We all know Milan is the epicenter of fashion. The most iconic shops and designers are situated there and just walking through the streets, or sitting at a cafe “people watching”, you will be left in no doubt whatsoever that you are amongst the style elite.
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is of course where most people head to shop when they visit Milan and rightly so - not only is it the most beautiful shopping centre in the world (in my opinion!), it also houses the best Designers. But if you only go here, you are missing out on so much and, again in my opinion, the true essence of Milanese style and what really makes them tick.
I will be writing about the different “street styles” of the different Italian cities in a later article, but there is a strong sense of colour, fun and irreverence about Milanese style.
So, here are a few of my favourite boutiques that are not loudly shouted about -
Wait and See
Situated in the 5 Vie neighbourhood, in an 18th century former convent, Wait and See is a vibrant, exciting and eclectic mix of styles. Founder, Uberta Zambeletti, has created a store which is more a lifestyle concept, where you can browse at your leisure, whilst sipping a cup of coffee.
They stock brands from all over the world, but the main thing you will notice about the store is colour - lots and lots of colour! In Uberta’s words “colour of joy! Colour is celebration!”. I defy anyone not to love this place and come away from it, maybe laden down by bags, but uplifted by joy!?
Set just outside the Quadrilatero della Moda on Via Alessandro Tadino, 15, is Bergnach - a homage to the skirt. Here you will find skirts of all shapes and sizes, lengths and designs. But also “non solo gonne” - there are the most wonderful silk jackets, tops and coats to complete the look. Well worth a visit!
In the heart of the Brera district on Via Castelfidardo 2 is Goods Milano. The mother and daughter team who own it provide a wonderful mix of clothes and accessories, again colour is of the essence. You will find long flowing, silky kimonos, trousers, maxi dresses and skirts, all in wonderful prints and colourways. Shoes, bags, scarves and jewelry, which are out of the ordinary.
Must Have Kilometro 0
Must Have is situated on Viale Montenero 60. Founded by two lifelong friends and fashion experts, Graziella Contin Mancini and Vania Sommariva, have created a trendy store that is very unusual! Here you can find anything from the season’s “must haves” to timeless pieces with a modern twist - all set out amongst lemons, apples and peppers!! The layout of the shop pays tribute to the agricultural sector. The garments are all sewn and packaged in small artisan workshops in true Italian style.
On Via Brera 8, you will find Massimo Alba. Head here for the perfect knitwear and linen jackets - and a bit of old fashioned customer service!
Found on Via Guglielmo Pepe, 16, this amazing vintage store is filled with goodies! From 40’s and 50’s day dresses, to floaty, ruffled Edwardian dresses, it is an vintage lover’s dream. You can also rent the outfits too!
Have you ever wondered where those stylish Milanese get rid of their unwanted seasons? Well now you know (but don’t tell anyone else!!).
“BIVIO Milano has three stores in two vibrant and lively neighborhoods in central Milan: Porta Ticinese and Porta Venezia.
Each store contains thousands of unique pieces, selected one at a time, with new items arriving daily. The inventory in the shops changes constantly, naturally reflecting the character of the neighborhood and the individual clients who come in to sell.
For a one-of-a-kind second-hand shopping experience, we suggest a trip to all three BIVIOs!”