Italian-born French fashion designer Pierre Cardin revolutionized unisex fashion with his geometric designs. His wine merchant father wanted him to study architecture, but Cardin deviated to fashion instead, starting his career as a men’s tailor. He introduced the Space Age look and also licensed his name out to other products.
Antonio D'Amico is an Italian fashion designer and model. After working as a designer for the luxury fashion company Versace, D'Amico went on to found his own fashion design company. Also known for his long-term relationship with Gianni Versace, D'Amico is often depicted in films and TV series that talk about the founder of Versace.
Valentino is an Italian fashion designer. He is credited with founding the popular luxury fashion house Valentino S.p.A. A prominent and influential fashion designer, Valentino has received several prestigious awards throughout his career. He is the recipient of the Couture Council Award and the Golden Plate Award.
Simonetta Stefanelli is an Italian fashion designer, entrepreneur, and former actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone in the popular crime film, The Godfather. After retiring from acting in 1992, Simonetta Stefanelli became an entrepreneur. She owns a fashion store called Simo Bloom, where she designs shoes and purses.
Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian fashion designer who designed the wardrobes for many films like Topaze and Moulin Rouge. Widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the world of fashion, Schiaparelli was considered the greatest rival of Coco Chanel.
Salvatore Ferragamo was an Italian shoe designer. An innovative designer, Ferragamo is remembered for inventing the Cage heel. Also a pioneering shoe designer, Ferragamo experimented with materials including fish, crocodile, and kangaroo skin. He is also credited with founding the popular luxury goods company, Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. Today, his company has extended its operations to include a ready-to-wear clothing line.
Alessandro Michele grew up in Rome and picked up elements of European street style, which he later included in his designs. The award-winning fashion designer worked with Les Copains and Fendi before joining Gucci, where he is now the creative director. He is known for his signature Christ-like appearance.
Miuccia Prada is an Italian businesswoman and fashion designer. The granddaughter of Mario Prada, Miuccia is the head designer of the popular luxury fashion house Prada, which was founded by Mario Prada. Miuccia Prada is credited with founding Prada's subsidiary, Miu Miu. In 2014, Miuccia Prada was ranked 75th in Forbes magazine's most powerful woman in the world list.
Emilio Pucci was an Italian fashion designer turned politician. He is best remembered for his style of creating geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colors. He served as a pilot during World War II and became a fashion designer after the war. He also ventured into politics but didn’t enjoy much success in his political career.
Domenico Dolce, part of the world-renowned fashion designer duo Dolce & Gabbana, was born into a family of Italian tailors. Dolce dropped out of fashion school to venture into independent work. He and his partner, Stefano Gabbana, whom he had met at a nightclub, were previously in an open relationship.
Roberto Cavalli is an Italian inventor and fashion designer. He is credited with founding the popular luxury fashion company, Roberto Cavalli S.p.A., which sells leather accessories, perfume, and luxury clothing. Over the years, Cavalli’s company has worked with many leading models like Jessica Stam, Natasha Poly, and Eva Riccobono.
Stefano Gabbana is an Italian fashion designer. He is credited with co-founding the popular luxury fashion house, Dolce & Gabbana, along with another important fashion designer Domenico Dolce. Over the years, Dolce and Gabbana have been honored with several awards for their contributions to fashion. In 1991, they were honored with the prestigious International Woolmark Prize.
Riccardo Tisci is an Italian fashion designer who has worked with popular fashion and perfume houses like Givenchy. Tisci is credited with designing costumes for popular personalities like Madonna. After ending his association with Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci was made Burberry's chief creative officer in 2018.
Sergio Tacchini is a former professional tennis player turned fashion designer. He entered the Tennis Club of Milan as a teenager and went on to have a successful career in the sport. He then quit tennis to design sportswear and launched his own brand. He initially designed elegant and stylish tennis wear and eventually branched out to other sports.
