Mar 13, 2019 | By Alexei Cowan
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Feb 19, 2019
It’s been a relatively slow season for Milan store openings, with the promise of new flagships still firmly in development (the city’s own Westfield shopping mall, a Uniqlo flagship and a new Moncler outpost to name a few).
However – just as with the show schedule itself – there’s still plenty of ‘newness’ to get excited by. Ultimately, it’s the luxury brands that continue to be drawn to Milan’s heritage as a fashion capital, particularly to the heralded Fashion Quad – the golden quarter of upmarket retail.
As ever, Milan acts as a good point of discovery for Italian brands, with the city acting as a kind of gateway into Italian design. Aspesi and Coccinelle have opened new flagships this season, trialling updated concepts and aesthetics in their homeland ahead of international expansion.
Of note – this season also saw the controversial opening of Italy’s first Starbucks outpost in Milan – a disruptor to traditional Italian coffee culture (but a beautiful one, at that).
In town for Milan Fashion Week? If you find yourself in-between shows this season – or you’re trying to dodge the catwalks circus– take a look at some of the best retail offerings the city has to offer.
Viale Piave 42, 20129 Milan | Tel: +39 02 584111 | www.bally.com
This season has seen a total (and beautiful) redesign of the Bally showroom in Milan’s Porta Venezia district. Overseen by Italian practice Storagemilano, design references are made to the building’s history as both a theatre and cinema in the 20th century. Amphitheatre-inspired display shelving and luxe finishings of velvet, brass and marble all feature in the elegant space. The store entrance is designed as a gallery space with a regularly rotating display of stock, a kind of theatre in itself for Bally product.
Via San Pietro All’Orto 24, 20121 Milan | www.aspesi.com
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Italian men’s and womenswear brand Aspesi has opened a brand new flagship in the heart of Milan’s Fashion Quad. The opening signals a new concept and aesthetic for the store, following a period of reorganisation. A former bank, the space has been designed by Dordoni Architetti, creating space and flexibility for the brand to host events. Art is also set to be a key method of personalising the store experience. For its opening, work by artist Lorenzo Vitturi is on display in the spacious entrance.
Galleria del Corso 4, 20122 Milan | Tel: +39 02 7601 5176 | www.excelsiormilano.com
Designer multi-brand boutique Excelsior has undergone an extensive refit, led by architecture practice Dimorestudio. The interior updates are designed to build naturally on the 2011 design, with the original structure left unaltered to provide contrast with the new finishings. The new outfit feels industrial, with neon strip lighting and clothing rails held up with scaffolding. Meanwhile, a bleacher-inspired seating area gives the space a sporty vibe. A range of streetwear and luxury brands are available in store from STUSSY, to Fendi and Raf Simons.
Via Ugo Bassi 22, 20159 Milan | Tel: +39 02 9194 9633 | www.runawaymilano.it
Runaway, a brand new sportswear retailer, has opened in Milan’s trendy Isola district. Part-retail space, part-community hub, this store offers many additional features for running enthusiasts. A breakfast bar with a large common table acts as a co-working space, with the store also hosting yoga courses downstairs, workshops and events dedicated to nutrition. Runaway instructors also host weekly running tours around the city.
Italian coffee culture may have inspired the premise of Starbucks, but the recent Starbucks Reserve opening in Milan marks the coffee chain’s Italian market entry. Located inside the historic Poste building close to the city’s cathedral, the new Reserve outpost is designed to elevate the Starbucks experience. Plenty of beautiful design features are used to lure in the Milanese coffee drinker, from Tuscan marble and copper finishings, to a 500lb in-house coffee roaster and an AR-configured wall.
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