Fashion and leather, Milan
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!
Milan's fashionable shopping district is famed for its wealth of luxury boutiques and they are inside the Montenapoleone. In this street you will find the most expensive stores in MIlan like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Valentino, etc.; Milan's most elegant thoroughfares, is lined with luxurius boutiques, antique shops, tearooms and cafés. All along the street are the ateliers of the top Milanese designers. You will just love this place with all the glitz and glamour and the elegant fashions. This is where shoppers will be in heaven. Take a lot of time in this place you will be glad you did.
What to buy: Mainly women's clothes, menswear, shoes, jewelry and leather
What to pay: More than average
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. ;-)
Ah, VIA DEL CORSO is another favorite place of mine to shop here in Milan. This avenue contains some really excellent shopping and bustling cafes and bars where you can take a well deserved break from shopping. It is completely pedestrianized so no noisy scooters or traffic will distract you from your major religious experience here in Milano (read: Your shopping!)
** Most shops in downtown Milan no longer close for lunch and observe instead an orario continuato.
What to buy: Women's clothes... Men's clothes... Shoes... Everything!
What to pay: Don't ask. Let's just say your boyfriend's/ husband's mood will be good enough for him to even agree to tag along behind you on your shopping expedition! ;-)
It's the outlet of 10 Corso Como, a high-end department store. We actually have the address but the store front (lack thereof) and the area it's located in gave us some pause. We ended up going to the main store at (surprise) 10 Corso Como to confirm we got the right place. The information desk gave us a map and a list of designer items available at the outlet for that week. We walked about 15 minutes and reached the outlet, which is located in a nondescript building with no real signage. We were really just going there out of curiosity, since 50% off a 1,000 euro bag is still 500 euros and way out of our price range.
It's not really a big location. The first thing we noticed when we entered the courtyard was a sign on a table that says 70 euros. Intrigued, we walked over there and saw a few pairs of Prada and Miu Miu shoes / boots / sandals. My friend and I each grabbed a shoe (the label at the bottom indicate the available sizes) and went inside the store to get the other shoe. They fit, and we're already 50-70 euros poorer. Charged with renewed energy, we proceed to examine the items offered at the outlet.
There are both men's and women's clothing, shoes and accessories - all designer, though I am not familiar with some brands. We only had about 1 hour there, so we focused on shoes - the discounted prices (at 50% unless otherwise marked) are still pretty steep, but we did manage to get something at a price we can justify. One frustrating thing is not being able to find the "perfect shoe" in your size - this is an outlet after all.
(We didn't make it to Il Salvagente, so I can't comment on whether the stuff are better/more economical here.)
The store does participate in the Global Tax Refund program, so remember to bring your passports for the paperwork. (Yeah, you'll have no issues getting over the 155 euro limit.)
What to buy: I bought a pair of Miu Miu sandals for 50 euros. They could be very "end-of-the-line" though :>
What to pay: Varies - There are some "deep discount" items in the front, but 50% off really expensive goods are still pretty expensive.
What can I say about shopping in fashion´s world capital? Well if you want to buy in the most exclusive boutiques, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is the perfect place or Rinascenta department store are the ones.
Que se puede decir sobre hacer compras en la capital mundial de la moda? Que si buscas las tiendas mas exclusivas, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele y los almacenes Rinascenta son los sitios perfectos.
We can begin our itinerary from the heart of the luxury shopping area in Milan: Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and Via Sant'Andrea, elegant streets that together with Via Manzoni, Via Borgospesso and Via Santo Spirito are the outer limits of the famous Fashion Quadrilatero. This area contains the most prestigious boutiques and showrooms in the world, full of minimalist design and high tech, that follow on without any nd to this continuity, and provide a triumph of consumer stimulus that only a select few can respond to. In this square area, that is really extremely expensive, luxury is the true protagonist. Dazzling jewels created by the most famous name, clothes and accessories to die for, to be owned and flaunted, shoes that are works of art. Everything reeks of ostentation and the splendor of a chic, fashionable lifestyle. Many foreign tourists come to the showrooms and come out full of parcels, because Italian fashion continues to attract and fascinate the whole world, and Milan is the most representative symbol of all this.
Well, what can I say?
Even if you don't think you can part with your hard-earned cash to buy a pair of Prada shoes, it's still O.K. to stroll in to the boutique and window-shop.
Do dress well before you enter into any of these luxurious designer boutiques.
No, I don't usually buy any of the stuff in Prada when I'm not given a hefty discount. Meaning: I visit Prada only during mega-sales period! Yeah... Yeah... go ahead and laugh... I know I'm a cheapskate ;-)
What to buy: Prada bags, Prada outfits, Prada shoes...
What to pay: Don't ask....
The store was stuffed with "rich tourists" - "Jet-Set-Moms" in Dior with their spoiled daughters, rich arab women, japanese tourists etc - bad atmosphere! But the store is LARGE and has all Gucci one could ever want in a SUPER-STYLISH decoration over 3 floors. But beware of the arrogant Sales Personal!!!
What to buy: Runway Fashion!!!
What to pay: Shoes from 350...Rest: the sky has no limit ;)
You have to go look in all of the shops when you're in Milan. Never mind if you can't afford it. I went to Pucci and Versace and Prada and tried not to drool.
If you are on a budget, drop in at H&M and Zara. I did. Now when someone asks me where I bought that new shirt, or jeans, or whatever, I just act all snooty and say "Milan, darling". Never mind that it came from H&M.
What to buy: Beautiful clothes, leather goods, sunglasses. You name it.
What to pay: A lot. If you have to ask you can't afford it.
Hundreds of nice, trendy, strange and original objects.
You can find also clothes, books, perfumes....
Quite expensive, but here you can find many ideas and then you can create by yourself something nice.
Named after the Savoy King Vittorio Emmanuele II, this 19th century shopping center houses shops from the hottest designers. Ranging from Versace to Prada and everyone in between.
What to buy: The place to shop for anything and everything including women's and men's fashions, shoes, books and art. Plus more!!
What to pay: Since the Galleria is home to high end designers, you can expect to see many expensive price tags.