Fashion fan alert? Well you’re in luck with today’s post! Milan is the fashion capital of the world, so it’s only fitting that we go into the back story of fashion in this incredible city. Today’s post is dedicated to delving into the history of four of Milan’s greatest designer fashion labels.
In 1913, Prada was founded by Mario Prada alongside his brother, Martino, and was known as Fratelli Prada. The shop initially sold leather goods as well as trunks and handbags imported from England. At the time, Mario had forbidden any female involvement in the business, but when his son had no interest in taking over for him, his daughter Luisa Prada took the helm as his successor. She ran the company right up until 1978, when her daughter Miuccia took over and still manages Prada to this day. The company has flourished and developed ten-fold since it started, now creating luxury apparel, shoe and handbag collections for both men and women at the beginning of each season, cementing itself as one of Milan’s most famous and successful luxury labels.
2. Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana came to be in 1985 at the hands of fashion designer duo Domenico Dolce and Stafano Gabbana. The pair met in 1980 when designing for the same fashion house and went on to create their own company. Their first collection launched in 1986 and was named “Real Women”, and they went on to design knitwear, lingerie, beachwear and ready-to-wear collections every season. Their first men’s collection came out in 1990, and their more contemporary street-style label D&G launched in 1994. A fragrance line came thereafter, and D&G Junior arrived in 1999. Known across the globe for their distinctive runway line-ups and borderline wacky designs, Dolce & Gabbana are always a firm favorite when fashion week rolls around.
Fashion company Versace (that’s Ver-satch-uh, according to Donatella herself) was founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace. He chose Medusa for the logo of the brand, because she made people fall in love to the point of no return, which is what he wanted for his company. Known for their vibrant hues, revealing cuts and unique prints, his aim was to blend classic pieces with overt sexuality. Versace flourished with ease following the opening of their first boutique in Milan and became a luxury fashion empire at a speedy pace, and further developed into a number of other side labels as well as a boutique hotel, known as Palazzo Versace. Following Gianni’s murder in 1997, his sister Donatella became his successor and has run the company for the last 21 years. As of September 2018, the company was sold to Michael Kors for $2.12 billion (USD).
Giorgio Armani broke into the fashion industry in in 1960s, beginning his career as a window dresser in 1964. With an in-depth knowledge of fabric and design, he then became the primary designer for the company. A decade later, he left the company to begin his own menswear label, continuing on to design womenswear collections as well. He brought an edge of professionalism to women’s wardrobes in the 1980s, introducing them to the world of tailored pieces and sleek, structured suits. By the end of the 20th century, Armani had over 200 stores worldwide as well as several other side labels within the company, and now stands as one of the most powerful and valuable fashion companies in the world.
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