INSIDER GUIDE TO THE MOST FASHIONABLE PLACE ON EARTH
Milan‘s “fashion quadrangle” is one of the world’s top shopping districts, sparkling with glossy boutiques, squeaking with luxury designer brands.
Brands scream for attention, often with outrageous displays or perplexing marketing campaigns.
The four main intersecting streets: Via Montenapoleone, Via Alessandro Manzoni, Corso Venezia, Via della Spiga are noisy and busy.
The internal alleys are more relaxing.
“Here you can breathe the essence of Milan’s fashion universe: creative, vibrant, dynamic,” says personal shopper Annamaria Lamanna, who takes foreign clients on tours.
The top brands on Via Montenapoleone are clustered together like over-friendly neighbors.
But don’t be fooled: tough-looking security agents guard entrances and there are few price tags exposed.
“It’s the quadrangle’s symbol road, loaded with identity and the biggest boutiques,” says Lamanna.
This is where the ultimate in fashion names hang out: Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Fendi, Roberto Cavalli, Ralph Lauren, La Perla and Gucci, to name a few.
Shoppers here are invariably of the “money’s no object” classes, stepping out of one store and into the next as if they were sampling mild cheeses.
Stylish silence: Via della Spiga
This is a favorite street for many.
Despite being one of the quadrangle’s main streets it’s silent, car-free and has a dreamy atmosphere.
Boutiques here are works of art in themselves, set in historical buildings.
You can become more entranced by the decor and furniture than by the items.
“It perfectly blends tradition and fashion, the pleasure of a walk and the glam of the sexy boutiques,” says Lamanna.
The shop fronts are some of the most photographed things on this street.
Elegant mannequins lie on leather couches while high-heels and clutches adorn stone gargoyles. Wooden animals, boats and leopard-skin sofas are some of the other classy objects to be seen.
It’s pure glamor.
Boutique picks include Ermanno Scervino, Emilio Pucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Rocco Barocco and Byblos.
Smaller players: Via Sant’Andrea, Via Santo Spirito
These are the top internal alleys, away from the buzz of Via Monte Napoleone.
Via Sant’Andrea features, among others, the boutiques of Trussardi, Missoni, Jimmy Choo and Chanel.
“Via Sant’Andrea is becoming ever more important inside the quadrangle thanks to the opening of new stores. And it’s a pleasure for the eyes,” says Lamanna