Open: daily 10am-12.30pm & 3-7pm, except Wed & Sat, 10am-7pm.
This warehouse-like outlet stocks every designer you can imagine - yes, including American designers.
The first room (as you enter) on the ground floor is where you'll find the high-end designer merchandise.
And this is where you'll find literally hysterical women (not kidding) busily grabbing away at the heavily discounted Marni (Giorgio Armani), Prada etc outfits at this legendary store - as if they were free!
During their sale, you may want to camp outside the boutique overnight as prices here are known to be slashed further by as much as 70% over and above the original heavily discounted prices! I'm serious.
For example, a Pucci blouse costs EUR 1,000. Here at Il Salvagente, I bought a Pucci blouse for approx EUR 100! (Yes, I almost fainted... with excitement). The rest of the store is organized by pants, blouses, dresses, etc. The second floor is where you can find men's stuffs. Pack your boyfriend/ hubby off to the second floor (so that he won't give you one of his 'killer stares' at the number of outfits you'll be buying!). I recently bought a Prada skirt here for EUR 129 (the original was going for close to EUR 1,000). By the time you (the tourist) find out about this amazing store, you'll be choosing from all the left-overs. The Milanese women would have grabbed the best of the best on the first day of Sale!
My new resolution? To work faster than the Milanese women so that I can grab some good buys. ;-)) CASH or AMEX cards are accepted here only (sorry, Visa and Mastercard not accepted). Duh.
What to buy: If you happen to be there a couple of weeks before their Annual Sale (January + July), you may wish to be extra-nice to the sales assistants and politely ask them to offer you some discount. Yes, they DO offer regular customers a pre-sale discount of 30% all the time and it really is up to you to ask.
I’ve done that successfully at stores like Prada, Miu Miu & Roberto Cavalli.
Please remember this one IMPORTANT thing before you ask for the all-important discount: "When in Milano, do as the Milanese do – dress up to go shopping". I mean it - everyone here (men and women) ooze with charisma and fabulous fashion sense. You won't find them wearing sneakers/ track shoes or shorts to go shopping. No, the Milanese are definitely not snooty people. They are just so well brought up to look, act and dress in a refine way, ya know?
The women here NEVER leave home without make-up.
What to pay: Don't ask. It's soooo CHEAP... your boyfriend/ husband will definitely bring you on a world tour (with the savings/ money that you didn't spent)! ;-))
Very, very impressive store - including the huge Armani Casa floor. You can find Armani clothes, Armani perfumes, Armani accessories, Armani furnitures and home decor. There are also books, flowers and of course his famous, NOBU Japanese restaurant.
The huge Sony store downstairs is the LARGEST Sony store in the world... and yes, a must-see. I'd wanted to take pics of this whole place (i.e. Armani) but decided against it as it just wasn't a 'cool' thing to do. I'll surely horrify everyone here in Milan!
An absolute must-see/ must-visit boutique located just opposite PRADA Sport on Via Sant'Andrea. MARNI is the cheaper range of clothes designed by the esteemed Giorgio Armani. (Bow down)
What to buy: Everything ARMANI... from clothes to bedspread to shoes! You're definitely in Armani heaven.
What to pay: Don't ask. Just remember to not leave home without your AMEX or Visa card....
At TRUSSARDI's Marino Alla Scala, you can shop for designer leather goods (by the House of Trussardi, of course) as well as sip on a cappuccino or Bavarois...or order some cool drinks at the bar whilst watching fashion shows or music videos on the oversized video screens.
This was where I was introduced to the Italian pop scene (like Paolo Meneguzzi, Zero Absoluto, Alexia etc).
If you're not into the Italian pop scene, no worries. Head on upstairs where you'll be spoilt for choices with the different international cuisines offered at the restaurant. The icing on the cake? The Trussardi Multistore overlooks beautiful Piazza Scala. What more can a tourist ask for? Yes, only in Milan will you get pampered for choices.
What to buy: Everything TRUSSARDI.
Even if you don't wish to splurge on a Trussardi outfit or leather goods, you can still come here to window-shop! The Trussadi boutique (like Spazio Armani) is known as a multistore -They have EVERYTHING here.
What to pay: At designer prices.
However, you can always rest your weary feet at the cafe and sip on a nice chilled wine cooler!
The following stores are what the Milanese term as Stock Houses and Fashion Outlets. You'll be able to find even cheaper designer clothings and household items here.
Let's begin with....
(via Prina, 11 - tel. 02.3491040).
Located near the RAI TV station, I heard that many Italian VIPs frequent this store, which sells clothing on a wide spectrum of styles varying from elegant to pure chic.
(viale Piemonte, 5 - Cologno Monzese - tel. 02.2541216).
This store resembles Il Salvagente in terms of the wide array of brand names it offers. However, it's located in a suburb. Ah, what the heck... Hail a cab!
(Filati 6, Galleria San Carlo - tel. 0276000829).
