Submarine Entertainment is launching sales at Berlin’s European Film Market on high-profile doc “Milano — The Inside Story of Italian Fashion,”  directed by John Maggio (“The Perfect Weapon”).

Billed as the definitive story of the explosion of Italian fashion in the 1970s and 80s, as told by the insiders, the star-studded doc extensively features Giorgio Armani and delves into his life story, but also reveals unknown details about the Gucci and Versace fashion houses. “Milano” also features appearances and commentary by former Gucci creative director Tom Ford, Gianni Versace’s brother Santo Versace and Hollywood stars including Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson and Frances McDormand, all of whom have close ties to the Italian fashion milieu. Watch clip.

“Every once in a while something comes along that’s a little unexpected, in that I often feel that a film about a topic, a broader topic, doesn’t always resonate with me,” Submarine’s Josh Braun told Variety. But “Milano,” “really grabbed me in a way I didn’t expect,” he added. “It felt very comprehensive and all encompassing: you got the sense of the individual character stories within the broad scope.”

Besides launching the film from the EFM, Submarine will also be arranging private screenings in New York and Los Angeles concurrently with the doc’s Berlin launch.

“Milano” is co-written and produced by U.S. journalist Alan Friedman, a former Milan correspondent for the Financial Times. The executive producer is Italian director-producer Giuseppe Pedersoli, whose doc “The Truth About La Dolce Vita” premiered at Venice.

“We wanted to make an unabashedly commercial film, but also the first-ever independent film about Italian fashion telling the secrets about the beginning of Armani and Versace, talking about their rivalries, telling the story about the death of Armani’s partner during the AIDS crisis, and having it told from the lips of the protagonists who lived it,” said Friedman.

“This is the film that tells you how Giorgio Armani really started his multi-billion dollar empire,” Friedman added. “The film where, for the first time, Santo Versace, Gianni Versace’s brother, reveals what it was like for him and Donatella on the day that Gianni Versace was murdered in Miami.”

Juicy revelations include the fact that Tom Ford, Santo Versace and by Domenico De Sole, the former CEO of Gucci, now CEO of Tom Ford, in 2004 had plans for him and De Sole to buy into Versace in partnership with the Versace family and take over the management of Versace. “And Donatella Versace, at the closing, at the lawyer’s office, at the last minute, threatened to commit suicide if she was not going to continue as creative director, at which point Tom Ford got up and walked out,” Friedman said.

The film also contains some juicy bits inside the house of Gucci, including from Ford about how Maurizio Gucci did cocaine, was a spendthrift, drove everybody crazy, didn’t know what he was doing, and how he took the company to near bankruptcy.

“Milano” is produced by Friedman’s Beaver Lake Pictures shingle in tandem with prominent Italian outfit Eagle Pictures and Enzo Ricci’s Milan-based 3 Mary’s Entertainment, in association with Maggio’s New York-based Ark Media production company.