Unveiling Milan's Fashion Legacy

One can't help but marvel at the artistic brilliance beneath the intricate ceiling of the Salle delle Asse in the majestic Castello Sforza. Here, Leonardo da Vinci's masterful strokes immortalize the intertwining foliage of eighteen mulberry trees, a tribute to Ludovico Il Moro's passion for silk cultivation. It's a scene that speaks volumes about Milan's enduring legacy in the world of fashion.

To truly appreciate the significance of this masterpiece, we must delve deeper into Milan's storied past. Ludovico's fervent interest in mulberry bushes and silk, as expressed in his correspondence with Blanchino de Palude in April 1497, sheds light on the city's longstanding commitment to textile craftsmanship. His vision for nurturing Milan's silk industry laid the groundwork for centuries of innovation and excellence.

Yet, even before Ludovico's reign, his brother had already left an indelible mark on Milan's textile trade. On September 15th, 1470, Galeazzo Maria Sforza issued a groundbreaking decree that would forever alter the region's economic landscape. Mandating the planting of mulberry trees to sustain silkworms, this edict laid the foundation for Milan's flourishing silk industry. It's a testament to the foresight and ambition of Milan's rulers, who recognized the potential of silk production long before it became synonymous with luxury and opulence.

The Renaissance, with its emphasis on craftsmanship and innovation, propelled Milan to the forefront of global fashion. The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York acknowledges this pivotal role of dukes during the renaissance period, highlighting how duchy states like Milan protected the livelihoods of artisans, ensuring the prosperity of the textile industry.

Today, Milan's influence in the world of fashion remains unparalleled. The political will exhibited by the dukes of Milan to protect the silk trade continues to reverberate through the ages, shaping the city's identity as a beacon of style and sophistication. From haute couture to street fashion, Milan's legacy endures, a testament to centuries of artistry and ingenuity.

Did you know where in the historic city of Milan can one find rows of mulberry trees planted intentionally to evoke Sforza's fashion legacy? Experience Milan through this and many other contextual narratives through our walking tour. 

Back to blog

Mind Broadening Tour Experiences

Discover the rich history and culture of Milan with our contextual walking tour experiences. Created by our impassioned founder, each tour is designed to take you on a journey through the city's past and present, connecting you to each location on a deeper level and allowing you to see the city with relevant modern perspectives. Whether you're a history buff, culture enthusiast, or simply curious about Milan, our contextual tour experience is the perfect way to experience this vibrant and dynamic city.