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  • MAP Asia Pacific Ltd

Why Is Italy The New Battlefield for Luxury?

The past year has had a hard impact on the fashion and luxury industry. As highlighted by a Bain and Altagamma report in January, the overall luxury market-encompassing both luxury goods and experiences-shrank by 20 to 22 percent at current exchange rates, and is now estimated at approximately €1 trillion globally, back to its 2015 levels.

And while its latest update notes the recovery seen in the first quarter of the year – the market is expected to reach between €250-€295 billion – the outlook for 2021 still remains uncertain.

In such conditions, it comes as no surprise that there is feeling of increasing risk within the industry today, as the uncertainty over how the pandemic will evolve and the endemic weakness of a system that is almost completely reliant on China for its business growth begins to put more pressure on the market.

And nowhere is this most apparent than Italy.

The birthplace of globally renown brands such as Gucci, Prada, Brunello Cucinelli, Fendi and many others, Italy is also the beating heart of leather goods know-how, the place where some of the most prestigious high-streets of luxury are located, the paradise of outlet shopping and much more.

Italian brands have proved since the last century how to be clever in terms of product creation and technical savoir faire, conquering the appetite of many different customers: from Japan in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Russia and the Middle East in the 2000s, and of course, now to China, with an acceleration that began in 2008.

Indeed, fashion and luxury would not be as relevant as they are today in the economy of the most advanced countries, without Italy. But a game of Risiko is in the air this year. Risiko is the Italian version of Risk, the board game of diplomacy, conflict and conquest (as highlighted by Wikipedia), and it is in Italy that is the biggest and most strategic part of the game that is being played today.



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