The turnover of Italian fashion industry rose 2.8 per cent in 2018. Including textiles, leather and shoes, sales were up 2.3 per cent year on year. Exports continue to gain in importance for the sector. Exports accounted for over 75 per cent of sales. Apparel is the most important segment, accounting for 40.5 per cent of total revenues, followed by leather wear (20.9 per cent) and eyewear (16.2 per cent). The fastest growing segment is jewelry, with an annual average growth rate of 13.3 per cent. Italy’s fashion industry has grown by three per cent on an average every year in the last decade. Its annual revenues account for around four per cent of Italy’s gross domestic output. But the fashion industry’s revenues increased by just 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, held back by trade tensions between the United States and China.
Fifteen out of the 43 European fashion giants are Italian. Luxottica and Prada stand out in particular, ranking seventh and fourteenth respectively in European rankings by total sales. The distance between the top 15 and the rest of the pack is narrowing, leading to a roughly equal distribution between leaders and followers in terms of net profits.