Fashion is a huge industry and nowhere plays a bigger role on the global stage than Italy. However, the city that is utterly synonymous with chic elegance and edgy style, Milan, is home to the most iconic fashion houses and prestigious modelling agencies on the planet.
In the world of fashion there are said to be four main players in the industry which are colloquially known as the ‘Big Four’. The Big Four include Paris, London, New York and, of course, Milan.
Italy has a reputation for leading the fashion industry that dates right back to the 11th Century! By the Renaissance Italian fashion was renowned throughout Europe with cities such as Paris and London looking to Italy’s designers and tailors for the latest inspiration in Haute Couture. During the 17th Century, wealthy Italian elites, such as Catherine de Medici, were widely recognized as stylish icons whose tastes in fashion were imitated by the Royal courts of France, Spain and Portugal.
During the late 1950s and early 1960s Florence emerged as a center of fashion that catered to the wealthy jet setting elite. During this period Milan also hit the headlines after the groundbreaking 1958 fashion show that began a tradition that lasts to this day.
Later, during the 1970s, Milan came to the fore as the capital of Italian fashion as a result of its wide selection of pre-made garments, clothes and accessories combined with the emergence of the major fashion houses in the city.
I am from the South Indian state of Kerala. But I have lived in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is a textile giant. My father for most of his life worked in the textile services industry (supplying high tech accessories for the Carding machines). He has visited Milan to attend the textile and textile related machinery exhibitions in the mid eighties. As an expat, I pay close attention to the Italian textile and fashion industry.
What Are The Major Fashion Houses In Milan?
Italian fashion houses are known for being stylish, edgy and elegant which has made them stand out from their competition and allowed them to continue to dominate the global markets to this day.
Milan is home to some of the biggest fashion houses in the world including Giorgio Armani, Attica, Marta Ferri, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Moschino and Marco Rambaldi.
With astronomical profits and cutting edge designs the Milanese fashion houses have reshaped the industry in their own image and look set to continue their dominance long into the future.
What Are The Fashion Related Events That Take Place In Milan?
The biggest bi-annual fashion event in Milan is the Milan Fashion Week. This is one of the most important fashion trade shows and catwalks in the world and is only rivalled by the Paris, New York and London events.
The Milan Fashion Week, or ‘Settimana della Moda’ in Italian, is held twice each year. The autumn/winter season event takes place between February and March while the spring/summer season event takes place between September and October.
Milan Fashion Week is the biggest event on the annual calendar and attracts visitors and industry professionals from all over the world to network, purchase new collections and meet the latest upcoming models and designers.
Which Are The Major Fashion Events In Milan?
- The International Exhibition of Textile and Textile Machinery – June. A tradeshow for the textiles industry.
- READY TO SHOW – September. The event provides an opportunity for international apparel, leather, accessory and textile manufacturers to meet European buyers and distributors.
- MICAM MILANO – September. The International Footwear Exhibition showcases the best craftsmanship of local and international producers.
- MIPAP – September. The International Presentation of Women’s Wear Collections is hugely popular with industry insiders.
- MIPEL, THE BAG SHOW – September. The International Leather Goods Market is the world’s premier event showcasing the best of leather goods and accessories.
The Modelling Agencies Of Milan – The Engine Rooms Of The Fashion Industry.
There are several main elements that make up the thriving fashion industry in Milan. There are the artists, designers and skilled tailors who create the clothes and accessories that are the bread and butter of the industry. Then there are the catwalks, the exclusive boutiques and glamorous locations that attract the buyers, audiences and other industry professionals to the city.
However, one of the most important ingredients of the fashion industry is the models who wear and showcase the attire. Modelling agencies provide a way for up and coming young talent to get involved in the high paying industry and with hard work and the right natural looks they can make it big on the world stage.
As one of the world’s fashion capitals, Milan has a whole host of modelling agencies that range from small family run operations to large international companies.
What Does A Modelling Agency Do?
A modelling agency is a specialized company that scouts, develops and represents models for magazine, Haute Couture, editorial, commercial, catwalk and other photoshoots and videography.
The modelling agency has a wide range of professional contacts in the industry that includes designers, photographers, stylists and videographers. They also liaise closely with brands and fashion houses to find placements for the models on their books.
A good modelling agency will develop and work with their models to help them create a successful and long term career in the fashion industry.
The Best Modelling Agencies In Milan.
The following are the best modelling agencies in Milan.
As one of the world’s premier modelling agencies Elite Models currently work with famous models such as Kendall Jenner, Cindy Crawford and Cara Delevingne. They have incredible industry connections to all the major luxury brands and supply models for a huge range of jobs around the globe. Many of the company’s models regularly work with international magazines such as Vogue and Hommes and they have offices in Hong Kong, New York and Milan.
