Clothing and Fashion in Florence



Pitti Uomo
Fashion and clothing in Florence have been representing a must for centuries. Thanks to the nearby town of Prato, the industrial centre of textile production, wool, silk and textiles,, have been the main products of the local economy since the 14th century. Although in our times Milan has largely replaced Florence, it was this tuscan city that, during the postwar years, had represented a serious threat to the strong position acquired by Paris in fashion. Unfortunately, by the 1970’s women`s fashion together with many famous stylists had moved to Milan, leaving Florence without no influence on ladies’ wear, but making of the city the host of the world`s biggest men`s fashion event: “Pitti Immagine Uomo”. Every year in January and June, many italian and foreign designers come to Florence to participate to this cool show, calling a very big attention on the city. In addition to this international event, another Florence’s show linked to a particular branch of fashion design is “Pitti Immagine Bimbo”: an expo dedicated to kids’ dresses and accessories. If Milan is the economical capital of Italian fashion, Florence is the hometown of some of the biggest names involved in the business of fashion. Salvatore Ferragamo, starting off as king of the shoe business, today is a multi-million-dollar business that spans signature suits and ties to watches. Differently from Ferragamo, who had kept it all in the family, Gucci, is alive in name only. As a matter of fact, part of the much larger international conglomerate, has lost its way since designer Tom Ford left the firm in 2003. Roberto Cavalli is an adventurous fashion designer whose style goes from fur to sexy silk, from crocodile skin jackets to leopard skin themes. The materials needed for the relization of dresses and accessories designed by these fashion stylists come from the nearby of Florence: textile production takes place in Prato, while leather products are made in the Valdarno area. For about a half of its bulk, fashion and textile exports are destined to Europe, while a quarter of the production goes to Japan. The “Istituto Politecnico Internazionale della Moda”, a major fashion-design school founded in 1986, symbolizes how important is the fashion for the city of Florence. The school is connected with the New York`s Fashion Institute of Technology and, for some, even represents a key stop for that young students who intend to become world-class designers. Next to the big names of fashion designers appear the many local artisans of Florence who still turn out first-class handmade products: from shoes to other leather goods.

 

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