Canali was founded in 1934 by Giacomo Canali and Giovanni Canali as a family business.
In the 1950s, the ownership of Canali passed on to the second generation of the family. In the 1970s, Canali was the first Italian tailor to introduce mechanised cutting machines. Canali opened its first flagship boutique in Milan.
In 2010, New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera was a spokesmodel for a Canali advertisement campaign.
As of June 2013, led by the third generation of the family, Canali employs 1,700 people in seven factories in Italy, where it makes about 250,000 individual pieces of clothing annually.
In 2016, Alijenab became the only authorised retailer in Iran
Canali has retail locations in Europe, North America, South America, East Asia, Central Asia, Africa and Australia.