Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

From fine Umbrian knitwear to tailored suits from the Italian Alps, these are our fashion favourites

Italy. It’s a country of pasta and passion. Of da Vinci, Vivaldi and the thin crust pizza. But our favourite international Italian export, by far, is surely the style. 

From meticulous tailoring to effortless street style, the southern Europeans know how to make some drop dead threads – and these are our five favourite brands that hail from the chicest nation on earth…

Tod's leather is the best leather in the world

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

If, like us, you value a good leather loafer, there should only be one brand on your radar: Tod’s. The brand’s attention to detail is simply stunning, with up to 35 pieces of leather making just one shoe. Over 100 steps go into creating Tod’s signature Gommino loafer – with its 133 individual rubber ‘pebbles’ stamped into the sole.

Founded by Diego Della Valle, the leather brand is a particular favourite of Eddie Redmayne and Matthew McConaughey – among other discerning gents.

What do Tod’s do better than anyone else?

The loafer – available in many different designs and limited editions – is the obvious reason to visit Tod’s, but their sneakers and bags are also second to none. And almost every product is set apart from the competition thanks to the signature ‘pebbles’ – which bags and sneakers alike wear like little hardy badges of honour.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Tod’s Envelope bag

£1270

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Where can I find them? Tod’s Boutique can be found at 2-5 Old Bond Street, London. Ask for Simone Artuso, Store Director.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Tod's

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Rubinacci is a one-stop menswear shop

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

You don’t have time to be shopping around for a full outfit. With shoes from here and a shirt from there, the precious few spare hours would soon be swallowed up. So thank god for Rubinacci — the Italian menswear brand who can, quite literally, do it all. 

From Marphy shoes to Neapolitan tailoring, this family-owned business doesn’t create clothes — it creates outfits. The brand claims that their iconic bespoke looks convey strong personality, elegance and attention to details – despite being ‘imperfectly perfect’. We couldn’t agree more.

What do Rubinacci do better than anyone else?

The deconstructed blazer is an icon of Neapolitan tailoring, and will bring a flavour of 1930s Naples to whatever summer city street you find yourself walking this year. Completely unlined, and made in a fabric that never wrinkles, it’s the ideal choice for those international business trips you keep finding yourself on.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Dark Blue Mohair Wool Blazer

£1178

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Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Manny Pant in Beige Cotton

£314

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Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Marphy Loafer in Coffee Velour

£340

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Where can I find them? The British Rubinacci boutique can be found at 96 Mount Street, in London’s Mayfair. Ask for Ms Chiara Rubinacci, Store Manager.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Rubinacci

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Ermenegildo Zegna will suit and boot you to the highest standard

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Here’s something we bet you didn’t know: Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Dunhill and Tom Ford, masters of modern tailoring and the brands you trust to trick you up, all source their suits from one fashion house. This is Ermenegildo Zegna, a brand as exclusive as it is unspellable, and experts in suiting and men’s fine accessories.

But what stands Zegna away from scores of other Italian fashion houses is its conscience. Incredibly active in promoting improvements in worldwide wool production, we champion Zegna for their true passion for fashion — pursuing not only strong bottom lines, but also sustainable and ethical ones, too. 

What do Ermenegildo Zegna do better than anyone else?

The suiting obviously gets an honourable mention, but let’s not go for the obvious. The real reason that keeps us going back to Zegna has got to be the accessories. Be they injecting new spirit into an age-old high top design or creating an accessories bag so smooth you’ll rarely dare to use it, forget just Italy, this is one of our favourite brands full stop.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Techmerino Wash and Go Suit

£1300

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Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

White Calf Tiziano High Sneakers

£855

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Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Pelle Tessuta Blue Targa S Bag

£800

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Where can I find them? Ermenegildo Zegna’s London boutique can be found at 203-204 Sloane Street, in London’s Knightsbridge.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Ermenegildo Zegna

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Loro Piana will take your knitwear to a new level

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

How many wools can you name? Not as many as Loro Piana, we’d wager. Every time we wear through a jumper or snag a scarf, it is this Italian fashion house we head to to fit our knitwear needs. And be their goods crafted from Vicuna, Cashmere, or Pecora Nera, we’re always guaranteed that these dyed-in-the-wool sticklers for quality will deliver.

But the best thing about Loro Piana’s clothes and accessories is surely Storm System, the revolutionary and to-good-to-be-true treatment all products are treated to which affords them not only with complete wind resistance, but also waterproofing. Imagine, all that from your cardigan.

What do Loro Piana do better than anyone else?

It’s got to be one of the many wools, and we’d plump for cashmere. Loro Piana are the largest cashmere manufacturer in the entire western world, and the finest lots of these precious fibres come from Northern China and Mongolia. But what gives them the edge? They speak directly to the fiery goatherders who breed the Hircus goats — and undeniably get the best wool as a result.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Girocollo Silverstone Cashmere & Silk

£900

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Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Mezzocollo Treccia Baby Cashmere Light

£1240

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Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Bomber Hood Leasure Cashmere And Cotton

£1700

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Where can I find them? Loro Piana’s London boutique can be found at 153 New Bond Street, in London’s Mayfair.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Loro Piana

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Panerai will allow you to keep time in style

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

When Giovanni Panerai opened his watchmaker’s shop on Ponte alle Grazie in Florence, he started a watchmaking revolution. For it wasn’t only a boutique — it was a watchmaking school. In the years that have passed, Panerai have evolved perhaps more so than any other watch brand.

They have filed patent after pioneering patent, built watches to assist the frogmen of World War II and even enjoyed a five-year partnership with another Italian brand we love, Ferrari. True, they may be produced in Switzerland these day, but with a headquarters still in Florence and Tuscan blood running through their veins, they’re still as Italian as they come.

What do Panerai do better than anyone else?

Without a doubt, it has to be the diving watch. Between 1938 and 1970, Panerai produced the official diving timepieces to the Italian Navy, and capitalised on that experience to become one of the world leaders in underwater watches. From Radiomir — a highly luminous substance to enhance readability — to longer straps to fit over wetsuits, there’s little the watchmakers didn’t think of.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Panerai Lumior Submersible 1950 Automatic

£7500

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Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Panerai Lumior Marina Logo

£4200

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Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Panerai Radomir Black Seal 8 Days

£5100

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Where can I find them? Panerai’s boutique can be found at 30 New Bond Street, in London’s Mayfair.

Five of the finest Italian brands, and which of their products to buy

Panerai

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Further Reading