The concept of luxury shopping, Milano.
Tucked behind the couture brand pillars of fashion’s golden rectangle, lies Brera, one of my favourite browsing areas in Milan. This labyrinth of cobbled streets is home to an eclectic mix of art galleries, design stores, independent labels and on its outskirts, fashion’s first concept destination, 10 Corso Como.
Turning onto the busy pedestrian zone of Corso Como, the store can be found sheltered behind giant wooden doors that open to a zen-like courtyard. An immediate sense of calm and a familiar flutter of excitement mounts as I enter the beautifully curated ‘living magazine’ that first opened its doors in 1990.
The space was founded by Carla Sozzani, former fashion editor and publisher with a vision to ‘conceive a visual narrative’. A narrative that provided an opportunity for fashion, art, music and design to be curated into individual magazine-style edits by the visitor.
With her celebrated background at Elle and Vogue Italia, this intention was achieved with unwavering focus in a district that was far away from the fashion centre, in a converted industrial workshop and surrounded by small local businesses rather than big names in the world of Haute Couture.
The concept itself began with a passion for collecting photography and realised in the opening of Galleria Carla Sozzani. It grew organically from there, with branding created by Kris Ruhs, the fashion store launched a year later, then bookshop, cafe courtyard, restaurant and boutique hotel, 3 Rooms.
Now in its 26th year, with branches in Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing, the brand offers a revolving contemporary edit of artists, authors and designers. More like an exhibition space than a store, it introduces the new, the challenging, the bright and the beautifully fragranced and certainly does have every visitor creating their own ‘lifestyle editorial experience’.
My experience always starts on the rooftop, where an outdoor installation of potted mayhem awaits. It’s crazy, it’s beautiful and it’s out with the camera. I then work my way through the gallery, the bookshop and down to the fashion floor, curating like the possessed at every step. I then head over to the cafe for a calming ginger sorbetto and to perform a quick mental tally on the potential damage. As always, I've virtually spent a millionty euro on art, fashion and designer gems that will certainly improve my style of life. Perhaps I’ll think about the concept of that minimalist Alaia dress and giant Margiela cuff over a glass of prosecco and delicious blanched almonds that have miraculously appeared. Restored and resolute, I’m heading back in to complete my edit with a stylish Corso Como shopping bag.