Five Brands to Watch: Milan Retail

Italy’s creative capital continues to inspire in a way unlike any other city. From young designers and retailers championing their Italian roots and pushing sustainability as a selling point, to a new wave of hospitality connecting customers with the local community, Milan’s creative energy has elevated, changing the ways in which the city connects with the rest of the world.

Growing online visibility has meant that brands have been able to showcase their creativity and here, we pick out our top five emerging brands to watch, as they embrace sustainability and inclusivity. WSGN subscribers can explore the city’s creative gems further, using our Virtual Milan City Guide.


Fantabody is a sustainable bodysuit brand, founded by photographer Carolina Amoretti, that blends fashion with a sporty aesthetic. A community of Fantagirls spreads positive messages on female empowerment, diversity and sustainability. The pandemic allowed the brand to strengthen community values and its core collection of bodysuits made with recycled Lycra continue to be bestsellers.


Gilberto Calzolari

Winner of the Green Carpet Award 2018, Gilberto Calzolari launched his brand in 2015 after years of working for luxury labels such as Miu Miu, Armani and Valentino. Sophisticated and glamorous, this is new luxury, with an eye on 100% ethical fashion, from environmentally friendly materials to the treatment of workers and ensuring zero impact from its processes.


Tubici is big on luxury, but only in small doses. Founded in 2019, its handbags are tiny enough to wear as neck accessories, featuring precious leathers and metals. It aims to be as sustainable as possible in its selection of materials, which are often sourced from waste from the food industry or via upcycling thanks to collabs with Italian leather suppliers.

Cabinet Milano

Founded in 2018, Cabinet Milano is a new kind of made-to-order brand that proposes a limited collection of essential unisex jackets, bottoms, vests and shirts that use precious fabrics leftover from large-scale luxury productions in Italy. The result is a timeless collection with quality materials, designed and made in Milan.

Act N°1

Founded in Milan by two designers, Luca Lin (born in Italy with Chinese parents) and Galib Gassanoff (from Azerbaijan), Act N°1 establishes the bonds between old and new, art and streetwear, with the inevitable mix of the personal backgrounds of its creators. The brand uses its platforms to give a voice to the lesser-heard communities, advocating for the elimination of stereotypes. Bestsellers are its iconic Hybrids.


by Diana Lee

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