Italy is no stranger to fashion. Standing shoulder to shoulder with France, the country helped shape the global fashion industry. Some might say that perhaps no other country has had such a lasting impact on the fashion scene. Each year the world turns to Milan fashion week with anticipation, to spot emerging designers and to understand the latest fashion trends. Many of the industry's leading fashion houses were born in the backstreets of Milan, Florence or Rome (think of Armani, Gucci or Prada, to name a few) and are now global icons. However, Italian fashion is not just about such major brands. A new generation of Italian designers are emerging, drawing on the country's deep roots and prestigious past, but at the same time pushing the boundaries of conventional styling. Italy has always been known for its high quality products and superior craftsmanship, and these age old techniques are being continued and developed with the younger generation. To shine a light on these emerging Italian fashion brands, we have compiled this list of our 10 favourite.
Images Courtesy of Magliano
Founded in 2016 by designer Luca Magliano, this Italian menswear brand aims to "mess with wardrobe fundamentals.” Whilst many of Magliano’s garments are finely tailored suits, the brand plays with tradition with its use of colour, shape and pattern, and this experimental nature doesn't stop at suits. His shirts, trousers and accessories could all be described as 'out-of-the-box', whilst still maintaining a luxurious and tailored feel. Having grown up in Bologna, Luca Magliano takes a huge inspiration from the Bolognese subcultures of the 70s, 80s and 90s. In fact, the designer has been playing with fabrics since his childhood, imaging a storyline for each drape and fold. Luca went on to study at Libera Università Delle Artiand, and worked for several designers before founding his own brand. After a short time residing in the Italian fashion capital (Milan), Luca moved back to his hometown of Bologna to return to his roots. His collections have been shown at Milan fashion week to much acclaim.
Images Courtesy of Instagram (@giorgiandreazza)
Founded by Giorgia Andreazza, this Milan-based brand was made for strong entities, rather than specific genders. Inspired by the socio-political climate in Milan, GIORGIANDREAZZA uses unique materials such as waterproof, fireproof and bulletproof fabrics. In addition, all of these garments are handmade by Giorgia (with the occasional bit of help from her talented family). GIORGIANDREAZZA is no stranger to bold and unique colour matching, calculated cut-outs and overlapping shapes, which has landed the brand's designs in high-profile publications such as i-D, GQ and Vogue. We have known Giorgia for some time and she keeps surprising us with her inexhaustible creativity and renewal. For anyone wanting to learn more about Giorgia, we have a full-length story here.
Images Courtesy of VisualAtelier8
Alessandro Trincone grew up in the outskirts of Naples, a region where fashion creativity is perhaps less celebrated than other parts of Italy, however this never stopped him. He went on to graduate from several prestigious universities, including Bunka Fashion College in Japan, and is now on the path to becoming globally recognised for his skills and talent. His self-titled brand shows officially at New York Fashion Week and in 2017, Alessandro won the “VFiles Runway 7” contest in New York, with his eye-catching collection Annomadi. Gaining publicity from this monumental moment, rapper Young Thug reached out to the designer. Together, they created the iconic, yet controversial, album cover for JEFFREY. The contentious cover was at odds with the traditionally hyper-masculine rap industry, as the Atlanta-born artist was seen in a feminine, dress-like garment holding a traditionally Japanese inspired umbrella. A brave step for Young Thug and Alessandro Trincone, the cover pushed the boundaries of the industry and helped open people's eyes to gender-fluid style. Since then, the brand has continued to produce genderless clothing with tulle and organza, and soft, pastel colours. Allesandro's use of over-the-top shapes and fabrics keeps him at the forefront of genderless fashion and makes viewers question the distinction between "masculine" and "feminine" styling .
"There are a lot of people like me who want to be more eccentric, different from the classic men's image. But they can't, because of images that society has imposed. My goal is to inspire those people to fight this problem, to be totally, 100% themselves." Alessandro Trincone
Images Courtesy of Salvatore Vignola
A young Salvatore Vignola was introduced to the fashion world by the tragic event of Gianni Versace’s death in 1997. Salvatore was so marked by the event that till this day, Gianni Versace remains one of the inspirations for his uber-feminine and sensual garments. Using the woman’s body as his focal point, Vignola created his eponymous brand to represent and re-imagine the tensions between the dualities of every-day life. The gracefulness of a woman versus the extremism of a man, contrasting and complimentary colours are just some of his sources of inspiration. Perhaps his studies of architecture and interior design at the Art Institute of Potenza are what gave Salvatore his ability to create garments perfectly shaped to the female body. We love his bold styling, clear lines and use of patterns, in particular his latest SS21 collection which draws inspiration from Southern-Italian culture and mythology. We recommend checking out this full-length article to read more about Salvatore's story.
