The Inspiring Women of Italian Fashion

Image courtesy of Mathieu Lebreton

In Italy, 8th March marks the day of the Festa della Donna – a celebration of the remarkable achievements of women in Italy and around the world. From music and films to art and literature, Italy’s women have had a tremendous impact in shaping the culture of their country. To celebrate Festa della Donna, we’re looking at the inspiring women who have influenced and continue to influence Italian fashion.

Miuccia Prada

Image courtesy of Hannah Thomson

No one exemplifies the brilliance of Italy’s female designers more than the revered Miuccia Prada, who turned her family’s label into a multi-million pound luxury brand with a modern, forward-thinking approach to fashion. Her thoughtful, elegant, ahead-of-the-curve designs mean she is acknowledged as one of the most important designers of the 21st century.

Margherita Missoni

Image courtesy of Todd Selby

We’ve been big fans of Margherita Missoni’s work for a long time – so much, in fact, that we collaborated with her to produce an exclusive men's pocket square. The heiress to her family’s Missoni fashion house, Margherita has shown her own design talents since joining the company’s design team, as well as taking on additional projects as an actress and model.

Frida Giannini

Frida with Charlotte Casiraghi, Gucci’s equestrian ambassador. Image Courtesy of fervent

Gucci’s former Creative Director, Frida Giannini helped the Italian fashion giants find a new femininity, veering away from the provocative and shocking styles of the ‘90s and embracing a new direction informed by the company’s more elegant heritage. With intricate gowns and ranges inspired by 1940s heroines, Frida gave Gucci a softer and more delicate aesthetic. 

Elsa Schiaparelli 

Marlene Dietrich wearing Elsa Schiaparellie in 1937. Image courtesy of The Coincidental Dandy

Along with Coco Chanel, her greatest rival, Elsa Schiaparelli is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in fashion between the two World Wars. One of the first designers to develop the wrap dress, Schiaparelli was known for her uncontrived, easy-to-wear designs, as well as her more extravagant collaborations with surrealist artists including Salvador Dalí.

Donatella Versace

Image courtesy of David Shankbone

The Chief Designer of the world-renowned Versace fashion house, Donatella Versace is arguably one of Italian fashion’s most iconic figures. She has kept Versace as a force to be reckoned with in the modern day, helping foster the brand’s status as the first choice for celebrities and making a stand for strong women by recruiting a wide variety of famous musicians, actresses and models as ambassadors.