What are the top 10 rising Italian luxury fashion brands to shop in 2023?
We know by now that Italian fashion is some of the best in the world, thanks to a rich tradition of skillful handcraft, boundless creativity, and superb raw materials.
That landscape of cooperative components is alive and well today, not only for existing brands and global powerhouse labels, but also for new designers, emerging talents, and rising stars in the fashion industry. So which are the top 10 rising Italian luxury fashion brands to shop in 2023, and why is the legacy of made in Italy still relevant?
Introduction to the history of Italian clothing designers
In Italy, quality has always been at the forefront of creation. It isn’t enough to simply design and construct a garment or pair of shoes—the drape must be precise, the last of the shoe shaped just so, and the fabric must be matched to the design ethos of the piece.
In Italy, brands like Kiton and Loro Piana have developed their own fabrics for decades, vertically-integrated from farm to mill to factory, ensuring the highest-possible quality for their respective lines of formalwear, suiting, and fine knits.
The Scandicci region in Tuscany is renowned for its leather production, handling the creation of millions of leather products each year for the most exclusive brands in the world like Hermés, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. Fendi recently opened a new state-of-the-art leather factory, its most sustainable to date.
Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana may be the designers most associated with Italian dresses, specifically the Sicilian dress.
When the label Dolce & Gabbana was first launched in the 1980s, the design duo took inspiration from their native Sicily to create their first collection, which leaned heavily on fitted, sexy dresses in exuberant and colorful prints common on the island of Sicily.
Since then Italian dresses have taken many forms, but they continue to captivate shoppers with flattering designs, joyful prints, and an unmatched timelessness.
With that base knowledge, here are the top 10 rising Italian luxury fashion brands to shop in 2023…
Launched in 2015, Italian shoe brand Paris Texas has garnered an impressive following from It-Girls worldwide. The French sophistication fused with Texas cowgirl flair creates a fashion-forward collection with their signature boldly-colored faux-croc leather, alongside faux-python and metallic knee-high boots, booties, and heels.
From Emirates Woman in 2021: “The brand was founded because I saw a gap in the market for cool shoes that are comfortable enough to wear for day but also had an edge for the evening. Keeping the price point was very important to me from the start.”
Launched in 2016 by Florentine designer Barbara Borghini, Gia Borghini shoes are entirely handmade by artisans in nearby Tuscany. With an emphasis on feminine details, the luxury brand’s slides, boots, and sandals are made for all-day comfort and enduring style.
Forbes contributor Karin Elder wrote about Gia Borghini in 2022: “Gia Borghini is known for its curated collections with celebrities like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, whose limited-release collab was followed by a highly-anticipated drop with Pernille Teisbaek. The launch with Teisbaek was so successful, it led to the stylist’s appointment as Creative Consultant in Spring 2021.”
Discover the entire Gia Borghini collection.
Alevì is the Italian women’s footwear brand known for its iconic sexy shapes. Entirely crafted in Italy from expert artisans to sourcing materials, Alevì supports traditional Italian skills of design. Alevì is known for using glamorous leathers such as snake printed leathers, and soft suedes.
Financial Times wrote about Alevì: “Already seen on the red carpet, Alevì is fast joining the super-league of luxury footwear labels that includes Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik. Founded by an Italian twosome, the perfect combination of Valentina Micchetti, a former PR for designer brands based in LA, and Perla Alessandri, the scion of a shoemaking family in Italy, Alevì is va-va-voom footwear at its most glamorous.”
Discover the entire Alevì footwear collection.
Blazé Milano is an Italian womenswear brand known for reinventing the blazer. The pieces have an expertly tailored fit and a distinct style for women who appreciate this classic wardrobe staple.
From Elle in 2018, when the brand had just launched: “Founded by former fashion editors Corrada Rodriguez D’Acri, Delfina Pinardi, and Sole Torlonia, the trio’s line focuses exclusively on blazers for It-Girls and is inspired by bold women in history who wore them long before they were a wardrobe staple. See: Coco Chanel, Ava Gardner, and Grace Kelly. Every single piece is made in Italy.”
Discover the entire Blazé Milano collection.