Fans of Max Mara (like... ahem... yours truly) go gaga in this place. The store carries ALL Max Mara lines... yes, including Maxsport, Studiomax, etc. You name it, they have it. I loooove this place - and it's not just because I love Max Mara.
(viale Romagna, 19 - tel. 027490502).
This store carries a HUGE selection of designer brand names like Prada and Gucci amongst others. For shoes & accessories afficionadoes, you will go crazy in this place too!
(via Mantegna, 1 - tel. 023490350).
For the cool fashionista who likes-to-look-good-even-on-rainy-days-but-doesn't-want-to-spend-her-whole-paycheck-on-clothes, this store has the answer for you! This place sells very lovely sweaters, including cashmere ones at LOW prices. What are you waiting for? Grab your purse and c'mon over to Spaccio Maglieria.
This is a continuation from the previous list (above)....
Ciovassino Fashion Discount Store
(via Ciovassino, 3 - tel. 02809526).
Open from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
This is the factory outlet which produces clothings for designers like Givenchy, Sonia Rykiel etc. They offer very good deals especially on end-of-season collections and samples (I think they call it factory rejects... those that aren't 100% perfect).
Viale Elvezia 22
tel: (02) 33103108, Tuesday to Saturday, 9-12:30, 14:30-18:30
Whether you're a local, tourist or expatriate moving to Milan, the first thing you'll be looking at is to find items for your home. I had the good fortune to find this gem of a place (highly recommended to me by my Italian friends). Fans of Missoni (me!) will also drool here because you can find linens, rugs, bedspreads, quilts - mostly designed by Missoni going for 40% cheaper vis a vis the boutiques!! I bought a beautiful Missoni bedspread and some towels here.
I also highly recommend the La Botteguccia. It's a stock house offering really lovely stuffs like crystal and porcelain objects, and kitchen items at wholesale prices.
Address: via della Pergola, 11
By the way, I wouldn't dare recommend a store to you if I haven't already been there and done that. ;-)
What to buy: See above.
Yes, a thoroughbred Milanese will be elegantly dressed for their shopping expeditions. Everyone here looks as if they’re on their way to a Dolce & Gabbana fashion show or art gallery opening! The Italian women are so very sexy and dress so fashionably! WOW!
What is it about Italy and the Italian women? Now you know why I've started to starve myself huh (well actually, I've gone vegetarian now. To stay super slim). Have you seen the Milanese women's small waist line? It's unreal!
Don't worry... you (the tourist) need not have to don the latest outfits from Prada or Roberto Cavalli before stepping out. The best way to look hip is to dress in smart casuals i.e. a nice pair of jeans with t-shirt and perhaps, black jacket to match your lovely boots (in winter) or colorful sandals (in summer). NEVER wear track shoes/ tennis shoes in the city! There is a reason why they are called track shoes or tennis shoes. And the Milanese use them for sports. Period. ;-)
For the serious shoppers and fashionista, please bring along your passport (for duty free shopping) before heading straight to the exclusive Golden Triangle of fashion of Via Montenapoleone and between Corso Venezia, Via Sant' Andrea, Via della Spiga... also not forgetting Via Gesu and Via Manzoni. Yeah, baby - you are now in absolute designer heaven!
Once here, you can wander from Dolce & Gabbana to Ferragamo. Boyfriends, husbands and lovers are known to suffer from heart attacks when their female partners head off for a day of rest and relax at Via Montenapoleone. ;-))
For those who wish to dethrone Imelda Marcos and give her a run for her money, you must make a trip down to TANINO CRISCI boutique - specializing in shoes - to have a peak at their sumptuous tailor-made creations (and I really am not kidding here).
What to buy: Custom-made shoes. Very nice!
It is nice to go there and shop - its like a little warehouse for high designer fashion. So bring A LOT of money with you... there is also a nice little cafe integrated...
What to buy: clothes, bags, SHOES and other design items
What to pay: A LOT!
My favorite places:
PRADA MIU MIU
Via Sant'Andrea 21 Corso Venezia 3.
Would you believe there are no fewer than 5 Prada stores in this little area? Amazing.
Every legitimate high priestess and priest of style will come to Milan, the High Temple of Fashion (at least once in their entire lifetime) to pay homage and worship at the revered feet of style gurus like Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Valentino and Trussadi.
What to buy: Luxury goods...
What to pay: Don't ask.... Enough to give your man a headache. ;-)
Milan's most famous department store must definitely be - RINASCENTE. La RINASCENTE is Italy's equivalent to Harrods and their prices reflect this. Nevertheless it is a huge store and oozes style and class - definitely worth a visit. Just remember to bring along tons of cash... and enjoy your day of shopping. ;-)
Harrods, please move aside.
What to buy: Everything you would expect from a first class department store... and more. By the way, if you can't physically go to the store, no worries. La Rinascente has an online portal - specially to serve you. Yes, in another word - ONLINE SHOPPING! Yeah, baby.
What to pay: Don't ask... Enough to give your boyfriend/ husband a heart attack. ;-)
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