Italian Designer Fashion: What’s New for 2021 and Beyond?

in Fashion

It is no secret that fashion is at the core of Italy’s cultural life and society. Many fashionistas consider Milan the world’s fashion capital ahead of Paris, London, and New York. Many new trends are dominating Italian fashion that will define the industry presently and in the years ahead. Here’s what’s new in Italian designer fashion for 2021 and beyond.

The Rise of Streetwear

Streetwear fashion has been growing steadily in recent years, but the pandemic has hastened the shift towards more casual fashion. Consequently, many Italian brands like Gucci are jumping on the streetwear bandwagon by coming up with styles that appeal to fashion lovers with more disposable income.

More Body Positivity

For several years, plus-size people have had a challenging time finding variety in clothes best for their body types. This reality was mainly due to brands failing to create styles and sizes for people that didn’t wear anything from small to extra-large. However, the growing body positivity trend influences the Italian designer fashion space heavily, bringing more inclusivity regarding styles and sizes.

For example, Donatella Versace famously made history by giving three plus-size models a chance to walk down Versace’s runway at last year’s Milan Fashion Week. Besides creating great styles for more people, Italian fashion brands are also making their campaigns more representative. Models of different races and sexual identities continue representing these brands in print and on the runway alike, promoting racial diversity.

Ethical And Sustainable Buying Behavior

Sustainable fashion is no longer a niche in the fashion industry since consumers favour brands that prioritise environmental sustainability in their operations. Consequently, many Italian fashion brands are adopting better environmentally responsible and sustainable approaches. For example, Prada has re-launched a sustainable line of accessories and bags from recycled plastics gathered from fishing nets, oceans and discarded fabrics.

Similarly, Gucci, Armani, and Versace have discontinued fur use due to animal rights concerns. Many fashion experts consider Versace’s decision to stop using fur as the ultimate proof of the rise of sustainable fashion since the brand has a well-known history of using mink, fox, and other furs in its collections. Furthermore, sustainable fashion has also gone mainstream in Italy with events like the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, attracting a massive international audience.

More Genderless Clothing

The traditional, binary concept of clothing is now quaint due to a new understanding of gender and the various norms surrounding these constructs. As such, fashionistas worldwide are placing more emphasis on clothing, they feel comfortable in instead of clothes that have been assigned to them based on their sex. Genderless clothing is catching on with many due to high-profile celebrities like Harry Styles and Billie Eilish sporting pieces that disregard antiquated gender norms.


Famous Italian fashion brands like Gucci embrace this fluidity, evident by the launch of their “Gucci MX” genderless shopping category. According to Gucci’s webpage, this new section is intended to deconstruct preconceived gender notions and celebrate self-expression in the name of gender equality. Other Italian fashion giants like Versace and Prada also embrace the genderless trend to make the fashion space more inclusive.

Ecommerce Continues Growing

Online shopping has been popular among fashionistas for several years, but the pandemic forced numerous shops to close for many months. For smaller fashion retailers and other businesses, these temporary closures became permanent due to COVID-19’s devastating economic impact. However, many top Italian fashion brands intensified their online retail efforts during the pandemic, making shopping for clothes almost an exclusive online affair. Although lockdown restrictions have loosened significantly since the pandemic’s initial stages, online shopping will likely become the preferred way of buying fashion items.

Flexible Payment Plans

The “Buy Now, Pay Later” approach was spearheaded initially by lower-end fashion brands to attract more patrons. However, this strategy has crept into the designer and luxury fashion space. Leading Italian fashion brands like Gucci and Prada offer consumers the chance to make after-purchase payments. For instance, Gucci runs an “Affirm” program that allows patrons to purchase their favourite Gucci styles and pay according to their preferred schedules. As such, clients can shop their favourite styles on Gucci’s website, select “Affirm” at checkout, get approved, and select the payment plan that fits their needs best in minutes.

Image Credits: Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley)

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