Italian fashion houses set the tone and direction for the main fashion trends in the world. The Italian fashion industry is efficient thanks to its family business model.
Italian fashion houses can exist in any environment, thanks to professionalism, creativity and an unquenchable desire for beauty. The creators of magnificent collections of fashionable women’s and men’s clothing draw inspiration from nature itself, in its colors, textures and forms, in a series of its transformations, in its ever-changing and elusive beauty. Nothing stops the creativity of Italian fashion masters, who are able to make a work of art out of everything.
In the first half of 2020, Italian fashion houses lost 28% of their revenue, and in the second half of 2020, losses increased to 41%. Now the largest fashion houses in Italy are betting on online sales. For example, the Bulgari Group’s online store sales in the US grew to 18% in 2020, up from just 2% in 2019. In spite of everything, Italian fashion brands continue to create fashion collections.
The ranking of fashion houses here is compiled according to the Italian National Chamber of Fashion (CNMI).
Dolce & Gabbana
Founded in 1985 in Legnano by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Turnover: 1.3 billion euros. It is one of the most famous Italian fashion brands in the world, dressing the likes of Madonna, Beyoncé and Monica Bellucci. The style of the brand is based on the fashion traditions of southern Italy, in particular Sicily. It is lush, a bit artsy and playful, with extensive use of embroidery, lace and prints. Provocative and sensual advertising campaigns, skillful appeal to their potential consumers through social networks allowed to increase the company’s turnover to 1.3 billion euros per year, and net profit to 80 million.
Founded in 1972 in Padua. Turnover: 1.36 billion euros. OVS (Organizzazione Vendite Speciali – Organization of Special Sales) spun off from Coin Group S.p.A. in 1972, and in 2015 it became an independent company. The company sells affordable clothing for men, women and children and has over 1200 stores in 34 countries. The increase in annual turnover occurred after the renewal of the brand image.
Founded in 1965 in Ponzano Veneto by Luciano Benetton. Turnover: 1.38 billion euros. In addition to the bright knitwear available to all, Benetton is best known for its social advertising campaigns, many of which were designed and created by the photographer Oliviero Toscani. Due to the fast fashion of brands such as Zara and H&M, the company began to lose profit, and some stores had to close, but, nevertheless, the company is holding on to its height and annually releases clothing collections. Investments in it increased by 39.2% and amounted to 45 million euros.
Founded in 1951 in Reggio Emilia by Achille Maramotti. Turnover: 1.43 billion euros. In addition to Max Mara and Max & Co., the group controls brands such as Pennyblack, Marina Rinaldi, Marella and Sportmax, whose clothing collections are sold in 2,300 stores in 90 countries. In 2016, turnover increased by 3.6% compared to 2015, and net profit increased by 29.8%, reaching 109.2 million euros.
Founded in Florence in 1927 by Salvatore Ferragamo. Turnover: 1.44 billion euros. At first it was a handmade women’s shoe store for the American market. In the 1930s, the company went bankrupt, after which two new stores were opened, in London and Rome, and then a third in 1948 in New York. In the post-war years, the company grew and expanded, releasing only collections of bags and shoes, and then in the 70s a line of menswear and silk accessories was launched, which are now among the company’s best-selling products. Listed on the stock exchange since 2011. The company also produces perfumes, jewelry and watches. The company employs over 4,000 people. Ferragamo has 600 of its own stores around the world. The company’s turnover increased by 0.6%, and the net profit amounted to 198 million euros.
Founded in 2002 by Renzo Rosso in Breganza. Turnover: 1.6 billion euros. OTB stands for “Only The Brave” and combines the brands Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Paula Cademartori, Viktor & Rolf, Staff International and Brave Kid. The company was founded in 2002 when Renzo Rosso bought out other brands and merged them with Diesel, which he founded with Adriano Goldschmid in 1978 in Molven, Vicenza province. Diesel’s losses in 2016 were offset by growth in Marni, with a turnover of 170 million euros. Now the company’s turnover is 1.6 billion euros per year.
Founded in 1987 in Vallese di Oppeano, province of Verona, by Sandro Veronesi. Turnover: 2.1 billion euros. In addition to Calzedonia, the group also owns Intimissimi, Tezenis, Falconeri and Atelier Emé, is listed on the stock exchange, and its largest shareholder is President and Founder Sandro Veronesi. The company mainly deals with lingerie, swimwear, socks, stockings, tights and sleepwear. The company has over 4,000 stores, incl. 2,500 outside Italy. In terms of turnover, Calzedonia ranks first with € 705 million, followed by Intimissimi with € 665 million and Tezenis with € 566 million.
Founded in 1975 by Giorgio Armani in Milan. Turnover: 2.5 billion euros. The third place in terms of turnover after Gucci and Prada. In the 90s, the brand designed a uniform for the airline Alitalia, and in 2016 for the Olympic Games in Rio. The brand is aimed at shoppers of all ages and abilities. For example, he has the Armani Privé haute couture line and the more affordable youth line A / X Armani Exchange, which uses inexpensive textiles. The new cost control policy slightly increased the company’s profit in 2016 to 271 million euros.
Founded in 1913 by Mario and Martino Prada in Milan. Turnover: 3.2 billion euros. The listed company is headed by the creative director of the brand Miuccia Prada, granddaughter of founder Mario, and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli. They own 80% of the company’s shares. Initially, the company had a leather goods store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, which soon became a point of sale for luxury leather accessories for the traveling aristocracy. Shoe collections, leather belts, glasses and bags from Prada are known all over the world. The brand even made it to Hollywood and appeared in The Devil Wears Prada, illustrating his view of fashion. In recent years, sales have declined slightly due to the general crisis in the luxury fashion segment. In the first half of 2017, revenues fell 5.5% to 1.5 billion euros, while profit fell 18% to 115.7 million euros.
Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci in Florence. Turnover: 4.4 billion euros Since the appointment of Alessandro Michele as Creative Director in January 2015, Gucci has become the most sought-after fashion house, as evidenced not only by the growth of the company’s prestige, but also by the growth in turnover, which at that time increased by 1.8 billion euros. Gucci is registered in Florence, but belongs to the French luxury group Kering, owned by François Pinault. Of this, in 2016, 52% of the total turnover was accounted for, which amounted to 8.4 billion euros. The company produces clothing collections, accessories, jewelry, home textiles and luxury perfumes. The brand’s style is bohemian, feminine, a bit rock and roll, with fitted silhouettes and deep neckline, transparent and shiny fabrics, lace, fur, fringe and crystals.