Franco Moschino was an Italian fashion designer. Interested in fine arts from a young age, he became an illustrator for designer Gianni Versace and also worked as a freelance fashion illustrator. He later launched his own fashion house, Moschino, which specialized in leather accessories, shoes, and luggage. He also designed lingerie, casual wear, and evening wear.
Gianfranco Ferré was an Italian fashion designer often hailed as the architect of fashion. He studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan and began his career by designing fashion accessories. He then began designing raincoats and went on to launch his own company. He received many prestigious awards, including the L'Occhio d'Oro, during his career.
Frida Giannini is an Italian fashion designer. She studied fashion design at Rome's Fashion Academy and worked for many small companies before joining the luxury fashion house Fendi. She later joined Gucci as the design director of handbags and rose through the ranks to become the creative director of the company. She supports UNICEF and Save the Children.
Domitilla Harding is an Italian designer and artist, who once worked as a designer with the Miss Italy fashion label. She has also designed furniture in the past and currently works as a glass sculptor with glass master Andrea Zilio. From her mother’s side, she has links to the House of della Rovere, an Italian noble family.
Milena Canonero is an Italian costume designer active in both cinema and theater. She began her career working in small theater and film productions, eventually meeting director Stanley Kubrick. She designed costumes for Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and gained much appreciation. She is the recipient of four Academy Awards for Best Costume Design. She is married to actor Marshall Bell.
Margherita Missoni is the heiress to the Missoni fashion house, which was founded by her grandparents Ottavio Missoni and Rosita Missoni Jelmini. She studied philosophy at Columbia University and also attended the Stella Adler acting school. She appeared in many campaigns for her family business. She has also appeared in a few theater productions.
Sergio Rossi was an Italian shoe designer who founded the eponymous women’s footwear company. The son of a shoemaker, he learned the trade from his father and went on to open his own shop. His shoes and sandals became much popular and were endorsed by top fashion designers. His son, Gianvito Rossi, also has his own shoe collection.
Piero Tosi was an Italian costume designer known for his extensively researched and intricately detailed historical costumes. He began his career in the 1950s, and his first significant period film was Senso, directed by Luchino Visconti. He collaborated with Visconti in many other films in the coming decades. He was awarded an Academy Honorary Award in 2013.
Ottavio Missoni was an Italian fashion designer who founded the fashion label Missoni. He loved sports as a young boy and won the individual national championship in track four times. He fought in World War II and turned to fashion designing after the war. Along with his wife, Rosita, he launched his own label, Missoni, in the 1950s.
Stefano Pilati is an Italian fashion designer who founded Random Identities, a ready-to-wear brand. As a youngster, he interned at the fashion house Cerruti. He was good at what he did and was soon hired by the fashion house Giorgio Armani. He later became the head designer of Yves Saint Laurent. He quit this job to launch his own label.
Mila Schön was an Italian fashion designer whose clientele included famous personalities like Jacqueline Kennedy, Lee Radziwill, and Marella Agnelli. She was born into a wealthy family but struggled financially following her divorce. She opened a boutique to earn a living and was able to achieve great success. She later opened shops in Japan and USA as well.
Giuliana Coen was an Italian fashion designer. She was the founder of the Roberta di Camerino fashion house. The label is predominantly known for its velvet handbags and women’s wear. Born to a Jewish family in Venice, she fled to Switzerland during World War II. There, she started a successful handbag business and became wealthy over time.
Often credited as the inventor of hot pants, Mariuccia Mandelli, a self-taught fashion designer, began her career in her friend's apartment with a secondhand sewing machine, lugging suitcases of samples round small shops. Hailed as the Godmother of Italian Fashion, she later founded Krizia, one of Italy’s first ready-to-wear houses, which over the time grew into a $500 million business.
Paolo Gucci was an Italian fashion designer cum businessman. He was the grandson of Gucci founder Guccio Gucci. However, he was not on good terms with his father and secretly launched his own business using the Gucci label. This led to a lawsuit, following which his career hit rock bottom, and he was forced to declare bankruptcy.