Rome: As a Fashion City

Rome was formerly the epicentre of Italian fashion. In some ways, it still is. High fashion is headquartered in Rome. Even today, Piazza di Spagna would be the ideal location to film a fashion video because the Eternal City is associated with fashion in popular culture. That movie would, however, be viewed at a gala in Milan. There are several important foreign prêt-à-porter buyers gathered. There are large businesses that control the fashion industry. There are advertisements for high-end “Made in Italy” products. Milan has since become Italy’s new capital. Additionally, talk show debates, the media, and even politicians frequently renew the rivalry between the two cities.

Everywhere on the globe, when people think of Italy, they think of fashion. Italy has been a symbol of style, rivalling France as Europe’s top fashion producer since the 1950s. To see that Italians are the pioneers of refinement and flair, one simply needs to explore the piazzas of any significant Italian city, or even a tiny village. Many people are of the opinion that Milan, with its internationally recognised retail district,Via Montenapoleone, and its twice-yearly prêt-a-porter runway displays, is the pinnacle of Italian fashion, the country’s “fashion capital,” or the fashion centre. People’s perceptions are evolving, though, as Rome, with its infinite boutiques and haute couture (high-class tailoring or alta moda) collections, has also emerged as a global fashion hub.

Essence of Rome

For eons, the Eternal City has influenced both culture and thinking. It is firmly established as one of the pillars of Western civilization. Now that Rome has been there for so long, tourists can see how this ancient city has also influenced our sense of fashion. Juvenal wrote, “In Rome, men dress in a flamboyant way beyond their means” in the second century AD. It happens to imaginatively communicate one’s individuality and tendency to beauty rather than just producing a “bella figura” (a nice impression). The top fashion houses in Italy, like those of Valentino and Fendi, have their roots in Rome and were founded there. Surely some artistic inspiration has been stimulated over the years by the city’s beauty, culture, and vibrant energy.

Rome is home to haute couture, as opposed to Milan’s prêt-a-porter, or ready-to-wear. Versace, Prada, and Armani are well known in Milan, yet prominent designers like Sorelle Fontana, Gianni Gattinoni, and Renato Balestra are located in Rome. Rome could soon challenge Paris for the title of Europe’s fashion capital. Unquestionably, Italian fashion is made with fine craftsmanship, and the “Made in Italy” logo is recognised as a mark of excellence all over the world. Rome has always been known for its great innovation and artistic genius, and this is evident in the city’s thriving fashion industry. The sector will improve the Eternal City’s reputation both domestically and internationally.


Rome has become one of the leading competitors in the global fashion scene, thanks in large part to the “AltaRoma” organization. The foundation annually hosts AltaRomAltaModa, a symposium of haute couture collections by well-known and up-and-coming international designers. Since 2002, the event has experimented with innovative interpretations of the conventional runway show (also known as the“defiles” or “sfilate”), focusing on the relationship between fashion, cinema, and television and promoting both fashion and the overall international reputation of Rome.


Even though fashion shows are often off-limits to the general public, Rome’s summer fashion shows are an event that appeals to both fashion insiders and the simply curious. An annual outdoor fashion show called “Donna Sotto le Stelle” (Woman Under the Stars) takes place right on the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna). A select group of gifted designers exhibits their most recent works in one of Rome’s most renowned landmarks every year in mid-July. It is imperative to stray in the direction of the Spanish Steps in order to see Donna Sotto le Sterne.

The Industrialization of Fashion: From Rome to Milan

Actually, Milan was the only city in Italy at the time with the production, commercial, and financial resources required to manage a large-scale enterprise. And Milan waswhere emerging artists like Armani, Versace, and Kizia started to focus. They were the industrial stylists that used prêt-à-porter to spread the Made in Italy myth across the globe in the 1970s and 1980s. They were the ones that inspired Italian fashion—and the apparel business in general—to make an impression not just on cinema screens and in VIP villas but also on the international mass market.

Milan had replaced Rome as the democratic capital of prêt-à-porter, where high fashion was ruled by the aristocracy and inspired the aspirations of the masses. It was a sizable marketing and advertising organisation, a product of modern science, and as a result, it spoke the dialect of the north, of commerce, and, in short, of Milan. Rome, on the other hand, continued to be the pinnacle of haute couture and spoke a warm, southern, and slightly traditional tongue as ateliers overburdened by mass production closed their doors.


Roman culture is unmistakably and undeniably influenced by fashion, from the flea market to the chic boutiques of Piazza di Spagna. Visitors visiting Rome are astounded by the elegance and poise of the populace, as well as by the abundance of clothing stores, fashion events, and organisations dedicated to the industry. The locals are also aware of the fashion industry’s importance. The Romans are highly stylish and always look perfect. Rome itself is a never-ending parade, with bars in Trastevere, eateries in Piazza Navona, and pubs in Campo de’ Fiori.

Updated on: 06-Dec-2022


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