Take a moment and think about the fashion hubs of the world – the ones that lead the fashion industry in creativity and influence. The “Big Four” fashion capitals of the 21st century include Milan, Paris, London, and New York with up and coming cities like Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Rome on the rise. Here we explore the four prime cities that hold the most fashion credibility. From fashion week events to high end apparel sales, let’s take a look at each city and what makes them so unique.
Luxury Fashion Becomes Synonymous with Italian Quality in Milan
Located in Northern Italy, Milan is the second most populated Italian city after Rome and serves as the epicenter for manufacturing and commercial prosperity. Throughout the 20th century, Milan gained recognition for its highly efficient manufacturing process with an emphasis on textiles like silk, hemp, cotton, and artificial fibres production. In the 1980s, Milan reached international fame for its industry. When luxury designers like Versace, Armani, and Prada emerged from Italy, it became clear that Italian apparel production and quality had become an industry premium.
Milan also has the perfect integration of art, culture and fashion; it’s a place where industry enthusiasts would certainly thrive. Not only is there an emphasis on craftsmanship and attention to detail in Milan; there’s also a strong emphasis on high quality materials and production. You can’t go wrong with any “Made in Italy” working in the fashion capital of the world.
Paris: The Birthplace of Haute Couture
In the 19th century, Paris became a notorious fashion city after the creation of the Haute Couture fashion house was created. From that point on, each and every emerging designer longed to have their fashion headquarters in Paris to embody the distinction of French fashion. Today, Paris is the most populated city in France and home to Paris Fashion Week, easily the most celebrated event in the fashion industry. Attracting a variety of designers, top models, celebrities, and enough media coverage to last a whole year, the bi-annual event happens each February and September. Top French designers like Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Jean-Paul Gaultier have consistently set the global fashion trend agenda while incorporating the elegance and beauty of the French culture.
Fashionably Adventurous in London
This English city is home to many successful luxury designers like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. London fashion has a strong sense of prestige and sophistication when it comes to both the creative design and the quality of apparel. Additionally, London is home to many world renowned tailors who offer the best fit and sizing possible. Because the county’s history is so remarkable, London has set various fashion trends that heavily influence the entire industry. Much like Paris Fashion Week, London Fashion Weeks attracts fashion lovers from around the globe. London is known for its individualistic approach to fashion and its melting pot of cultures and experiences that directly impact its creative output.
The City That Never Sleeps on Fashion: New York
New York City was named the World’s Top Fashion Capital in 2014 by Vogue, stealing the crown from 2011/2012 winner, London. In terms of lifestyle, New York is known for it’s fast paced culture and growth opportunities. The same goes for the fashion industry. This city is one that prioritizes artistry and efficiency over everything. From garment production to Fifth Avenue, New York has succeeded in the ready-to-wear fashion category. Looking back at history, NYC has also always been a melting pot city with people from all walks of life coming together to do something they love. From there, New York established itself as one of the fashion capitals of the world and home to countless global fashion brands.
While the list of top fashion capitals of the world constantly changes, there’s individuality behind each city and the fashion that comes with it. With the rise of previous third-world countries now competing in the market, particularly in garment production, it will be interesting to see how the fashion industry shifts and adapts to these changes.
What cities will fall off the list and what cities will prevail?