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Fashion is a very cosmopolitan, global industry, but some areas still have colossal vibes over a vast landscape. By considering this, we have listed the most influential and prominent fashion capitals of the world. They say the style is an international language, but it doesn’t mean all places can be the same in terms of fashion importance despite having so many cultural barriers in the world.
Maybe we might see fashion scenes flowing everywhere from Utah to Mongolia by 2050. But currently, it’s time to see some of the cities which still rule the world in terms of influence in the fashion industry.
To celebrate the different cultures and diversity which make fashion so amazing, we have listed some of the best places in the high fashion world. Keep in mind that we have added these cities based on their relevance to fashion and our readers.
Florence may be the ideal destination for everything customized, and Hong Kong in Asia is the important business hub in the world, but we have considered the aesthetics, designers, and trends across the world of high fashion and streetwear.
Here are some of the best cities in Europe for fashion universe these days, apart from the brief overview of leading brands, best designers and stores offered in each location. We have considered mono-brand flagships and stores to the least for some briefness.
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Table of Contents
European Fashion: Top 10 Fashion Capitals of the World
Paris is one of the famous fashion capitals of the world, and it is known to be truly indisputable in terms of high fashion, and the fashion week in the city is truly undeniable.
Brace yourselves; some of the legends in the city include Dior, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Hermes, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Balmain, and some of the avant-garde icons which flaunt their collections are Rick Owens, Raf Simons, and Junya Watanabe in the French capital.
Along with the high-end glamour and glitz, some entry-level brands like Etudes, AMI and Maison Kitsune also present their unique twists on the illustrious men’s wear range from their nation, and A.P.C has been the world leader in everything chic and eclectic. Several showrooms in Paris and the Capsule trade show present a lot of business opportunities here.
Paris may not have much home-based streetwear brands (excepting Pigalle),. But there are many low/high trend shows and upcoming labels which show no signs of slow down when looking luxury houses for some inspiration. The City of Love has always been very vital for men’s wear of all genres.
Some of the leading stores in Paris are Pigalle, Colette, Le Bon Marche, L’Eclaireur, French Trotters, and Centre Capital. Paris is the origin to several world’s leading designers and brands like Rick Owens, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Etudes, Dior, AMI, Maison Kitsune, Pigalle, A.P.C, Lanvin, Hermes, Balmain, Saint Laurent, etc.
What can you expect by combining glamorous streetwear and quality materials? Milan in Italy is one of the leading fashion capital in Europe and it is the fashion Mecca of Italy. It is a serene metropolis with a long-back history of leading craftsmanship and textile production dating back to the 19th century.
The fashion scene in Milan is supposed to be influenced by Haute Couture of Paris. They have made their presence by toning the extravagance down of concentrating on readymade and prêt-a-porter fashion. Milan houses some of the leading brands like Fendi, Gucci, Moschino, Versace, Bottega Veneta, Moncler, Marni, etc.
Milan also houses some of the leading shopping plazas and avenues to feast your eyes, such as 10 Corso Como, Antonioli, Antonia, Excelsior, Slam Jam, Stone Island, One Block Down, and others. Built-in the year 1877, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the oldest and most famous shopping plazas worldwide. Its architecture is stunning with two glass-vaulted ceilings, old-world charm, and serene murals.
One of the best shopping districts in Vogue, the Quadrilatero della Moda houses world-class designer stores. These serene streets are lined with the best-in-class designer stores which attract the crowds of well-dressed fashion freaks from different parts of the world, especially the leading designer stilettos. You may even spot some of the celebrities fixing their designers if you are lucky. Visit the Brera district for chic boutiques and individual shops.
The cultural influence of the UK has always been outweighed so far its size, and the fashion industry of France is no exception. As Craig Green, Londoners J.W. Anderson., and Nasir Bazhar have entered the international fashion scene with fundamental stances on race, gender, and culture.
Palace Skateboards has grown at street level from leading board label to a world-renowned streetwear giant. When the stylish youth of the city excels in their British take on streetwear which loves Polo, Stone Island, and ornate vintage pieces over the hyped sneakers and all-black sportswear.
The city may still have different ways before it can give competition to New York and Paris. But the aggressively independent street style, the growing London Collections Men fashion week. Add a new range of bold brands and designers make it one of the best places in the world for men’s fashion these days.
Some of the leading stores here are Palace Skateboards, Dover Street Market, Goodhood, LN-CC, Harrods, Selfridges, Supreme, Liberty, Garbstone, Present, Machine-A, Maharishi, Foot Patrol, 1948 NikeLab, Slam City, and Stone Island.
London is the origin to some of the leading brands like Burberry, Nasir Mazhar, J.W. Anderson, Astrid Andersen, Craig Green, Palace Skateboards, Copson, GRIND, Alexander McQueen, Matthew Miller, Belstaff, KTZ, YMC, and Fred Perry.
Fashion is one of the leading signs of the illustrious design pedigree in Sweden. Some of the flag bearers here are the high fashion icons Our Legacy, Acne Studios, Stutterheim, Eytys, TRIWA and Sandqvist which serve the new Nordic wave.
