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Black & Gold: why these two colors matter so much in Milan

Last updated on December 15, 2020

Black & gold are the two colors that are universally cosidered as synonims of luxury and elegance. This is probably the reason why these two colors have been chosen to appear on the signs above each and every store in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in the heart of Milan.

The Galleria is one of the oldest shopping mall in the world. Its construction dates back to 1865 when the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II officially laid the foundation stone and to the King is dedicated as stated above the main entrance on the Duomo side.

It soon became the landamark of the city and paved the way for the city of Milan to become the fashion capital of the world.

The stores inside the Galleria were the boutiques where the wealthy ladies of Milan went to buy their clothes and accessories.


Right next to these stores there were the bars and restaurants with their smoking lounges where men and women would sit to have a morning coffee or an aperitivo (pre-dinner cocktail). Bars like the Camparino or the restaurant Savini have significantly contributed to the fame of the Milanese hospitality.

To further enhance the sophisticated atmosphere within the Galleria a decision was made: all of the stores, no matter if they were food oulets or clothing retailers, must have used the colors black & gold for their sign.

This tradition went through the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Nowadays all of the stores must use black & gold regardless of the company’s branding strategy. If a company wants to be there it is mandatory to comply with these three centuries old rule.

This is what companies like Prada, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Swarovski did in order to be there. They have changed their logos to black & gold nuances to respect this Milanese tradition.


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