Italian luxury clothing brands: from the birth of the legend to the prestige of today

Made in Italy luxury fashion has its roots in the past and still continues to win the hearts of audiences around the world. Italian luxury clothing brands are among the most popular globally, alongside those of other countries such as France and the United States.

The success of Italian fashion houses is due to a number of factors, ranging from the quality of the products to the wisdom of the craftsmanship. Where did the legend of Italian luxury fashion come from? Which brands are best known around the world? Let's embark on this magical universe together!

A tradition that speaks Italian

The origin of the prestige of Italian fashion should be traced as far back as the 11th to 16th centuries, when luxury goods, from textiles to clothing, cosmetics to jewelry, began to be produced in the major cities of the peninsula.

If in the following centuries the undisputed protagonist of the industry was France, which dictated the main trends in the industry, by the 1950s Italian brand designers had taken over the scene again.

In the postwar period, the Made in Italy fashion industry experienced massive growth. During this period, the first Italian fashion shows were held in Florence organized by Giovanni Battista Giorgini and soon they spread to other cities such as Rome and Milan.

Thanks to the popularity of fashion shows and the "publicity" given to Italian fashion by American celebrities (e.g., Hollywood movie stars such as Audrey Hepburn), high-end Made in Italy clothing and accessories became the object of desire for countless men and women.

The charm of Made in Italy fashion around the world

The long tradition in luxury fashion has helped make Italy one of the most important leaders in the industry internationally today. Milan, with its world-famous Fashion Week, is considered one of the fashion capitals of the world, and the growing trends confirm the public's interest and love of Italian brands.

But what makes luxury fashion Made in Italy so special? As we have seen,a true Italian fashion legend was created over the years, which continues to this day to bring the unique appeal of Italy's tricolor creations to the world.

The collections of Italian fashion houses are distinguished by their elegance and comfort, and the designers by their creativity and capacity for innovation. In addition to the unmistakable style of the garments, the success of Italian fashion is linked to the quality of the products and sartorial skill,which stem from traditional craftsmanship.

The most popular Italian luxury brands

In view of the reasons why Made in Italy fashion is so popular, let's explore the Italian luxury clothing brands most popular in the world.

Famous fashion houses undoubtedly include brands such as Prada, Gucci, Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Versace and Ermanno Scervino. Alongside these brands, top Italian women's fashion houses include Laura Biagiotti, Alberta Ferretti, Luisa Positano and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini.

In addition to the already well-known fashion houses, there are many new brands and emerging designers who help spread the prestige of Italian fashion with sought-after collections of the highest quality.

Alexys Agency, the partner of Italian high fashion brands

Our fashion agency has a wealth of experience in the Italian and international fashion industry. We have been offering brands  and boutiques  a professional global luxury clothing distribution service since 2015, with a focus in the distribution of Made in Italy fashion.

From consulting to commercial management and logistics, we develop tailored solutions for brands and retailers and draw on an international network of contacts to export the value of Italian high fashion around the world.

Intensive, selective and exclusive distribution in the fashion world

Product distribution strategy varies according to the characteristics and goals of the company. In general, three main types of distribution can be identified: intensive, selective and exclusive.

What distinguishes the strategies is the coverage of the target market and the type of product being distributed. Focusing on the fashion industry, what are the limitations and advantages of different types of distribution? Which one is best suited for the world of luxury fashion? Let's look at everything in detail!

 Intensive Distribution

The term intensive distribution refers to a type of distribution that aims to increase the availability of high-fashion products as much as possible through distribution in multiple outlets and in different countries.

The purpose of this strategy is to maximize market penetration by offering potential customers many opportunities to connect with the brand and purchase products.

If intensive distribution is particularly effective for consumer goods (because it ensures the immediate availability of the desired product), the it's a different matter when it comes to the world of high fashion.

Intensive Distribution in Luxury Fashion

Intensive distribution is often an inappropriate choice for luxury: distributing collections to multiple markets and channels can depreciate the brand's luxury image and exclusivity, compromising its reputation.

This strategy can make it difficult for the company to maintain control over product quality and adapt to changes in the market and trends in a flexible way.

Not to mention that the wide availability of goods can reduce demand and allow retailers to sell at lower prices (thus reducing profits for the brand), while at the same time distribution costs (transportation, logistics and marketing) may increase.

