Shopping in Milan isn’t just a pastime, it’s a high-level competitive sport.
Each year, Milan dazzles the world with its prêt-? -porter shows, where top designers parade their latest creations. The chic, the très-chic and the faux-chic alike flock to take in the next season’s trends.
Couriers scuttle up and down the streets, laden with packages of all sizes, labelled Dior, Versace and Prada, delivering the goods like pizzas to the exclusive hotels in the area.
When you’re spending this kind of money, you don’t schlep your own parcels around.
“Milan is the kind of city where everybody is very concerned about the way they look,” says Thomas Citterio, marketing director of the Four Seasons hotel. “When I first came here (from Switzerland) I was struck by that immediately. You notice how people are dressed and you notice that they notice how you are dressed.”
You see that instantly when you take a walk around town. Everybody’s dressed beautifully not a backwards baseball hat in sight and even the police wear sharp, tailored uniforms with co-ordinated white bags and helmets.
It can all be pretty intimidating, especially for someone to whom high-fashion means a shirt with buttons. So that’s why I enlisted the aid of a “personal shopper,” a growing trend for people who want to get the maximum bling with a minimum of effort.
As we walk along, Laura recommends various shops for particular items: For women’s wear, there’s Gemelli and Biffi, Prada, Valentino, Gucci and Loro Piano, especially for cashmere.
For men, it’s Cenci, Gemelli, or Al Bazar.
Pupi Solari and Gemellino specialize in children’s wear. Shoes? Lots of ’em: Sergio Rossi, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Tod’s.