Elite Models pride themselves on discovering the hottest new talent and have been a significant industry driver since they were founded in 1972. Over the years they have represented the most iconic models of our times including Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Gisele Bundchen, Allessandra Ambrosio and Yasmin Le Bon.
To aid with their model discovery process Elite Models arrange an annual contest to attract the best new talent to work with them. They invite participants from all over the globe in search of the supermodels of tomorrow. Unlike some of the other agencies, Elite Models aim to create long term careers for their models by embracing name recognition and experience to help shape the fashion industry of the future. This has allowed Elite Models to stay at the forefront of the ever changing industry while helping their models to create some of the most lasting legacies in fashion.
Providing models for Haute Couture, fashion campaigns, editorials, TV commercials and cinema, Fashion Models Management Milan have been working in the industry since the 1960s, making them one of the most experienced agencies in Milan.
The agency prides itself on its role in helping to reshape the fashion of the 1960s and for their part in the revolutionary spirit of the decade.
Fashion Models Management Milan spend time with their models to ensure that their career flourishes in a way that fits their own life plans. The agency’s founder, Paolo Roberti, started the company after an accidental meeting with a famous actor while having a coffee! And so, Milan’s first modeling agency was founded and went on to fabulous success and a long track record of quality models and supportive work practices.
Under the dynamic leadership of Paolo Roberti the company has secured its place in the heart of the fashion industry and is a top choice for new models and as well as clients looking for talent for their projects.
The Fabrica is a modelling agency that primarily focuses on scouting new talent and helping them to develop their career to the full. The company spends a lot of time working with their models and provides them with the opportunities and space to grow in confidence and experience in the early days.
They represent a wide range of looks and styles while seeking to highlight the personalities of their models in photoshoots. Although The Fabrica is still finding its feet in the fashion industry, its unique approach to developing talent means that the future looks bright for the company and their models.
Next Models is a world leading modelling agency that was founded in 1989 and works in London, Paris, Los Angeles, Miami and Milan. Next Models work closely with major fashion and entertainment brands to deliver some of the most iconic photoshoots of the modern times. The agency has worked with publications as diverse as Vogue, Dazed and Time in recent years.
Founded by Joel Wilkenfeld and Faith Kates, Next Models have experienced explosive growth over the last 30 years and have positioned themselves to be one of the most important modelling agencies in Milan and the world at large.
One of the keys to the success of Next Models is their commitment to turn their newly scout models into recognizable household names while forging impressive long term careers for them. Among the supermodels that Next Models represent are Anna Cleveland, Grace Elizabeth, Hiandra Martinez, Abbey Lee and Alexa Chung.
Next Models have a diverse range of models on their books and take on both new talent as well as supermodels. The company’s strong leadership has secured excellent endorsements for their models as a part of their strategic approach to conquering the fashion industry, one photoshoot at a time. To evidence this, Next Models launched their digital influencers program in 2009 to stay ahead of the trends and ensure that their models are front and center of the online ecosystem.
How To Choose The Right Modelling Agency?
If you’re considering turning your passion for modelling into a well paying profession then selecting the right agency will be critical to your long term success in the highly competitive industry.
- Location: The location of the agency is going to be one of the first factors that you should keep in mind. The right agency should have an office near to where you live so you can drop in for consultations and regular meetings with the management.
- What Kind Of Work Do They Book? Each modelling agency will have their own unique industry contacts and specializations so you should do a little research in advance to find out if they’re working with clients that appeal to you. For instance, some agencies will book you for catwalk shows while others will be able to get you regular catalog or TV commercial work.
- Don’t Pay Up Front Fees: When you sign up with a modelling agency you should never pay any fees up front. If they like you and think that you have potential they will not ask you for any payments upfront. Of course, the agency will take a percentage from the work that they get you with clients but you should never be paying these fees up front!
- Trust Your Instincts: Lastly, you should trust your gut feelings. When it comes to making the final decision, if you don’t feel that it’s a good match with a modelling agency then you should steer clear. You should only be working with an agency that makes you feel comfortable and safe.
Milan – The Capital Of World Fashion.
When it comes to fashion Italy is the most glamorous country on the planet and Milan is the jewel in its crown. With the world’s leading fashion houses and brands, the premier fashion shows and industry events and a collection of the most successful modeling agencies, Milan is head and shoulders above its competition.
Starting a modelling career in Milan will set you on the path to have a successful, long term and fulfilling career in the most exciting and fast moving of all industries. Finding the right agency is essential to get your career off to a flying start. When you begin your search you should start with the most prestigious agencies out there to give yourself the best chance of making a big splash in the fashion industry.