Fashion in Italy started to become the most fashionable in Europe since the 11th century,
and powerful cities of the time, such as Venice, Milan, Florence, Naples, Vicenza and Rome
began to produce robes, jewelry, textiles, shoes, fabrics, ornaments and elaborate dresses.
Italian fashion reached its peak during the Renaissance. As Italy is widely recognized as the
cradle and birthplace of the Renaissance, art, music, education, finance and philosophy flourished,
and along with it, Italian fashion designs became very popular (especially those worn by the Medicis
in Florence. The fashions of Queen Catherine de’ Medici of France, were considered amongst the most
fashionable in Europe).
The Italian Catherine de’ Medici, as Queen of France. Her fashion were the main trendsetters of courts at the time.
After a decline in the 17th to mid-20th century, the nation returned to being a leading nation in fashion, and Florence
was Italy’s fashion capital in the 50s and 60s from the very first high fashion parade at the Sala Bianca of the Pitti
Palace in 1951 with names such as Emilio Schuberth, Emilio Pucci, Sorelle Fontana, Simonetta, Mila Schon, Fausto Sarli,
whilst Milan led the way in the 70s and 80s, with then-new labels, such as Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferre, Romeo
Gigli, Krizia, Missoni, Moschino, Luciano Soprani, Trussardi and Versace and opening up and setting up their first boutiques
and emporia. Until the 1970s, Italian fashion was mainly designed for the rich and famous, more or less like the French
“Haute Couture”. Yet, in the 1970s and 80s, Italian fashion started to concentrate on ready-to-wear clothes, such as coats,
jackets, trousers, shirts, jeans, jumpers and miniskirts. Milan became more affordable and stylish for shoppers, and Florence
was deposed of its position as the Italian fashion capital and replaced by Rome, which grew in importance as high fashion pole
in the country thanks to the creations of Valentino, Fendi, Roberto Capucci, Renato Balestra and Gattinoni.
Today, Milan and Rome are Italy’s fashion capitals, and are major international centres for fashion design, competing
]with other cities such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, Paris and New York. Also, other cities such as Venice, Florence,
Naples, Vicenza, Bologna, Genoa and Turin are important centres. The country’s main shopping districts are the Via
Montenapoleone fashion district and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (Milan), Via dei Condotti (Rome), and Via de’ Tornabuoni (Florence).