From Gucci to Salvatore Ferragamo all the way to Roberto Cavalli: the garment and fashion brands that were born on the territory and later affirmed themselves world wide through export represent the first business card of Tuscany’s fashion system, but the story of this region’s primacy in this artisan and industrial sector is also told by the statistics.

Based on the elaboration by Milan’s Chamber of Commerce on the data provided by Eurostat in 2013, Tuscany is Europe’s top region by number of businesses in the garment and textile sectors, with more than 11,000 active enterprises in the sectors; specifically, 6,800 in the garment and 4,300 to the textile sectors.  The ranking of the Old Continent’s top ten areas in fashion includes six Italian regions (alongside Tuscany, we also find Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Puglia): after Lombardy, which ranks second with 10,800 businesses, the Milan Chamber of Commerce’s statistics indicate the Portugese Norte, the Attica, and the Ile de France.  Further down, with less than 5,000 companies, Catalonia and the Lodz region in Poland.  Considering the garment and textile sectors as separate, Tuscany places fourth in the first category – spearheaded by the Norte, and places second, behind Lombardy, in the textile category.  At the national level, fashion remains an Italian specialty, to which more than 55,000 companies are dedicated, compared to the 22,000 in France, the 18,000 in Poland, and the 16,000 in Spain.

Based on an analysis conducted in 2011 by Confindustria Toscana, there are six districts in the region that can be traced to the fashion system that constitutes a driving force of the Tuscan economy, through the garment-textile sector as well as that of the leather goods and footwear sectors.  In first place, Empoli’s garment-textile district, which comprises approximately 2,000 businesses, most of which are very small and artisanal in nature.  Secondly, the large Santa Croce sull’Arno center, which develops in the provinces of Florence and Pisa, comprising 8,000 companies who specialize mainly in leather goods and footwear, constituting an area of excellence in Italy and Europe for high-end leather.   Prato is another important district, with nearly 5,000 business with a high propensity for export, who specialize in yarns and wool fabrics.  The garment and textile sector is then completed by the Casertino-Val Tiberina district in the Arezzo province, characterized by small and medium enterprises who serve as suppliers to the large international groups, as well as SME’s who are more geared towards research and innovation.  Finally, the Tuscan fashion sytem is completed by the Valdinievole footwear district, which counts nearly 500 businesses, and the more than 4,000 companies of the Valdarno Superiore leather and footwear district – both of which collaborate with the sector’s international labels.