Each city in the world has its unique feel and can inspire the fashion industry. However, not every town can be one of the fashion capitals of the world. This particular title is reserved for only a couple of places celebrated for the uniqueness, boldness, and innovation they brought to the industry.
That said, in this article, you’re going to learn everything there is to know about the major fashion capitals and what sets them apart from other fashionable cities worldwide.
Major Fashion Capitals of the World
There are a couple of cities with the most significant influence on fashion trends worldwide, also known as “The Big Four.” They are home to the largest high-end fashion companies. The fashion weeks in these places present events full of celebrities and fashion moguls.
Every fashion lover closely monitors all events that happen in the big four fashion capitals, most of which become a trend quickly. Hence, if you ever wanted to learn the fashion basics, you should start here.
1. Paris, France
Throughout the years, the City of Light has been an inspiration to fashionistas around the world. Moreover, it’s a top fashion city as many famous designers visit Paris to find inspiration for their upcoming collection.
Most tourists will tell you that Paris “breathes fashion.” Just by walking the streets of Paris, you’ll notice so many different influences that make this city’s style unique. In addition, the fashion centre of the world is one of the most popular destinations for shoppers. You can find anything from couture designers to high street fashion there. What’s more, retail stores are on almost every corner.
The fashion week in Paris is a huge event that’s also a significant driver of the city’s economy. As one of the most fashionable cities, Paris dictates the trends for the upcoming season. That is why the most famous influencers and celebrities around the world don’t mind losing ten hours travelling just to spend a few days watching the event.
The main reason many people choose to be in Paris Fashion Week instead of visiting other top fashion capitals is due to its reputation of being the most sophisticated one. A fashion show looks more like an artistic display instead of a trade show to attract customers. That’s why the fashion in Paris is different than other popular fashion centres.
The Paris Fashion Week Statistics
In addition to many people praising the artsy aspect of the Paris Fashion Week, this event brings considerable earnings to the country. In general, the fashion weeks bring around €1.2 billion in economic spin-offs every year. That is almost half a billion due to its impact and even more than that after the trade fairs.
This world fashion centre holds over 300 fashion shows every year, with half of them being by foreign brands. More than 14,000 exhibitors get their chance to shine during the events. Two-thirds of them reside in countries other than France.
The latest fashion industry statistics for France show that the country earns around €150 billion in direct sales. The whole industry makes up about 2.7% of the total GDP and brings jobs to one million people.
2. New York, United States
If we were to single out one capital of fashion, it would be New York. According to official data, this city is the leading fashion and luxury city worldwide. It has the highest IPX — the Global Fashion & Luxury Industry Cities Index. It sits at 129.42. Therefore, it has a more significant influence than other major fashion capitals of the world.
New York is famous for its fresh, innovative input to fashion. Many well-known brands are headquartered in this city and use the fast-paced New York lifestyle as an inspiration. What makes this city different from others that are on our list of fashion capitals of the world is the fashion journalist scene.
Furthermore, New York is a place where all non-designers go to try to make it in the fashion world, whether by writing about it or promoting it. In fact, Eleanor Lambert, the first fashion publicist, was responsible for New York officially becoming a vital fashion city of the world. She organised the first fashion week in 1943, hoping to promote American fashion by showcasing its designers’ work.
In New York, you’ll find every high-end brand you can think of. Moreover, you’ll get to explore the city’s fashion scene and discover unknown talents displaying their work. In fact, you’ll probably see more up-and-coming designers than in other global fashion capitals.
That’s because many fashion enthusiasts claim the city has the largest number of initiatives that support growing businesses in the fashion industry. Thus, if you want to make it in this industry, New York should be your next stop.
The Fashion Capitals Figures: New York
While there are no official stats for 2022 yet, it is clear that the fashion industry in New York is among the staples of the state’s economy. The latest official stats show that the New York Fashion Week has a billion-dollar impact. This data comes as no surprise as the fashion designer statistics tell us that the whole fashion designer market in the US is worth $3 billion.
3. London, United Kingdom
While it’s the home of the shortest fashion week among the Big Four, London’s fashion influence is not to be underestimated. Throughout history, the fashion capital of the UK had the power to influence most of the worldwide trends, both for the high-end designer industry and regular retail stores. London is also the home of the best fashion schools attended by the leading figures of London fashion houses and global brands.
The London Fashion Week is famous for its inclusivity. It was the first one to begin streaming the event. This action made fashion trends available to millions of people around the world. What’s more, if you’re in search of more affordable British fashion brands, you’ll find them during the fashion week events as the item prices can go as low as $20.
Still, fashion week is an exclusive event open only for invited participants. However, right after the event, the city organises the London Fashion Week Festival. Anyone willing to pay a moderately priced ticket can attend the festival.
In addition, the inclusivity of the fashion capital of the world is quite apparent considering the invitees. Most of the bloggers, even with a smaller following, get the invite. Therefore, those looking to blog about their fashion adventure usually move to London as they’d be more likely to get a chance to attend exclusive galas.