ForBitches is a fun and playful label created by Italian designer Gio Forbice, completely devoted to tiny bags. Inspired by dolls and toys, ForBitches bags come in a variety of shapes: brightly colored bows, pastel butterflies, and more classic leather bags with an FB buckle. They are the embodiment of girliness, and will turn heads everywhere you go.
Vogue had this to say about Forbitches in 2021: “Designer Gio Forbice has always been a bit deliciously creepy. Last season, for his debut collection of his line ForBitches, the Italian designer created a set of teeny, slightly sinister purses made from the same material as dolls and adorned with bows.”
Shop the complete Forbitches collection.
Federica Tosi, a line named after the Italian designer, started as a luxury jewelry collection. The initial inspiration for the line was a collaboration with Swarovski using its crystals. Now, the jewelry brand also includes contemporary ready-to-wear clothing for women to pair with its unique accessories.
About Federica Tosi, WWD said in 2020: “Finding the right balance with a catchy aesthetic, good pricing and high-end quality is emerging as a top priority for Italy’s new talents.”
Discover Federica Tosi.
Founded by artist and designer Josué Thomas, Gallery Dept. is an art project in the shape of a contemporary streetwear brand. The label re-purposes old garments, transforming them into bold and rebellious unisex apparel. Find paint-splattered pants and sweatshirts, patchwork jackets, and T-shirts with a message.
From Complex in 2019: Gallery Dept. “specializes in reinterpretations (hand-painted alterations by Thomas have become the most recognizable) of vintage items like workwear pants with flared bottoms, distressed denim, T-shirts, hoodies, and more. It currently operates a retail store in Los Angeles on Beverly Boulevard. The space is the same location where each item comes to life with the help of tailor Jesse Jones, thanks to expert tailoring and other alterations like distressing and patchwork.”
Shop the Gallery Dept. collection.
Paris-based label Casablanca fuses lux and leisurewear, resulting in an aesthetic that perfectly embodies the dual heritage of its French-Moroccan founder, Charaf Tajer.
The label presents itself as a modern reimagining of après-sport aesthetic, offering refined yet relaxed pieces. Expect silk shirts and bomber jackets in vivid colors and featuring palm tree prints, all crafted using Neapolitan tailoring techniques—and many Casablanca garments and accessories are made in Italy.
Casablanca’s printed silk shirts, an iconic design of the label, recently appeared in HBO’s The White Lotus Season 2. The brand told Refinery29:
“Once that episode aired, we had so many people reach out saying they had spotted a Casablanca shirt. It highlighted what a varied audience the show has, how identifiable Casablanca is in its designs and the thought that Alex [Bovaird] put into this not only in the selection of the brands but which character wore them.”
Mike Amiri launched his label in Los Angeles in 2014, and both the men’s and women’s collections are quintessentially LA rocker chic. Menswear includes biker jackets, vintage tees, and checkered shirts while womenswear is slip dresses, distressed denim, and leather skirts.
The AMIRI line is distinguishable by the bandana, tie-dye, and skeleton motifs that appear across its categories, and nearly the entire collection is made in Italy or Portugal.
Since its founding, AMIRI has become “a byword for the svelte, easy approach to luxury that so many associate with [LA], its hometown,” according to i-D. It should come as no surprise then that the OTB Group took a majority stake in the label in 2019.
Eleventy embodies classic Italian elegance with its sophisticated tailoring and expert craftsmanship. The label designs luxury pieces for fashion-forward men and women using sustainable production and high-quality textiles. Think of Eleventy as a less expensive, but no less high-quality or luxurious version of Brunello Cucinelli.
Marco Baldassari, the CEO and co-founder of Eleventy, used a culinary analogy to describe his clothing brand back in 2015 to the Wall Street Journal:
“We are like a bistro that offers an innovative cuisine,” said Mr. Baldassari, “but without the price of a gourmet restaurant.”
Shop Eleventy at italist.
That’s our top 10 rising Italian luxury fashion brands to shop in 2023! Any questions?
How Affordable Are They?
As you may have noticed, many of these top emerging Italian fashion labels are more affordable than names you already know well.
WWD wrote back in 2020 that Italian emerging brands are finding opportunities in [more] affordable luxury. The country is after all awash in expertise, creativity, and the raw materials to bring any creative vision to life.
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