Selective Distribution

As the name implies, the strategy of selective distribution involves a carefully selected choice of outlets to sell high-end products. The goal is to maintain the brand image and ensure a high quality of customer service to the customer.

Since this involves intermediate distribution coverage, customers will have less chance of finding the product they are looking for, and market penetration will be lower than with the intensive strategy.

Qualitative selective distribution carefully selectsthe dealer networkand is therefore suitable for more "complex" products that are not normally purchased on impulse.

The Fashion World and Selective Distribution

As for the luxury apparel sector, selective distribution proves to be a more appropriate choice than intensive distribution for several reasons.

First of all, this strategy helps to preserve brand image by avoiding diluting brand exclusivity through overly broad distribution. It also allows the company to develop targeted marketing strategies and maintain stronger control over the quality of the product and the way it is presented.

A selective distribution contract can help set higher prices for products, increasing profit margins and limiting distribution costs.

Exclusive Distribution

The last strategy we will explore is that of exclusive distribution: in this case, products are given to only one retailer per geographic area. Thus, there are only a few distributors and they are even more carefully chosen than with selective distribution.

With this kind of strategy, the prestigious image of the products is kept high, which is why exclusive distribution is especially suitable for luxury goods.

Customers who want to buy these products recognize the symbolic value of the brand and are willing to look for a retailer located further away and spend more to get what they want.

Exclusive Distribution for Luxury Clothing

Compared with selective distribution, exclusivity further enhances the luxury character of the brand and allows control over the quality of service provided and the prices.

Given the small number of retailers, the company can focus on promoting products and implementing the most effective marketing strategies, resulting in higher profits.

One of the limitations of exclusive distribution is the close "dependence" on the individual retailer to access a given market; in the event of problems or disputes, relying on a single distributor may entail some risk.

Alexys Agency's approach to international distribution

Given the three main distribution strategies, which one is best for the world of high fashion? There is no one-size-fits-all answer, because there are several factors to consider: companies can use some of these strategies to achieve their international distribution goals or choose to adopt a specific strategy. It all depends on the needs of the brand and the market situation.

At Alexys Agency, experience in the luxury fashion industry has enabled us to identify selective distribution as the best option for distributing luxury Made in Italy items and more. This way, we can ensure that the brands we manage have an exclusive image while being able to respond flexibly to changes in the market, making the most of opportunities.

International distribution of high-end products, the approach of Alexys Agency

In the world of high-end fashion, international distribution strategies are crucial for a company's success. There are different approaches; however, depending on individual business objectives, two different strategies can be chosen:

Selective distribution:

This strategy implies a carefully selected choice of points of sale for the sale of high-end products, to maintain the brand image and guarantee a high-quality of customer service.

Expansive Distribution:
This strategy aims to increase the availability of high-fashion products as much as possible, through distribution in multiple stores and in multiple countries.

To delve deeper into these topics, we refer you to our article "INTENSIVE, SELECTIVE, AND EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION IN THE FASHION WORLD."

The approach of Alexys Agency in the international distribution of high-end fashion products

At Alexys Agency, we have chosen to adopt the Selective Distribution strategy, which allows us to safeguard the distributed brands. It creates an exclusive atmosphere around the brand, making the purchase a unique and luxurious experience. Additionally, it offers undeniable advantages, including:

The challanges of fashion distribution in new markets and emerging countries

There are several barriers that make it difficult for a distributor of high-end products to enter new international markets, especially in emerging countries.

These include cultural and language factors, as well as bureaucratic barriers such as trade barriers, market access, financial barriers, trade regulations, and export infrastructure. Additionally, there are other factors such as competition, currency fluctuations, intellectual property issues, and in some cases, complicating factors like political risks and protectionism.

To overcome all these barriers, at Alexys Agency, we have developed a winning approach thanks to our years of experience:

Distributing fashion brands worldwide is a complex service that requires extensive knowledge of the global market, consumers and trends. International distribution requires greater flexibility and ability to adapt to different cultures, regulations and fashion trends around the world, as well as an effective and efficient ability to manage logistics and administrative and legal documents for exporting products.

Thanks to our approach and expertise, we can bring fashion brands to the best boutiques worldwide.
Contact us for more information.

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