When we think of Italian fashion, ‘sophistication’, ‘elegance’ and ‘class’ are just a few of the terms that instantly spring to mind. Home to some of the world’s finest designers and top fabric manufacturers, it’s no wonder Italy has earned itself such a strong reputation in the world of menswear.
Region-specific industries and family-run businesses have helped the country keep its authentic flair for fashion alive, allowing many brands to operate using the same traditional production processes today as they always have. As a result, the country’s signature suave aesthetic and across the board dedication to superior quality continue to reign supreme.
But outside of the fashion industry’s household names – Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Armani, Gucci et al. – what other Italian brands should be on your radar? Expand your sartorial horizons with our rundown of 10 lesser-known labels that deserve their place in your wardrobe.
Tod’s is possibly one of Italy’s biggest success stories, expanding from a family-run business back in the 1990s to a world-renowned retailer of luxury leather footwear across Europe, Asia and the US.
To this day, the label produces all of its shoes on home turf, along with a stylish and sophisticated range of bags and accessories.
Available online at tods.com.
Starting out as a coat-making business back in the 1930s, Milan-based label Corneliani has come a very long way.
The brand now specialises in sophisticated separates and formalwear for the more refined gent, as well as offering a full made-to-measure service – it’s this high-end focus that has secured UK stockists such as Harrods and Selfridges.
Find out more at corneliani.com.
One of the four brands owned by the Slowear group, Incotex is known for its impeccably-cut trousers, shorts and chinos, which are widely considered some of the best on the market.
Hailing itself as a “pioneer brand of smart-casual style”, the label uses the highest quality fabrics to turn out premium designs and fits at mid-range prices. Bottoms aside, they also produce a simple selection of easy to wear tops, too.
Available at Mr Porter.
This less conventional Italian brand brings an adventurous edge to European style, producing pieces for the modern man who wants to look sharp and stand out from the crowd.
From floral printed tuxedo jackets to graphic cotton shorts, Brioni isn’t scared of prints and patterns, but keeps silhouettes sleek for a contemporary finish.
Available at brioni.com.
Despite hailing from Parma, Italy, this specialist belt brand comes with a UK twist – founder Carlo Valenti gave it a British sounding name to show his appreciation for classic English style.
However, each belt is still handmade in its Italian factories, combining luxurious details with practical elasticated fabrics for a cool and comfortable finish.
Available at Mr Porter.
Moving from belts to hats, Italian label Borsalino is universally praised for its collection of fine headwear – specifically its fedoras.
Sticking to a classic, slightly retro aesthetic, its range of high quality, gentlemanly millinery is ideal for the dapper man about town.
Try its signature felt fedora for a piece that’ll work with both casual and formal looks.
Available at borsalino.com.
Craftsmanship is key to this family-run label, which has remained in the hands of the hands of the Canali clan since 1934.
Today, the brand continues to produce the impeccably-cut tailoring it has long been renowned for, alongside more casual pieces for daytime wear, enabling the discerning gent to build a high quality wardrobe that will seamlessly transition from weekday to weekend.
Once a tailor for some of Italy’s biggest fashion houses, Boglioli returned to doing what it does best in the 1990s: producing high-end suits using traditional techniques.
As a result, the brand is now one of the country’s most celebrated when it comes to soft-shouldered tailoring, earning an unrivalled reputation for its high quality designs and laid-back approach.
Available at Selfridges.
9. L.B.M. 1911
As an offshoot of the classic Lubiam brand, L.B.M. 1911 continues to celebrate the rich Italian heritage of its founding fathers.
Traditional production methods and Italy’s best fabric mills remain part of the brand’s core today, treating men across the globe to timeless, premium designs in modern colourways and prints.
Available at Yoox.
10. Loro Piana
Fabrics were once this brand’s speciality, before it bridged the gap between its premium materials and fashion design some twenty years ago.
Loro Piana is now widely considered the market leader when it comes to ultra-fine cashmere and merino wool pieces, with its simple, timeless collections exuding everyday ease and elegance.
Available at loropiana.com.