Style is a global language, and there are so many amazing cities to travel in the world.
Fashion designers have come from all around the world, which adds culture to the clothes. Music, sports and fashion are all influenced from places, people and history. Luxury fashion and beauty are much the same. Let’s take a look at the fashion capitals of the world to view the roots of fashion and its evolution.
What is a Fashion Capital?
There are a handful of fashion capitals of the world. These cities have a large fashion industry which had a significant influence on global fashion trends. Fashion has become a form of expression and individuality, rather than a necessity. Since the birth of talented worldwide designers, there are fashion weeks held in these notorious cities every year.
What Can You Expect To Find In These Fashion Capitals?
It’s inevitable that the fashion capitals of the world will have the world’s best shopping complexes with high-end designers. There are also annual fashion weeks for the public to visit and get inside knowledge on what’s to come next in the fashion world. Many of these cities also have museums and monuments to explore and absorb the fashion culture. Each fashion capital is unique, yet not each city is right for every person. For example, Paris offers perfect tailoring, classic styles, and neutral colours. Depending on your tastes, you might want to opt for a different fashion locale.
The Top Fashion Capitals of the World
If you're a fashionista in search of high-end, runway fashion, you have several regions of the globe from which you can choose. No matter your style preferences, there is a capital that awaits you with designer clothes.
New York has previously been crowned one of the highest fashion capitals of the world. Many designers say they’re heavily influenced by the city’s fashion history. The city earned its spot as a fashion capital in 1910, during political, social and economical change. During this era, New York was at the forefront of modern clothing in America with imports slowly coming in during the first World War.
American women began re-creating their own style to allow more movement, such as loosening their dresses and raising their hems. It was at this point that women’s clothing was recognized as rebellious and daring. Forty years later, women continued to take more fashion risks. Marilyn Monroe’s famous subway scene in The Seven Year Itch made fashion sexy. Consequently, women began playing around with accentuating and hiding their curves. As such, there was the introduction of cocktail and sack dresses.
We can’t forget how influential the 90’s was for New York’s fashion. Fashion welcomed a mix of different pop cultures, including glow necklaces, Spice Girl replicas, ripped jeans and baby tees. Music culture and popular TV shows such as Sex and The City influenced designers for fashion innovation and style.
Paris is one of the most notorious fashion capitals of the world. Until the 1850’s, clothing was handled by seamstresses and the term ‘fashion’ was unknown. Charles Frederick Worth establish a brand and sew his label into the clothes he designed. He enjoyed plenty of success from this, including advising customers on what they should wear. By 1858, fashion design entered the scene, and people began to explore more clothing styles.
The first fashion publication was published before the 19th century which regularly offered comments on the latest fashion styles throughout Europe. It was heavily illustrated with beautiful garments which served as a guide book for tailors. Parisian printers began selling engravings, fashion plates and fashionable clothes.
Two of the world’s revolutionary designers have heavily influenced Paris’s perception of fashion. These are Coco Chanel and Christian Dior. Chanel brought elegance and simplicity to women’s dress style since 1930’s. Dior accentuated women’s figure and beauty after the second World War.
France is the most visited country in the world, as well as the leading country in selling luxury names. Some of the most popular names have come from Paris – including Louis Vuitton. In 2013, France recorded a revenue of €29.1 billion, as luxury travel and shopping has become a way of life.
Milan is undoubtedly the cosmopolitan of fashion capitals of the world. The year of 1968 was a period of protest against the political system. Women began fighting for equal rights and this is when they first started wearing trousers. Elio Fiorucci promoted jeans for women to wear in Italy, and opened a shop in Milan. These soon became the centre of Milan’s fashion style.
A few years later, business was more popular in Milan, meaning men were looking for tailored suits and luxurious fashion. Designers started producing trousers, skirts and jackets to make fashion more accessible in terms of price. People working in fashion became considered as designers, rather than luxury tailors.
In 1973, a young designer called Gianni Versace and partner Giorgi Armani started a textile industry. They employed talented designers to get a different style to their creations thus far. The city of Milan offered the ultimate convenience for business potential because of international airports, luxury hotels for conferences and plenty of halls for important meetings.
There was a moment in 1967 which changed fashion history for everyone forever. Just moments before designers were presenting their clothing collections, the models’ lingerie was on show. As it was too late to amend their garments, they walked the catwalk with their lingerie showing. The press applauded this bold move, which enhanced the originality of future designers.
London is adored by fashion designers and customers all around the world. Since it was once a design destination, it’s brought us the world’s most coveted fashion stars, including Vivienne Westwood and Mary Quant.
The latter was born in 1934 and created head-turning styles, such as the miniskirt, in the sixties. She started to design her own clothes fresh out of University and was heavily influenced by her childhood. She felt that London was desperate to escape from the forties and fifties way of life, and fashion could be the city’s rebirth. Quant opened her first shop in the city in 1955 and created unusual patterns, shapes and sizes. Quant famed hot pants and the miniskirt which appealed to those leaving in London.
Vivienne Westwood shocked fashion with rips, zips and a punk style rather than flares, and elegance. She opened her first shop in 1971, where it was aimed at teddy boys of London. Her shop’s name and décor was heavily embellished by the tougher side of London, and she changed the shop’s name to ‘Sex’ three years later. The music and sex industry helped to cultivate her iconic look, which left an imprint on fashion until this current day.
Rome’s beautiful surroundings make the perfect setting to a fashion video or photography, and the diverse culture has created a global fashion trend which is still relevant to this day. Rome is home to popular designers such as Valentino and Gucci who built themselves up from accessories to high-end clothes.
Valentino opened his fashion house in Rome in 1959, where he developed his signature colour, ‘Valentino Red’. Three years later, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti introduced the brand, and their designs were considered the pinnacle of Italian couture.
Gucci, from Italy, has become one of the highest-leading fashion brands in the world. He first opened his shop in Rome in 1928 where it grew to excellent success. The city of Rome also hosts Rome Fashion Week. Every fashion lover aspires to visit Rome to see many of its luxury shops including Fendi, Chanel, Prada and Versace. Most of the top designers locate here for fashion events too.
Not only is Rome one of the fashion capitals of the world, but it’s in a great location to access other European cities.
In 1980, street fashion was all the craze in Tokyo. This sense of style was expressed across fashion, sports and music. Tokyo Fashion Week attracts 50,000 visitors where they showcase over 50 brands. This includes a mixture of established and new styles.
By the 1880’s, men and women had adopted Western fashions. Ten years later, men began wearing Western suits, despite it not being ‘normal’. In the early Meiji period, kimonos continued to dominate. During formal occasions, men wore Western-style hats, a traditional waistcoat, and an outer garment.
Japanese culture significantly expanded to the West with new trade agreements. By the end of the nineteenth century, Japan was sore in fashion, art, interior design and more.
After the second World War, Japanese began wearing Western clothing as a symbol of sophistication and an expression of modernity. During this period, women were working as typists, nurses and bus conductors in the fight for female equality. Men’s clothing had become largely Western, and the business suit was gradually changed to a standard apparel. Women’s clothing evolved a lot slower, than men’s. Japanese designers were more prominent in the Paris and Europe. There were many fashion designers who came from Tokyo too.
Fashion Capitals of the World Are Leading The Way
Why does it all matter? Do we really need to know about these fashion capitals of the world? When we choose an item of clothing from the shop, there are so many things that run through our head – including practicality, price, style and the designer’s name. Having read how each of these infamous cities have influenced the style in our current day, take a look at your wardrobe. Do you see any similarities between your sense of style and the cities above?
Let us know your thoughts and feedback in the comments, and of course, if you’ve ever visited these regions too.
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