Italy – The Home of Fashion Accessories to Die For

When you buy Italian designer creations during your trip to Italy, you may feel that you are at the very pinnacle of fashion, but wait – haven’t you forgotten something? After all, how good is an outfit that is not paired with the right accessories? The clothing that you have bought is certainly top of the line, made of the very best textiles and deigned perfectly to bring out the best in your appearance. Wearing such creations with run of the mill, bargain-basement accessories, is something that is absolutely out of the question. Why do this when there are so many fine Italian accessories available that you can pair with your designer outfits?

The magic that Italy can infuse into fashion accessories is absolutely amazing – pick up something from major fashion houses like Bulgari, Damiani, Ferragamo, Gucci, Fendi, Prada and Versace and you can show it off for a lifetime and not have the beauty fade. Here are some fine Italian-made accessories that you can own:

Shoes: The watchwords here are Ferragamo, Prada, Gucci and Sergio Rossi. The shoes made by these designers are exclusive, hand-made and are often customized, and are extremely affordable. Buy those sexy black shoes with heels, to go with that ubiquitous ‘little black dress’ in your closet, or you could buy pumps or platform-heels that could be worn with a variety of outfits. And what wardrobe could be complete without thigh high boots with stiletto heels or shoes in eye-catching colors?

Jewelry: Italy has been renowned for its jewelry making industry since the Etruscan era. Gold and silver jewelry have been the artisans’ forte and if you are in Italy at the right time, you could visit Vincenza Oro, the jewelry fair held in the city of Vincenza every year. This show has been kick starting the fashion season each year and is the place to find the trendiest gold, silver and platinum jewelry. Pick up what is going to be the rage this season at this event. If you do happen to miss the event, do not despair – most fashion houses stock the latest word in jewelry and you can pick up what you want.

Handbags: If you have heard of an Italian designer, chances are that there will be handbags made by that designer. Italian handbags are as hot as Italian fashion and are a great favorite among women who want to look fashionable. Though overshadowed by the major French handbag labels, Italian handbags have a unique identity of their own – solely due to the craftsmanship and eye for detail that goes into each bag.

So, what are you waiting for? Go splurge on those nifty designer accessories that are a must-have!

Italian Light Manufacturing

Italy is well-known globally for its fashion industry, and its wine and cheese, second only to France. There are, however, other industries especially in the light manufacturing sector that contribute much more to the economy of Italy.

Industrial activity in this country has been aided largely by the liberal investment and business policies favored by the government. Italian light manufacturing consists mostly of the automotive, chemical and white goods industries. Together, the products manufactured by these industries constitute a major portion of the exports of Italy. Apart from a handful of large industries, the size of most of the manufacturing industries is small to medium. These industries mostly produce niche products and luxury goods that have a dedicated market among other European countries such as Germany, France, Spain as well as the United States and Japan.

Automotive Industry: The very mention of Italian automobiles calls to mind the names Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Fiat and Lancia. The fact that this is by no means an exhaustive list is testimony to the diversity in the range of automobiles produced by Italian manufacturers. There are Italian cars for every kind of budget manufactured by these companies. In addition to automobiles, there are also industries that manufacture machine parts or precision machinery, most of which are either consumed by local industries or exported.

Textiles and Clothing Industry: Italy has some of the world’s best known clothing and textile brands. In addition to catering for the luxury segment, the success of this Italian industry lies in the production of casual and designer wear at affordable prices and of high quality. The retail distribution network of such products is very strongly developed.

Food Processing: With famous names such as Parmalat, Nestlé and Barilla, the Italian food processing industry contributes a significant amount to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In addition to the larger food processing units run by these companies, there are also numerous small and family-run food processing units that produce cheese, sausages, chocolate, pasta and ham. The global popularity of Italian food has driven the growth in this sector for the last few years.

This is not a comprehensive listing of the goods manufactured in Italy – there is much more to industrial activity in Italy. Aviation, cheese, perfumes, wine, jewelry, olive oil – these are the many products manufactured in Italy that are exported largely to the European market. Whatever be the industry, the quality of the products and the superior design have made the ‘Made In Italy’ brand a byword among buyers of the products.

Italian Fashion History

Milan, as the fashion capital of the world, is a name that has become synonymous with style. With its culture of art and design, Italy is second to none in fashion. Italian fashion is famous wherever one travels and has even beats out nations like France. The following is a look into the history of Italian fashion and how it has come to leave such a deep impression in the minds of all fashion conscious people around the world.

The Renaissance and Italian Fashion:
Italian fashion began its first major flowering during the Renaissance starting as early as the late 14th century. Many Italian city-states had prospered from international trade. With exclusive trade ties to the Orient, these states had monopolies on certain fabrics too, and the seeds of Italian fashion were planted. This, combined with great artistic minds of the time epitomized by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, allowed Italian fashion to flower in the Renaissance.

At the time, Italian fashion was known for its extravagance. The elite classes and rich merchants were investing more and more money into purchasing costly clothes. Designs that were considered complex in those days were being regularly churned out by Italian designers, and people preferred wearing the designs that were in vogue at the expense of more traditional clothing.

Decline
The demand for high quality clothes gave rise to manufacturing of fine fabrics that were used in creating this costly clothing. Eventually though, Italian fashion went into decline. Spanish, English and French fashion soon became really popular with the masses and started to overshadow Italian fashion. Italian fashion was using styles that left very little room for experimentation and soon Italian fashion stopped being what interested designers most.

Revival
Giovan Battista Giorgini is hailed for his efforts to bring back Italy into the world fashion arena when Italy started to export fashion accessories after the World War II. He was also the person who held the first modern fashion show in Italy. Furthermore, he established relations with various merchants across the world by throwing a party where he invited the who’s who of the fashion world. The fashion shows were attended by journalists who covered the events exclusively on Giovan’s request.

Until the 1970’s, Italian fashion catered more to wealthier people and celebrities. Later the designers started to design clothes for the common people and Italian fashion became accessible to the general public. The 80s decade marked a great advancement in the Italian fashion industry, and Milan became the fashion capital of the world.

While it is unclear how long Italy will maintain its position in the fashion world, it will at the very least be a fashion center for the foreseeable future.