Milan, capital of Made in Italy fashion


The Milan fashion industry

In Milan, fashion represents a revenue of 19 billion euros, or 1.7 billion euros per month. Exportations of Milanese fashion total 6 billion euros. In Milan, 13,000 companies employ 90,000 people, with the epicentre located in the Quadrilatero and Brera areas where 1,677 companies are concentrated, or 13% of the total amount. Milan represents 5% of all businesses in Italy, 10% of jobs and a fifth of the volume of national sales.

In 2018, Milan exceeded the threshold of 200,000 companies (all sectors included). In two years, the 2016-2018 period, the amount of Milanese companies in the business register increased by 3.5%, from 199,000 to 206,000.

Made in Italy, a Milanese treasure. 27,500 companies from the Made in Italy artisan sector are in Milan.

Fashion Week: Milan, fashion capital

Milan has strengthened its presence on the international scene and on social networks. The Milan Fashion Week represents a business worth 19 million euros.

Over the past few years, Milan has opened its districts and the entire city to fashion, with fashion shows organised across the city, around the Fondazione Prada and at the new Gucci Via Mecenate hub, as well as at historical buildings in the city centre such as the Palazzo Reale.

The economic impact of the Milan Fashion Week reaches 160 million euros, including all of the sectors that are linked to it, from transport to museums, shops and restaurants, with 137,000 workers and 18,000 companies involved.

Milan is becoming more and more connected and “social”, especially on Instagram: according to a Blogmeter survey for Camera Moda, the fashion week FW 2019 in Milan generated 46.2 million social interactions, +15.3% compared to the previous edition. The total number of messages related to the fashion week increased by 46.6%.

The fashion industry in Lombardy

In Lombardy, there are 34,500 companies in the fashion sector, among which are 14,000 in production and 20,000 in design and trade. After Milan, with 13,000 companies, come Brescia with 4,000 companies, Bergamo and Varese with 3,500 companies, Como with 2,600 companies, and Monza and Brianza with 2,300 companies. In Lombardy, fashion employs 193,000 people.

The Lombardy exporting countries are in first place France, followed by Hong Kong, the US, Germany, and China.

Sustainable fashion in Milan is growing

The people of Milan are more and more attentive to sustainability, especially regarding their fashion and beauty purchases, where the preference for eco-sustainable products has increased.*

The sustainable fashion sector has grown by 24% compared to 2017, in particular with the commercialisation of sustainable clothing (33%) and natural cosmetics (22%).

69% of people in Milan feel involved in sustainable development. This translates into sustainable habits with regards to management of the home, which is considered essential by 82% of Milan (+11% compared to 2017). Priority is given to recycling household waste (93%) and the low level energy use of household appliances (70%).

Regarding hobbies, behaviour is improving and 62% avoid using the car, instead preferring less-polluting methods of transport. 23% buy used or reconditioned products and 18% are planning sustainable holidays and journeys.

The personal health sector is also in strong growth (+22%), as is the consumption of 0 km foods, organic and fair-trade foods, and homeopathic and natural medicine.


*This is what emerges from the “2nd watchdog on the lifestyle of citizens” [2 ° Osservatorio sullo stile di vita dei cittadini] in Milan, a survey by LifeGate in collaboration with Eumetra.


Chloe Payer

Teacher at Accademia del Lusso