London Fashion Week Facts
(British Fashion Council)
With orders of over £100 million as a result of the event, London Fashion Week has had a substantial economic impact. The media impact is also prominent. The value that the last fashion week generated rose to £440 million.
Despite the mind-blowing figures generated by the most fashionable city in the world, the last few years weren’t the best for the fashion industry. Following Brexit, fabric prices for European exports increased for British manufacturers, causing major delays in production. Moreover, Brexit led to increased customs charges, which directly affected sales in Europe. The prolonged lockdown did not help the situation either.
Thankfully, if you Google today “what is the fashion capital of the world 2022,” you will still find London on every list. Thus, it’s good to know that recent events did not have a devastating impact on the British fashion industry.
4. Milan, Italy
Italy, in general, is one of the top fashionable countries in the world. That is why it comes as no surprise that one of the largest cities in the country is a global fashion hub. Dolce & Gabbana, Cavalli, and Versace are just some of the world-renowned Italian brands that dictate global fashion trends.
Italian designers and fashion events made Milan one of the most fashionable cities in the world, known for its sexy and edgy vibe. Therefore, anyone looking to experiment with fashion will find so much inspiration during the Milan Fashion Week. Milan is also great for those looking to begin their designer journey. It was the starting point for a lot of famous brands such as Prada, Gucci, and Armani.
This fashion capital in Europe dedicated the biggest square to the fashion industry: the Golden Rectangle. This square consists of four streets full of designer displays and retail stores open to every visitor. You’ll find anything from unique couture pieces to clothes and footwear by affordable upscale brands.
The Milan Fashion Week is not the only event in this fashion capital of the world. MICAM is a famous footwear gathering that attracts visitors from around the world. In addition, the Milano Unica Event is perfect for all up-and-coming designers that want to promote their work.
Fashion Capital Statistics for Milan
Milan Fashion Week has come a long way since it was first organised in 1958. The fashion week usually hosts about 70 fashion shows as well as 90 designer presentations. The latest fashion capitals facts show that the total income of the Milan Fashion Week amounts to over £40 million. What’s more, the average spending per visitor is above £1,700. Thus, it’s evident that the event inspires people to spend more.
As one of the fashion capitals of the world, the fashion events in Milan are crucial not only for the global trends in the industry but also for the city’s economy. Each time, the fashion week rakes in more than £13 million in earnings for hotels and businesses around the town.
As you can see, events in the top fashion cities have indirect benefits for the city’s economy. Various businesses thrive during that time as streets are filled with people looking to make the most of their experience.
Final Thoughts on the Fashion Capitals of the World 2022
Whether you are a shopping addict or just an avid follower of fashion trends, visiting these cities is a must! Even if you make it there on regular days when there aren’t any fashion events, the whole feel of these places will inspire you to make bolder fashion choices.
Each of the four major fashion cities of the world is unique in its own way and definitely worth visiting. But in case you want to go there during the fashion week, you should start planning your trip as soon as possible, as these cities quickly book up during that period.
What are all the fashion capitals of the world?
As we mentioned, the “Big Four” that have the most significant influence on fashion trends are New York, London, Paris, and Milan. But besides the four biggest players, there are a few other places with famous events and a rising impact on the fashion industry worldwide. Some of them are Los Angeles and Rome, which have some of the best fashion schools out there. Other world-renowned fashion capitals are Tokyo, Barcelona, Madrid, and Berlin.
Is Milan the fashion capital of the world?
If you read our article carefully, you already know that Milan is one of the global fashion capitals. It’s the most fashionable city in Italy today. However, that wasn’t always the case. During the early and mid-1900s, Florence was popular for its amazing designers and unique fashion. That’s where all of the wealthier people went to buy luxurious couture pieces.
There are a few theories as to why Milan became one of the major fashion cities over Florence. Some say that affordability was the main reason more people chose it, while others praised Milan’s inclusivity during fashion weeks. No matter the reason, Milan quickly surpassed Florence’s influence after the 1960s.
How did London become a fashion capital?
London has been influential in the fashion industry since the mediaeval period. While it wasn’t the most fashionable city, the economic aspect brought London more power than other cities. The city dominated in exports of materials such as silk and wool and imported luxurious fabrics making high-fashion more accessible.
London’s style flourished in the 18th century when quality, tailored clothing became more popular. The clothing industry started rapidly expanding in the 19th century, bringing worldwide recognition to this city.
How did the emergence of the fashion capitals influence global fashion?
Anything fashion-related that happens in these fashion capitals directly affects trends around the world. They dictate trends on various events crucial for the industry, such as fashion weeks.
Moreover, most of them have famous fashion schools that birthed so many excellent designers. In addition, a lot of brands have headquarters in these cities, which brings even more influence to them. These are just some of the means that give the fashion capitals of the world power to influence global fashion.