A Look Back at Milan's Best 1970s Street Style 

MONDADORI PORTFOLIO/Alberto Roveri

Milan refined 70s street style and solidified it as an iconic era in fashion, one we still reference for inspiration today.

Milan has always been an epicenter of fashion innovation. In the 1970s, the western world was largely in full bohemian swing, but in Italy, thanks to the number of longstanding and highly respected fashion labels that adorn the Milanese especially, an air of refinement swept over the psychedelic and rock-and-roll trends. Black materials and leather, faux and real, became central choices for major and minor designers at the time and the business attire-eqsue looks of the time (namely the emphasis on menswear, suits, and collars) have since become synonymous with Italian élan. 

The 1970s was also a golden decade for the cantautori, or Italian singer-songwriters. Much of this music, like the style at the time, defied the status quo. Women began rejecting the donna oggetto ideal, one that objectifies females, and leaned into feminism. This liberation is reflected in an embrace of denim, mini skirts, and menswear

Milan played a powerful role in how much '70s style is valued today (and will be for decades to come). As one of the top and most established fashion capitals of the world, Milan gave us a refined 70s style that has since become both classic and retro, simultaneously.

Here, we take a look at the streets of one of the most iconic fashion capitals during the '70s.

The Leather Jacket


Left: Italian singer Giovanni (Gianni) Nazzaro wearing a sweater and a wadded leather jacket in Milan, 1970. Right: Italian actor Massimo Dapporto wearing a leather jacket in Milan, 1972.  Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor

The Plaid Pant and Denim Set


A model walking with two photographers in Milan's Brera distric, 1972.  Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor

Statement Eyewear


Left: Robert Wagner and Tina Sinatra, wearing oversized sunglasses, in 1970. Right: Italian singer Nilla Pizzi, holding her iconic oversized sunglasses, in 1974. Mirrorpix / Contributor; Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor

The Boho Skirt


Left: Italian actress Scilla Gabel wears a midi skirt and boots in the early 1970s. Right: Model wears Lisa Corti bohemian ensemble while walking on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele in 1974. Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor; David Lees / Contributor

The Mini Skirt, Hot Short, and Crop Top


Left: Two girls, one in a maxi skirt the other in a mini, in Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, 1974. Right: Models walking in Corso Vittorio Emanuele wearing Elio Fiorucci hot shorts and crop top. Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor

The Sweater Vest


Italian singers and actresses Daniela (left) and Loretta Goggi wearing platform heels, wide-leg bottoms, and sweater vests over collared tops. 
Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor

The Wide-Brim Jacket


Left: Italian public relations responsible Giorgio Repossi in Milan, 1973. Right: Italian songwriter, singer, actor and guitarist Giorgio Gaber in Milan, 1970s. Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor