The fashion production chain - divided into textiles-clothing, footwear and accessories - is based on the presence of a large number of small companies either working for third parties or on niche productions, characterized by technical and manual skills of the highest quality. At the same time, there are also very well-known brands such as Max Mara, Liu Jo, Pinko, Twin-Set, Furla, Piquadro, which have production plants and design centres in Emilia-Romagna.
The Carpi district - in the province of Modena - is the symbol of this sector: specialised in knitwear and clothing in general, it is one of the industry’s leading centre at national level with more than 1,000 companies, 7,000 employees and a turnover of 1.5 billion euros, with a share of 37% of export (source: Carpi District Observatory 2018).
Cutting-edge footwear industry is concentrated in Romagna - in particular in the San Mauro Pascoli district, in the Forlì-Cesena province - but is also present in other parts of the region, with well known brands such as Baldinini, Giuseppe Zanotti, Casadei, Sergio Rossi. The French company Berluti – part of LVMH group - built a factory in Ferrara and signed agreements with local institutions for specialised training projects.
Trade and access to markets are also leading factors for the wealth of the sector. For example, YNAP - global leader in the luxury fashion e-commerce - started as Yoox from Emilia-Romagna region. Centergross - based in Bologna - is one of the main fashion trade hubs in the region, spread over an area of 500,000 sqm, it employs 6,000 people and consists of over 540 companies including 240 fashion brands with 60% of the district's trade going abroad.
In Parma there is Parma Couture, Consortium for the Internationalization of Fashion Companies
Here are some top regional brands and companies:
The regional fashion companies are supported by the innovation ecosystem that is able to create collaborations and synergies between knowledge system and business. Here are some key actors:
Clust-ER Create – Culture and Creativity
Clust-ER Associations are communities of public and private bodies (research centers, companies, training institutes) created to support the competitiveness of the most important production systems in Emilia-Romagna.
Main international trade fairs
|Fashion in Emilia-Romagna
|Employees (2021, infocamere)
|Local units (2021, Infocamere)
|Export (2022, Istat Coeweb)
7.9 bln €
|Import (2022, Istat Coeweb)
5.2 bln €
|Wearing apparel, except fur apparel
|Knitted and crocheted apparel