With luxury fashion house Gucci recently named the hottest brand in the world, according to the latest Lyst Q3 Index, Italian fashion labels continue to reign supreme. No wonder, as these iconic brands from the country of art, culture and pasta stem from a rich heritage and embrace timeless elegance like no other.
The trademark “Made in Italy” is a sign of quality that stands for tradition, luxury and the highest craftsmanship. Flawless elegance, groundbreaking design, radical chic and refined glamour unite Italy's fashion world that brings together all the darlings of Milan Fashion Week and some of our favourite luxury clothing and accessory brands.
The wide range of Italian fashion brands, designers and fashion houses continue to shape style around the world. Especially high-quality leather goods and exquisite handbags are popular Italian exports and reflect the famous dolce vita. From Dolce & Gabbana to Prada, here are five iconic Italian luxury labels you should keep on your radar.
Once launched as a leather goods manufacturer, the long-established couture house Gucci is one of the world's most influential Italian fashion brands. Founded in 1921, the brand built its reputation on fine leather goods and luxurious handbags often inspired by equestrian design.
Under the artistic direction of acclaimed designer Alessandro Michele, the label gained new fame from 2015 onwards with edgier designs and collaborations with brands including Adidas, Balenciaga and The North Face. Like hardly any other major luxury brand, Gucci and its creative director stood for gender fluidity, eclectic inclusivity and freedom reflecting the contemporary zeitgeist. This also led to Gucci being a permanent name on popularity indexes like Lyst index.
From dressing Elton John to putting Jared Leto in a gown, Michele for Gucci was the designer that superstars and fashion victims around the globe relied on. Alessandro Michele, however, stepped down as creative director in November this year – heralding the end of an era for Gucci. What comes next for the brand? One thing is for sure, its leather goods will remain iconic.
The Milan-based label was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada. Like many Italian luxury brands, Prada started with the production of leather goods. When the founder’s granddaughter Miuccia Prada inherited the company in 1978, the label also entered the fashion market and soon became known for its sleek and minimalist prêt-à-porter collections and signature nylon accessories. This year, the label made waves with its logo tank tops and the revival of the iconic nylon bags and backpacks.
Prada's playful little sister brand, MiuMiu, is also a fashion label to keep an eye on. Named after Miuccia's childhood nickname, MiuMiu offers a sensual, rebellious way to dress, with sophisticated, elegant collections and a feminine accessories line. Miu Miu's ballet flats, for example, took first place on Lyst's list of the hottest products of the third quarter of 2022.
Dolce & Gabbana
"I hope people remember Dolce & Gabbana for sensuality, for the Mediterranean sense, for our honesty towards life," Domenico Dolce, co-founder and chief designer of the Milan-based fashion label Dolce & Gabbana once said. Together with his co-founder and fellow chief designer of the brand Steffano Gabbana, he launched the label in 1985. Since then, Dolce & Gabbana has become synonymous with elegant tailoring and opulent theatricality, inspired by sensual and confident Italian women. Homages to Mediterranean Italy can be found repeatedly throughout the collections in the form of colourful prints and artistic patterns. Their trademark is the large D&G logo.
The luxury label is best known for its opulent handbags that add a touch of elegance to any outfit. Decorated with sparkling gemstones and golden logo applications, the handbags made of the finest leather are absolute eye-catchers. Take a look at the newest collection of www.24s.com/en-us/women/brands/dolce-gabbana/bags and get inspired by the magnificent, Italian design.
This year, the brand stood out with its exciting collaboration with reality TV star and fashion icon Kim Kardashian as collection curator and brand ambassador. Dolce & Gabbana hosted the highly publicised dream wedding of her sister Kourtney Kardashian in Portofino dressing the whole celebrity family in the brand’s splendid Alta Moda.
Valentino Garavani always loved to make women look particularly chic and glamorous. That is why his designs often featured intricate embroidery, precious pearls and fine lace, paired with symbolic colours such as a fiery red – “Rosso Valentino” that evoked love and passion. Based in Rome, the designer's eponymous label was established in 1960 and quickly became a favourite of Italian high society and Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. The label's most famous designs include the V-Logo print as well as the Rockstud shoe and handbag line. In 2008, designer Valentino Garavani retired from the world of fashion.
Today, the Italian fashion house is under the creative direction of designer Pierpaolo Piccioli, who artfully blends the heritage of the house with the current zeitgeist. Most recently, the label made a splash with its new signature colour Valentino Pink PP, a bright, rich magenta hue created in collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute for the 2022-2023 Autumn/Winter collection and perfectly in line with the emerging Barbiecore trend.
When you think of the luxury fashion house Versace, you immediately picture Italian glamour, more is more and the iconic Medusa head. The Milan-based label was founded in 1978 by eccentric designer Gianni Versace, who created opulent dresses that caught the eye with their wild mix of materials and flamboyant colours. One unforgettable piece is the famous Safety Pin Dress, a sexy black dress held together at the sides only by oversized golden safety pins, worn by Elizabeth Hurley in 1994 causing a worldwide sensation.
After the tragic murder of founder and creative director Gianni Versace in 1997, his sister Donatella took the helm and refined the brand's bold, sexy and feminine aesthetic. Today, Versace is defined by hedonistic 90s silhouettes, powerful baroque prints, its signature goddess dresses and candy-coloured, fun accessories. Today, the golden Medusa head is still a Versace hallmark, found in the collections on both clothing and luxurious handbags. It-girl Paris Hilton is a devoted fan of the brand and even walked the runway at Versace's SS23 show at Milan Fashion Week.