09 September 2011

10 Corso Como celebrates 20 years

Most people think that there’s just one Cathedral in Milan, but any self-respecting fashion lover knows that there are two: the towering Gothic behemoth on Piazza Maggiore, and the white-washed former garage on Corso Como. No Milan Fashion Week is complete without a pilgrimage to 10 Corso Como, the iconic store founded by Carla Sozzani (sister of the equally inimitable Vogue Italia editor, Franca Sozzani) - and today, the store is even more packed-out with admirers than usual, as it celebrates its twentieth birthday.

10 Corso Como was a ramshackle Renault car garage in a run-down area of Milan before the golden-haired gallerist and former publisher Carla Sozzani brought her Midas touch and exceptional vision to the place. First came a gallery, then a bookshop, and from there it blossomed into a fully-fledged temple of design, fashion, art, music and gastronomy that has become the model of experiential shopping in Europe. What’s not to love about a place where you can sip a perfectly frothy marocchino coffee in a palm-frond garden before trying on some one-off Comme des Garcons pieces, leafing through an eclectic mix of vinyls and uncovering a set of vintage Moroccan tea glasses in the corner? 13,000 square feet of exceptional taste, it’s so enthralling that some people decide not to leave, and book themselves into one of the three stylish on-site suites.

Today the store will entertain its fans with an all-day party of Prosecco, sorbetti and live music lasting late into the night, and following that there will be a series of limited edition products and design collaborations to mark the occasion. Everything from stickers to a cd compilation to a pretty rad studded leather bucket bag has been given the signature swirly Corso Como treatment, and everyone from Rei Kawakubo to Paul Smith has lent their design talents to the product range. There’s even a Corso Como monochromatic Moon Boot in the mix, proving that there is nothing on this earth – not even a mountain snow boot - that Signora Sozzani can’t make cool.

- Alannah Sparks


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