Many designers and luxury brands are made in Italy but luxury manufacturing occurs in many other countries as well
Because we’re italist and we work exclusively with partner boutiques in Italy, we encounter plenty of questions about which brands we carry (more than just Italian ones), whether all items are made in Italy (not all of them), and how we can guarantee the authenticity of our items. To address the last question, please refer to this page to understand our process for sourcing and vetting our retail partners and inventory.
The truth is, the “made in Italy” moniker is incredibly well-known and respected around the world because Italy has long had the technical and hand-craft knowledge to create masterpieces of wearable art—from the finest cashmere knits to the most coveted leather pumps. In Italy, quality (a core element of designer and luxury fashion) is in the water, so to speak.
Made in Italy
The short answer is that yes, many designers and luxury brands, even those not based in Italy, produce their clothing, footwear, and accessories in Italy because the artistry and attention to detail is very good there, so the quality is also very good. However, many Italian brands may also produce elsewhere, even outside of Europe.
For example, some Prada footwear is made in Vietnam, some accessories are made in China, while some of its clothing is made in Romania, Bulgaria, and other European countries. Versace is made in various locations, in Italy as well as outside the EU.
We had a case recently where a customer in Singapore was very concerned that the Balmain blazer she’d purchased from us was inauthentic or defective, because it said “Made in Slovakia.” In fact, she visited the Balmain boutique in Singapore and had it authenticated by the brand, which showed her in their store the same jacket with the same label.
As a side note: while all brands regularly consider new production partners and facilities, newer brands (like Off-White) can be especially inconsistent season-to-season, producing in Italy, Portugal, and Romania.
- Some Italian brands that are consistently made in Italy: Gucci, Brunello Cucinelli, Tod’s, Bottega Veneta, Golden Goose
- Some non-Italian brands that are often made in Italy: Celine, Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Dior, Stella McCartney
- Some Italian brands that sometimes produce in other countries: Moncler, Prada, Stone Island, Dsquared2, Versace
France is another classical home of luxury brands and center of high-quality manufacturing. Huge names like Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Saint Laurent, Balmain, and Balenciaga call Paris home and also produce some percentage of their products domestically in France. However, there are very few non-French brands that utilize French production, except in some niche sectors like eyewear or jewelry.
Made in Spain
Spain is especially known for: small leather accessories, espadrilles, and other footwear.
Made in Portugal
Like Spain, Portugal has become a leader in luxury and designer manufacturing, with a similar tradition of hand-craft techniques and overall quality.
Portugal is especially known for: footwear, leather accessories, apparel.
Made in Japan
Like Italy, the Made in Japan label is highly regarded for its quality and attention to detail. Japan is a leader in designer fashion and is growing in terms of its prominence as a manufacturing center of fine luxury apparel.
Japan is especially known for: denim, fine tailoring and classic dress shirts.
Made in China
Though it is not yet a primary center of luxury manufacturing, China is rapidly becoming a player in the sector, as its importance as a luxury market grows concurrently.
China is especially known for: footwear, knit apparel, and accessories.
Made in the USA
The United States is another niche but growing source of luxury and designer manufacturing, having historical prominence with denim especially. Today, much of the US manufacturing is done in the Los Angeles and New York areas.
The USA is especially known for: denim, classic dress shirts, and casual garments like t-shirts.
Made in Italy, what’s in a label?
As you can see, many labels produce items all over the world, not just in their home country. And, some brands even change season-to-season or by product category, so they may produce certain clothing in Italy, other clothing in China, shoes in Portugal, and small leather goods in Spain.
The summary here is that not all high-end fashion clothing, footwear, and accessories are made in Italy, even if they come from Italian labels or you find them on italist.
Some things to keep in mind while shopping on our site:
- The “made in…” label is not an indication of inauthenticity—many brands produce products in many different locations, but that doesn’t mean they are of lesser quality or inauthentic.
- Many of the items on italist are indeed made in Italy, but many are not. italist is not a site exclusively for Italian-made products or Italian brands.
- If you have any doubts before purchasing, please contact our customer care team.
About the Author
Diego Abba is the CEO of italist.com, an LA-based luxury goods platform. With extensive leadership experience, Diego has held roles at gaming companies Sleepy Giant as CEO and Activision/Blizzard as VP of Finance. He’s also advised clients in media, technology, and private equity while at Bain & Company. Diego’s expertise spans regions, industries, and functions, with notable speaking engagements as an expert on e-commerce, retail trends, and digital communication. He holds an MBA from Cornell University and is fluent in French and Italian.