The “big four of fashion” refers to cities that are usually leaders in innovative designs and clothing. The term fashion capital is nowadays used for the cities that hold fashion weeks. 

What city is the capital of fashion? There are a number to choose from.

Paris, New York, London, and Milan are the most recognizable fashion capitals of the world, but sometimes Tokyo is also added to that list. 

This is what put them on the map as the fashion capitals of the world. 


What is the fashion capital of Europe?

It has to be Paris.

Fashion week in Paris is one of the most anticipated and attended compared to fashion weeks held in other cities. It hosts over 100 designers and designer brands every year, and not all of them are even based in Paris. 

Paris has been considered the style and fashion capital of the world since the 16th century, and it has been influential in the fashion world ever since. 

The fashion industry is one of the most grossing industries in France and therefore, an integral part of its economy. 

There are many reasons why Paris became the fashion capital. One of them is setting fashion trends. Namely, Haute Couture and the beginning of fashion publications are only the tips of the iceberg of what France gave to the world of fashion.  

Moreover, notable French designers became household names in Paris and changed fashion forever. Two of them are Coco Chanel and Saint Lauren. 

Read the article about beloved French designer Coco Chanel and her contribution to the world of fashion in this post

New York 

What city is the fashion capital of the US? The trendsetters definitely reside in NY.

Paris is not the only trendsetting city in the world. Designers based in New York challenged Parisian couture by introducing sportswear in the high fashion world back in the 1940s and 1950s. 

New York became synonymous with a luxurious lifestyle, hustle culture, and big brands.

Fashion is an integral part of life for people living in New York. 

This is also the city that was first to host the fashion week, and as such, made history. The event was supposed to shed some light on American designers, but no one could have predicted what would happen next. 

They made history by kick-starting the largest and the most important event in the industry that occurs each year. 


What Italian city is considered the fashion capital? Look no further than Milan. 

Milan is also recognized as one of the big four in the fashion world. It might not have such a long history as cities like Paris, but the contribution of designers in the 20th century is what made this city a fashion capital. 

What’s more, Milan is the capital that features so-called Milan houses, luxurious boutiques, and workshops. There you can find fashionable garments and jewellery made by some of Italy’s finest designers. 

Of course, Milan is also the host of its own fashion week, one of the most important events for designers to showcase their work and make new trends. 


London is another important city in the fashion world. The language barrier (or lack of it) plays a significant role in establishing cities such as New York and London as the global capitals in fashion.

Moreover, London is populated with people from all walks of life, and this multicultural aspect is what made designers who are based in London stand out. 

This characteristic and the recognizable products, along with the sense of style, allows London to compete with the rest of the big fashion capitals. It is what put this city in the 21st century on the map of the fashion capitals. 

London also hosts fashion week and has brands featuring some of the most influential designers of the century. 

Should Other Cities Join in?

Historically, other cities were also considered fashion capitals of the world. Some of them are Florence, Venice, and Rome. 

Cities such as Delhi are also on the list among the influential fashion capitals. Still, their fashion week designs don’t get as much media coverage and hype as the capitals mentioned above. 

The cities that host and are notable for being the fashion capitals are located in the west. Namely, Tokyo has only recently been added to the list of fashion capitals as one of the big five in the world.

This might shed light on the bias towards the westernized fashion designers that dominated the fashion industry for a long time and Eurocentric beauty standards pushed by the modelling industry. 

Whilst we’re starting to see inclusivity, there is still a long way to go for the fashion industry. 

Final Word

Hosting fashion week is not exclusive to the big four. Nevertheless, we only seem to talk about them as they feature the most notable designers, and the cities are exiting and bigger than life. 

There is also a visible pattern of cities with shops and space for those who live luxuriously and can afford designer items. 

Moreover, these cities have a special feeling to them, an identity, and a culture that we recognize as exclusively their own. That is also reflected in their clothing and designs. 

About me

Combining my love for fashion and writing, I completed a masters in journalism and public relations all whilst working in the fashion industry.


I could go on and on about why I would make the perfect copywriter for you, but that would take months, years even.


If you’re ready to take over your industry, just hit that pink button below.