Fashion designers evaluate several factors when choosing a good clothing factory to manufacture their clothing lines and apparel accessories. Beyond the sticker price for the fashion labor, designers must consider the quality of the craftsmanship, shipping and customs fees, contract negotiations, language barriers, transparency, and more.
The large, luxury fashion houses that jump to mind when most people think of fashion usually manufacture their apparel products in multiple places because they have the project management teams, dedicated craftsman liaisons, and financial resources to do so. For these brands, it’s not just about the sticker price. It’s also about the premium quality of the piece and the fabric that it’s made of.
Their customers expect the best and gladly pay for it. They must deliver.
Read on to find out how and where luxury clothing companies like Cavalli, Gucci, and more manufacture their clothes and accessories and why.
Where does Gucci manufacture?
Gucci leaves the sacred Italian territory only to create its noble collection of watches. Those are, of course, produced in Switzerland. The rest of the label's fashion manufacturing stays 100% in Italy.
Where does Prada manufacture clothes?
Prada’s production happens 99% in Italy. The brand only produces special semi-finished products abroad, such as embroidery made in India. The same goes for the other brands in Prada's fashion group. For example, the production of Jil Sander recently moved to Italy
Where does Roberto Cavalli produce clothes?
The first in every new season’s Cavalli clothing line are 100% made in Italy, while the second runs are partly produced abroad.
What about Salvatore Ferragamo?
Ferragamo's clothing production takes place strictly in Italy, from accessories to prêt-à-porter. Many of this brand’s Italian production partners have worked exclusively for the Florentine fashion house for years. Once the clothing factories complete the Ferragamo products, they’re delivered to Florence, from all over Italy, for the definitive quality control check before distribution. The only exception are the glasses, produced under license by Luxottica.
Where is Valentino made?
Similar to Cavalli, Valentino creates the first runs of each product line in Italy. For brands such as Marlboro Classics, Lebole Uomo, and Hugo Boss, (which are part of the same brand group as Valentino), delocalization prevails, with production divided between China, India, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Egypt. The brands opt for this because shipping is cheaper from these locations than in other parts of Asia while production is faster for sales than in Europe.
Where does Versace make its clothes?
Versace crafts most of its apparel products entirely in Italy, through every phase of production. Only some basic products they use, like denim, are sourced from abroad, in Eastern Europe.
How to Work with Luxury Clothing Manufacturers Directly
Made in Italy is the gold standard of quality repeatedly trusted by many luxury fashion houses, including the ones listed above. However, if you neither speak Italian nor live in or frequently travel to Italy, it's usually difficult to get in touch with these kinds of artisans. That's because:
Most of them do not have a website and if they do, it's not written in English, nor is it SEO optimized, making it difficult to find. Why? Italian manufacturers prefer to focus their time, not on the computer, but actually working on clothing line requests.
English proficiency in Italy is not high, which may make communication difficult for any fashion designer who does not speak Italian.
Most Italian factories rely on brokers or distribution companies to manage relationships with fashion designer clients. These types of companies pass their fees onto the designers in the form of high commissions attached to the cost for manufactured clothing units.
That's why we recommend that any fashion designer interested in having their clothing line Made in Italy look into MakersValley. MakersValley has – and we can't write this enough – no commissions, markups, or minimum order quantities. Click the button below to learn more about how MakersValley can help you manufacture your clothing line in Italy the easy way.
Co-Founder and CEO @MakersValley! I am Italian and most importantly a Global Citizen. I was raised by boutique owners, fed by a seamstress and taught by a shoe distributor. I am passionate about experiential open manufacturing, supply chain and democratizing the manufacturing industry by connecting great doers with excellent makers.