A History of Successes

an outstanding Italian firm

Mercatores was founded more than seventy years ago to create uniforms for domestic staff in private homes and hotel staff, and professional clothing for caterers.

At Mercatores we have transformed the production of work garments into a true sartorial business: the creation of professional clothing. A true art form, and – as such – in constant pursuit of beauty.

Our love for quality and good taste means our brand excels in the business both in Italy and abroad. We have become a benchmark for the most prestigious Italian and foreign private homes, as well as luxury bars, hotels and restaurants. Various events have marked our success:

1943 Mercatores opened on 6 May in Milan, in Via Manzoni, at a time when World War II air raids were still a normal occurrence. With the fortuitous idea of creating uniforms for service staff that were not just high quality, but also attractive, the firm began producing trousers and jackets for waiters, garments and aprons for waitresses, table service staff, kitchen staff and cleaning staff, and clothes for childminders.

1950 After just seven years on the market, the Mercatores brand achieved international fame, and became established in the world of art and entertainment. Ingrid Bergman bought uniforms for her domestic staff while she was in Milan to play “Giovanna d’Arco” at the La Scala Theatre. The famous opera singer Maria Callas came to Mercatores for uniforms for her domestic workers.

1960 The entirely Italian-made quality of Mercatores also became successful in the hotel business, where the now famous Milanese firm supplied excellent clothes to important establishments such as the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Locanda Cipriani in Torcello and the Hotel Splendid in Lugano.

1970 The first spring-summer collection was launched, with dresses for maids with small floral patterns combined with elegantly shaped aprons with matching patterns and colours. The quality of our hand-crafted products attracted customers from all over Europe: the French aristocracy, the ruling families of Belgium and Liechtenstein, and the great Greek shipowners. Moreover, Mercatores decided to reach out to a new market. We began producing uniforms for the Italian Red Cross, and medical gowns and nurse’s jackets for private practices and clinics, with customized colours and logos.

1980 The elegance of Mercatores uniforms also entered the homes of Italian and foreign politicians, notably including German Chancellor Kohl.

Showroom - via Turati 3

1990 From politicians to designers: Armani, Versace, Krizia, Ferré, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and many others… Can there be any better acknowledgement than one from people who know all about fashion? The quality and beauty of Mercatores uniforms was not only on display in their homes, but also in their businesses: Armani chose Mercatores to dress the staff at his restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Boston and Beverly Hills, Dolce & Gabbana for their restaurant in Milan, and Prada for events and exhibitions in New York.

2000 On the wave of the multitude of events that accompanied the various fashion days, several Italian and foreign catering companies turned to Mercatores for their uniforms. The first Russian and Arab customers appeared in Milan and had customized clothes made for them.

2010 The firm moved from its original site at 38 Via Manzoni to its new location at 3 Via Turati. A new home, but with the same old spirit…

Our history