the worldwide well recognized brand Ray Ban.