Those who follow the news about fashion know that Milan is one of the four major fashion capitals, alongside Paris, London and New York.
What most people don’t know, however, is why and how the italian city made its place among the top four major fashion cities.
The relationship between fashion and Milan is very old and takes us back to the Middle Ages, when in the city and its surroundings, there were centers for the production of fabrics, jewelry, tapestries, shoes, etc. In short, artifacts that are related to personal taste and with their own sense of fashion and identity.
At that time, Italy was not the united country it is today, and the different kingdoms had their own interests. For this reason, within the territory we now call Italy, both Rome and Florence stood out for the same reason: they also produced and marketed products of the highest material quality and beautiful aesthetics.
Italy was finally unified in 1891, and the three cities began to dispute this privileged place in fashion. Only after the Second World War did Milan stand out.
It was difficult, as Florence already held fashion shows and had an international clientele, and Rome had also internationally renowned tailors who also provided services for Hollywood stars. Milan’s success and growth depended decisively on the organization of the sector.
Located in the heart of Lombardy — one of the richest regions in Italy, — Milan is an economic and cultural hub. With a population of over 4 million people — making it the fifth largest population in the European community,— the Italian city has reached the status of World fashion capital, being responsible for promoting today’s biggest fashion events, as well as for concentrating the biggest brands in the world, in luxury stores and shopping centers.
Milan is a paradise for fashionistas and designers. Every year, the calendar of fashion events opens in February and extends throughout the year, with two annual fashion weeks, in addition to collection shows.
With a very mixed population, Milan is a cosmopolitan city, and design and fashion professionals have chosen to make it their home. In the well-known “Quadrilatero D’oro,” boutiques and palazzos of brands such as Prada, Miu Miu, Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Bulgari and Marni, among others, invite you to consume all the greatest influences of today’s fashion. There are also closed ateliers, jewelers, bags, shoes and charming thrift stores, where you can dig real treasures.
The most fashionable block in the world
Located right in the center of Milan, the well-known “quadrilátero della moda” is a set of four streets that dictate the world trend— via Manzoni, via della Spiga, corso Venezia and, mainly, via Montenapoleone.
When you walk around this block and come across its luxurious stores of dresses, shirts, suits, bags, shoes, and accessories, you fully understand the origin of the title Capitale della Moda given to Milan. The varied prices (although very high!) also determine which audience of this block receives stylists, top models, artists and socialites who find the “crème de la crème” of fashion there.
In Via Montenapoleone, you will find trendy boutiques of luxury brands such as Alberta Ferretti, Armani Collezioni, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Valentino, Chanel, Gucci, Bulgari, Cartier and many others that are at the top of the ranking of the most important brands in the world, and are darlings of influencers like Chiara Ferragni and Kim Kardashian.
In fact, the biggest and best outlets in Milan are in the surroundings of the city, as they offer a greater variety of products, brands and sizes, making the mission to dig less difficult.
The downtown outlets, on the other hand, are smaller and less varied. However, they allow that unique sensation that only those who have already searched for an exclusive find have ever felt.
With luck and patience, it is a great shopping option, especially for inveterate fashionistas!
Milan Fashion Week
The traditional Milan fashion week had its first edition in 1958. Since then, it has been organized by ‘Camera Nazionale dela Moda Italiana,’ and is now recognized as one of the most influential and important fashion weeks in the world.
Unlike events held in London, Paris and New York — the three other fashion capitals, — Milan Fashion Week has four annual editions. In the months of January and June, the men’s fashion shows take place; and in February and September, the women’s shows, attracting people from all over the world at any time of the year.
Believe it or not, everything you wear has an influence in Milan.
Milan, then, is the place where there is a lot of fashion information, where the best schools are located, and where fashion is part of the city’s culture.