Big names like Gucci, Prada, Fendi and Versace are calling cards at Milan Fashion Week, but there’s more to the shoe-shaped country than just these big four. Add in there some Miu Miu, Giorgio Armani and Valentino and we’ve got ourselves a list. Below, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most well-known Italian fashion labels, because supple leathers and extravagant faux fur jackets won’t buy themselves!
It’s a Gucci world, we’re just living in it. After a massive resurgence following the appointment of Alessandro Michele, this Florence-born fashion brand has serious street appeal. Coming in as one of Lyst’s most popular brands for a number of seasons running, Gucci has reached record sales and has become one of the most lucrative fashion businesses in the world.
2. Dolce & Gabbana
Despite controversy surround its founders, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Dolce & Gabbana has remained a strong force in the Italian fashion scene. Making clothes that honour Italy’s rich heritage — even its food! — D&G’s market hold remains steady and strong.
Founded in 1913, Prada has become one of the world’s most important fashion tastemakers. Now helmed by Miuccia Prada, Prada is consistently in Lyst’s top brands, sitting alongside heavyweights like Nike and Versace. Loved for quirky print, groundbreaking design and a fresh perspective, Prada is virtually a way of life in Milan — and beyond.
Even following the death of long-time designer Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi remains one of Italy’s top brands. Worn by celebrities including Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Rihanna, Fendi’s iconic double F logo has been reinvented, leading the brand into a new era of street style cool and instantly-recognisable fame.
Once helmed by Gianni Versace and now overtaken by his sister, Donatella, Versace was one of the 90s greatest labels. Today, Donatella has bought the Italian heritage brand into a new audience, tapping into supermodel power to reposition Versace as one of the hottest labels to wear. Bordering on kitsch and always packed with glamour, Versace on the red carpet is now a mainstay, with good reason.
6. Bottega Veneta
Known and loved for their exquisite leather goods, Bottega Veneta has built a reputation for high quality bags that will stand the test of time. Originating from the Italian phrase ‘Venetian Shop’, the label has since grown from an Italy-first customer base to one of global fame.
Founded in 1959 by Valentino Garavani, Valentino has become of the best-known Italian labels in the world. Today the brand counts Pierpaolo Piccioli as the design lead, taking the brand in a new, red-carpet-ready direction that has become known for its voluminous dresses and gorgeous colourful gowns. Strong commercial success has seen the brand expand in recent years, ensuring it secures its place as one of the biggest luxury players in the modern space.
Born in the 80s, Moschino has taken a flair of colour, pattern and playfulness into its brand identity, producing some of the world’s most recognisable collections. From the famous McDonalds collaboration to the Barbie-inspired runway, this Italian brand isn’t afraid of shying away from the spotlight.
9. Giorgio Armani
Despite a host of offshoots, the original Giorgio Armani remains one of Italy’s strongest brands. Known for chic separates and understated tailoring, Giorgio Armani’s elegant take on the everyday has seen it grow exponentially since its founding in the mid 1970s. Today, fans look forward to the bi-annual fashion shows, which have cemented the label as one that is made with real women at the front of mind.
10. Miu Miu
Founded by Prada’s own Miuccia Prada, Miu Miu is one of the world’s favourite playful brands. Whether it’s a statement knit or a colourful jacket, Miu Miu’s takes-no-prisoners approach to design has earnt it a serious reputation. Loved by cool girls all over the world, the house has seen celebrities including Elle Fanning and Amanda Seyfried front its campaigns to much appraisal.