A Girl’s Guide to Italian Fashion

Insert cue music – Roll screen credits: A Girl’s Guide to Italian Fashion. 

Picture Madonna’s hit song Vogue running through your mind as you see that gorgeous, leggy Italian model with the many shopping bags containing the season’s latest garments in Italian fashion brands. All while she flashes you a brilliant-white smile in her sunnies and enjoying a brisk walk in her nine-inch stilettos in the sunshine capital of Milan.

A Brief History of Italian Fashion

Given Italy’s rich history of top Italian fashion designers and Italian fashion houses. Italian fashion history is deeply rooted in the blood of every Italian man and woman. Milan fashion week is one of the most highly-attended fashion weeks in the world.

The story kicks off in the Middle Ages when Italian fashion gained widespread popularity with the production of textiles such as wool, silk, and velvet. The Renaissance period saw both Italian men and women dress in opulent clothes that were quite expensive.

Renaissance dress, A Girl's Guide to Italian Fashion - The Proud Italian

Many renowned Italian fashion brand creators have become celebrities in their own right since the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively.

The Top Italian Fashion Designers of all Time

Angela Missoni

Missoni is the creative director of her family’s colorful and psychedelic knit-wear brand. She became her mother’s successor and launched her own line in 1997. Her vision was a breath of fresh air and made the label genuinely come to life.

The company has since expanded exponentially and has collaborated with other lifestyle brands such as San Pellegrino and Target.

Dolce and Gabbana

The duo of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have turned their dream into a multimillion-dollar empire. This luxury Italian fashion brand made its debut in 1985 during the Milan Fashion Week

Dolce e Gabbana, A Girl's Guide to Italian Fashion - The Proud Italian
Dolce e Gabbana. Author: Renan Katayama, source: Dolce e Gabbana-001

Known for their exclusive range of summer dresses and attire for Italian men, saw them being crowned the winners of the Woolmark Prize in 1991. Madge, a.k.a Madonna, selected them as her Italian fashion partner of choice for her Girlie World Tour in 1990. She graced the audience will the now-famous bejeweled corsets from their collection.

Giorgio Armani

The 35-year career span of this Italian fashion icon is one of a prestigious nature. This Italian fashion brand was launched in 1975. The label started as an exclusive design house for Italian men and grew into a full-blown celebrity brand over the years.

What is fascinating about this story is that Giorgio is the company’s sole shareholder and has managed to avoid third-party investment offers with great success. The brand possesses over 500 retail stores across the globe.

Mr. Armani was placed in the infirmary in Verona. He began to realize his dream by working as a window dresser for a prominent department store in Milan called La Rinascente.

Miuccia Prada

She is the youngest child of Mario Prada and has single-handedly revolutionized her family’s humble leather goods into an Italian fashion powerhouse!

Prada is now the bespoke brand of the Prada Group, comprising stellar shoe brands such as Miu Miu and Car Shoe.

Prada Store, A Girl's Guide to Italian Fashion - The Proud Italian

After the solid support received from her partner, Mrs. Prada made her debut in 1988 by releasing a woman’s Italian fashion line, which she described as “uniforms for the highly disenfranchised.” Her first line for Italian men was launched in 1995.

Miuccia was awarded the CFDA International Designer Award in 2004.


The matriarch of this Italian fashion label has been the proverbial first lady since 1997. Dame Donatella Versace has created and nurtured this luxury lifestyle brand into a global phenomenon. 

It is reported that in 2012 she managed to rake a total sales revenue for the year of a whopping €408.7 million, earning her the label of one of Italy’s most important ladies of fashion in its entire history!

Donatella is the youngest of the Versace siblings and took over from her brother Gianni after his sad passing in 1997. The first collection under her watchful eye was launched in 1998 at a swimming pool at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, all from a transparent catwalk.

How to Dress Like an Italian Girl

If all of this talk has you salivating at the mouth to embrace your inner Italian fashion goddess, read on to discover how you can dress like an Italian girl.

Go big, or go home!

Fashionable woman, A Girl's Guide to Italian Fashion - The Proud Italian

Think luxury and elegance at the same time. There is no such thing as less is more when it comes to Italian fashion brands and dressing like that tall, bronzed sun goddess you see on the cover of Italian fashion magazines.

Shop local

Milan is uncontestedly Italy’s fashion capital! The Italian ladies have a no holds barred approach when dawning their Italian fashion labels. It is literally all in your face, ALL OF THE TIME! Dressing over the top is your goal morning, noon, and night in Italy.

Show what your Mamma gave you!

Italian girls are all about adorning their bodies with Italian fashion labels and subsequently boasting with their bodies. 

They work with their respective body shapes and find the best-suited styles to their body type for the ultimate flattering.

Invest yourself

Fashion store, A Girl's Guide to Italian Fashion - The Proud Italian

As we all know, Italian fashion brands don’t come cheap! But the way to mitigate this is to change your viewpoint and see it as an investment. When you go to a store, take a feel at the rich textiles and colorful fabrics, you won’t be disappointed. After all, you deserve to spoil yourself once in a while.

The all-important designer handbag

Italian women are never seen in public without a designer handbag from one of Italy’s top fashion designers. It complements their outfits beautifully and would frankly look entirely naked without it.

The quality is of such a nature that one bag will give you much mileage over the years and keep you looking stylish.

Last but not least

Blonde woman with over-sized sunglasses, A Girl's Guide to Italian Fashion - The Proud Italian

The final must-have Italian fashion item is a pair of beautiful, over-sized sunglasses from a reputable Italian fashion brand. It will round off your look and give you that extra Italian va-va-voom!

The Final Say

We don’t think that you need any more reason not to invest in at least one full Italian fashion outfit. Even if you just keep it for a special occasion, trust us on this one – you won’t be disappointed! Because, La moda Italiana è la migliore, right?