Images Courtesy of MyTheresa
Co-founded by Chiara Capitani and Romy Blanga in 2019, EÉRA is an Italian jewellery brand, born from a trip to a Tokyo vintage market. The brand makes bracelets, necklaces and rings from the classics including gold, silver and diamonds, whilst incorporating neon hues for a youthful aesthetic. EÉRA fuses the past, present and future to create unique pieces which are authentic to each wearer, whilst maintaining a luxurious feel. The pair love to create customisable pieces through the use of snap hooks that can link several earrings and rings together. Since their first launch, Capitani and Blanga have started to branch out of jewellery, creating different types of accessories and handbags. The pair came out with their staple Moonbag clutch, a mini bag which compliments their previously produced jewellery. The neon colours and rectangular hook found on the bags are an ode to their “Chiara” earrings. The Italian jewellery is now being distributed worldwide, making waves in the universe of accessories.
Images Courtesy of Fantabody
As an advocate for diversity, sustainability and self-love, Fanatabody is a womenswear label which creates for its community of “Fantagirls.” As the name suggests, Fantabody specializes in neutral-toned shapewear and sportswear-inspired clothing to create the best garments to ensure the confidence of their consumer. Founded in 2015 by Milan-based photographer Carolina Amoretti, Fantabody is 100% Italian-made in a sustainable manner. The fabrics are all sourced locally, just as the handcrafting is made by small studios within Milan. The brand not only utilises recycled materials, but also recycles the majority of their product waste. As an advocate for inclusivity, Fantabody's pieces are made for all body shapes and types. In 2019, the brand won the Milano Fashion Film Festival as the best new Italian brand, an amazing achievement and further reinforcing why this is a brand to watch!
Images Courtesy of Instagram (@acrosantiworld)
Founded in 2017, Arcosanti is a footwear brand named after the 70s experimental city in Arizona. The city Arcosanti was designed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri, in an aim to create a utopian place which would mix architecture and ecology, ARCOlogy. With a population of 80 residents, the 5% completed city holds a certain mystic, sci-fi, fantastical atmosphere to itself, something which can be seen translated into Arcosanti’s shoe designs. Just as the city aimed to maximise its ecological aspect, the brand prides itself on its sustainability; Arcosanti limits its use of genuine leather and chemical elements, and embraces recycled materials. The brand also uses an innovative approach to its avant-garde designs, to create life-long lasting products which are not only amazing to behold, but also comfortable to wear. Perhaps the best way to sum up Arcosanti’s ethos, is through their own words: “sexual architecture beyond seasonality.”
Images Courtesy of DROMe
DROMe is a poetic Florence-based brand which creates effortlessly stylish garments for the 21st century cosmopolitan woman. With large fur coats, leather jackets and tailored suit pants, the brand offers a selection of clothing suited for the powerful woman. Creative director and head designer Mariana Rosati wants to re-invent classic pieces by adding passion and sophistication to each of them. She does this not only through a playful use of colours and materials, but more specifically through the feel of the garment. She wants her wearer to feel the intended sensations of an emotional and atmospheric scene. She refers to this as the “invisible layers” of a garment. DROMe’s urban approach to feminine wear offers day and night-time clothing, a completion of the female wardrobe. However feminine the brand sets out to be, DROMe also has a slight touch of masculine minimalism, an attempt to represent the power held by the singular gender for so long. Whilst the brand is produced and show-cased in Florence, DROMe aims to dress women all over the world, as these bold and strong females are the pillars of the brand’s inspiration.
Images Courtesy of Instagram (@garcondefamille)
Although bearing a French name, Garçon de Famille is an Italian and Lebanese jewellery brand. Whilst the production of the jewellery takes place in Lebanon, the conceptualisation of each design takes place in Italy. The brand makes unique and edgy jewellery from silver, which is supplemented and enhanced with coloured gems. Their latest collection Arachne explores the anatomy of the spider, depicted through long and elegant shapes within chokers and earrings. Arachne also takes inspiration from Greco-Roman mythology, as Arachne was the protagonist of a poem written by the infamous Ovid, in which he was ultimately transformed by Athena into a spider. Paying homage to to the past, the brand name itself stems from an elaborate story of a nonchalant boy who does not conform to family norms. This nameless boy was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but now resides in Milan, Italy with the rest of his family. He is relentless and atypical... words you might use to describe the brand!
Images Courtesy of Vìen
As a reaction to the explosive youth countercultures, VÌEN creates personal womenswear heavily inspired by a traditional masculine wardrobe. Oversized suits, coats and dresses that don’t look like dresses are all staples of the VÌEN brand. Their garments take a soulful approach to fashion, utilising dry wool, Japanese denim and soft gauze. Vincenzzo Palazzo, the founder and designer at VÌEN, created his brand to generate a new way of thinking, and therefore a new way of living. VÌEN is a manifesto for the unspoken words for all those youthful souls who feel a sense of rebellion and uniqueness, due to the compelling messages which are entangled within the clothing. VÌEN made its runway debut in 2019, and now shows each collection at Milan Fashion Week. Palazzo perpetually creates timeless pieces which speak far more than words to its customers who are more than buyers, but rather a community of self-aware young adults.
"Weird is the most effective of all styles" Luca Magliano
The New Generation Emerges
These 10 brands are just a handful of the amazing new generation coming out of Italy. We are seeing now, more than ever, an emergence of talent and creativity which fills us with excitement. Fashion is a constantly evolving industry, and these young designers will help shape its future. Any fashion designer with roots in Italy has big boots to fill, however we think these designers are more than living up to expectations!
Text: Juliette Eleuterio