A movement which has led the minimalism and the ever leading high-low trend, when the flagships and boutiques in the city ensure that the Swedes stand ahead at the top of the pile in terms of well-known Europeans.
Some of the leading stores here are Nitty Gritty, Caliroots and C-Store, and Sneakernstuff. Stockholm has various innovative Swedish designers, and the city has become one of the best fashion destinations in Europe.
Unlike the rest of the fashion capitals, Barcelona in Spain has always been a fashion capital for fashion lovers. Though it doesn’t have a centuries-old tradition of fashion, it has been taking the fashion industry to a new level since the past decade.
For the first time, Barcelona was listed among the Top Global Fashion Capitals in the year 2007 and has held a fabulous presence in the top 25 since then.
As a base of leading brands like Desigual, Balenciaga, Mango, and Zara, Barcelona has been turned into the leading fashion destination in Europe. The city focuses on the art of dressing, which is more affordable and casual than Paris or Milan. Imagine wedges and hot pants over stilettos and pencil skirts.
Every summer, Barcelona holds a massive sale with dirt-cheap prices and discounts on the well-known boutiques and chain stores. The sale starts the beginning of July till August end.
For these sales, Europeans flock here. So, be sure to get there to pick from the cream of crop early July. It has all the leading designer stores like Mango, Valentino, etc. on a landmark avenue, Passeig de Gracia.
The best thing about this area is that you can buy any clothing on any budget. Las Ramblas is another area near Plaza de Catalunya, and you must visit. There are several chic boutiques, chain stores like Zara, and secondhand stores on the main street named La Rambla or several smaller streets.
The city of Cannes located on French Riviera. This commune positioned at the Alpes-Maritimes department. It is well regarded in the world for hosting the iconic Cannes Film Festival every year as well as the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
The city is well regarded to be associated with the famous and the rich, its lavish restaurants and hotels, and various conferences. It also hosted the G20 organization of industrialized countries on November 3, 2011.
It had been the major attraction for the international fashion scene, And the Film Festival has been entering in this tradition when it was started to lure visitors back post Second World War.
The major change was the focus on summer months instead of winters, which had started actually in the 1920s. All it came together at the Cannes Film Festival. In the early years, Cannes was well known for stars walking on the red carpets.
The fashion industry in Europe has great competition. London, Paris, and Milan are three of the leading fashion capitals which form a great triangle which is very hard to compete with.
It is something that makes the emergence of small Belgium like great happening of the sartorial world. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts has made the likes of Martin Margiela and Raf Simons, the household names in the international business.
Belgium is remarkable yet small capital which punches above the weight well in terms of fashion heritage, thanks to Antwerp and its iconic Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
The world-leading institution has been the origin of the careers of Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela, Kriss Van Assche, and Ann Demeulemeester while bold and legendary designer and Dior director Raf Simons is still getting inspired from Antwerp these days.
Antwerp is a city rich in history which keeps on making its presence on the fashion world due to the efforts of iconic avant-garde designers. The retailers in the city stock almost every leading label under the sun.
Some of the leading high fashion stores here are Houben, Graanmarkt 13, Coccodrillo, and Renaissance. Some of the leading brands here are Raf Simons, Maison Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, Kris Van Assche, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee, etc.
Ibiza is an island in the Mediterranean Sea in Spain located off the eastern coast. It is 93 miles (150 km) from Valencia. It is the third-largest city in the Balearic Islands as an autonomous community of the country.
Ibiza has been famous as it has been related to electronic dance music, nightlife, and the summer club, which attract a huge range of tourists to that part of a holiday.
Several years before the year 2010, the Spanish Tourist Office and the government of island had been working to promote several family-based tourisms. With police closing the clubs down which played music on the late-night but the policy was reversed by 2010.
It was resumed in 2015. Ibiza is well known as a leading tourist destination, especially because of its riotous and well-known nightclub oriented nightlife centered on the island’s capital, Ibiza Town, and Sant Antoni towards the west.
Monaco is a principality and a small city-state covered by France and on the Mediterranean Sea, even though the Italian Riviera is located a few km the Far East. It is the second smallest state in the world, followed by Vatican City and is usually urban.
The fashion brand of Pratoni is based in Monaco, which offers a range of readymade accessories and clothing for men along with an array of services which are made to measure. All items are made in Monaco or Italy, and these are of high quality.
In 2015, Rome moved up a rank from number six to number five since 2014, rounding out the well-known top 5 international fashion capital of GLM. Rome is one of several leading Italian cities which made way to top 56 lists in GLM.
And is well regarded for leading fashion houses which produce fabulous haute couture fashions for the famous and the rich. Fendi, Valentino, and Gucci were founded in Rome, and it has one of the top-class shopping districts across the world, the area covering the Spanish Steps.
Rome houses shops like Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Gimmo Etro, Alberta Ferretti, and Gianfranco Ferre, along with Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, and Prada. Rome also houses several famous fashion schools in the world, such as Accademia di Costume e di Moda. The City of Rome is also the hub for Rome Fashion Week.
Read also: Day trips from Rome
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Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.