Milan shopping, the VIP experience
The best spots for the ultimate boutique shopping experience in Milanby Alessia Sara Domanico
When it comes to a fashion capital like Milan, we can say with the utmost conviction that you have not shopped, until you have shopped here. This issue we put the spotlight on boutiques that have pushed the envelope, creating unique experiences and stocking everything from must-have brands to hard-to-find goodies from around the world. So read on and we’ll fill you in on where to go.
10 Corso Como is one of the hottest modern concept boutiques on the planet, owned by art, fashion and design enthusiast, Carla Sozzani (sister to Vogue Italy’s longtime Editor-in-Chief). This space forever changed the face of shopping by impressively combining the elements of a boutique, modern art gallery, bookshop, café and restaurant, all within the limits of a chic Milanese courtyard. Celebrities, stylists, designers and fashionistas flock here when in town and for good reason. 10 Corso Como continues to reinvent itself with a roster of emerging designers, artists and authors to shop. Find Eddie Borgo’s unique costume jewellery pieces for that perfect conversation piece, outfits from brands like Stella McCartney and Azzedine Alaïa for your trip and a hot new design book or piece of art to bring home.
In a city filled with the hottest brands and restaurants, Excelsior Milano is your one-stop shop. This former cinema, turned cutting-edge, 7-storey fashion, beauty and gourmet emporium, aims to bring the best under one roof, offering customized services like personal shoppers and hotel delivery. Start your visit on the ground floor, which boasts its own Tiffany & Co. boutique, Ladurée sweet shop, beauty bar, fragrances section and sunglass shop. Cool LED screens tell you which brands are ‘playing’ on the next floors where you’ll find a handpicked selection of stylish clothing and accessories. For the gents, pick up a classic panama hat from historic Italian hat maker Borsalino, a new pair of denim jeans from Ralph Lauren and wingtip shoes from Church’s. Ladies, feed your fashion craving on Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik and Giuseppe Zanotti Design shoes, and threads from hot new designers such as Vanessa Bruno, Alice + Olivia and Haider Ackerman.
Take the elevator down to the basement level where you’ll find Eat’s, a one-of-a-kind gourmet market that packs the most exceptional in Italian gastronomy. Their wide selection of high-quality olive oils, pastas, spices, cheeses, coffees, biscuits and much more make the perfect gift to bring back home. With a bistro, take-out and restaurant, we have easily spent several hours in Excelsior without even realizing it!
“Here, try this one, it’s got hashish in it, can you smell it?” the perfume connoisseur at Mazzolari asks me. He’s just sprayed my wrist with one of the niche fragrances they carry from a brand called Nasomatto (crazy nose), one of over a hundred sought-out brands they carry in this spacious wonderland just off of Piazza San Babila. Divided over three levels, Mazzolari is an institution among the local elite. Its various departments are dedicated to the realms of fragrance, beauty, hair care, self-grooming and home accessory products from well-known names like Clive Christian (the world’s most expensive perfume), Guerlain, Chanel and Diptyque.
Mazzolari’s special rapport with clients sets it apart from the pack. They go out of their way to order products specifically requested by clients, such as Mason Pearson hairbrushes from England and specialised clothing detergents from The Laundress in New York. Make an afternoon of it and book a session at their wellness centre, they even have a certified cosmetic surgeon available for non-invasive procedures. Everything you need to feel your very best in the fashion capital!
Feed your nostalgia for vintage fashion at Chichi Meroni’s cult store L’Arabesque. “Vintage is an expression of elegance,” Meroni tells us, “I’ve dedicated my life to searching for pieces at private collections and markets.” This warm and inviting boutique displays the fruits of her efforts with antique jewellery, vintage from the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès and Dior as well as new retro-inspired clothing and accessories, books and perfumes. Order your 1940s-style made-to-measure outfit designed by their tailors. Once finished, L’Arabesque will ship it to your home.
Offering a curated selection of essential Italian luxury, Amaranto is an intimate boutique housed within the elegant Carlton Hotel Baglioni. Here you will only find items of the highest quality by exclusive Italian designers and young, emerging talents. If a last-minute engagement pops up on your schedule, come here to find the perfect cocktail dress, evening clutch and pumps. If you are a guest staying in the hotel, Amaranto can even arrange to have pieces brought up for you to browse through and try on in the comfort of your suite.
Follow these links for more shopping highlights and city information for Milan, Rome, Florence and Venice.
10 Corso Como
Corso Como, 10, Milan. Tel. +39 02 2900 2674
Galleria del Corso, 4, Milan. Tel. +39 02 7630 7301
Largo Augusto,10, Milan
Tel. +39 02 7801 4825
Corso Monforte, 2/4, Milan. Tel. 08 7639 0707
Carlton Hotel Baglioni Milano
Via Senato, 7, Milan. Tel. +39 02 770 777 399