When I asked for recommendations on what to do in Milan a few weeks back, the answer was nearly unanimous: visit 10 Corso Como. So, that’s exactly what I did.
Before we dig into what this place is all about, let me just say that there’s no way to do it justice in a blog post. There’s just too much to take in and I didn’t have a ton of time (you’ll need a minimum of an hour to get through all the complexes). With this being my first visit, I was a bit overwhelmed at the scale and detail of it all but I hope this gives you a taste of the brand.
10 Corso Como was founded by Carla Sozzani in 1990, an Italian gallerist and publisher. She started small with an art gallery and bookstore but the cult secret spread fast and the brand quickly grew to include a boutique, mini hotel, restaurant and rooftop garden a few years later.
Carla’s love of design is immediately evident in every detail, down to the printed materials. As you walk through, it becomes almost comical when you realize how many variations of cards, menus and sugar packets there are. Trust me, this wasn’t everything! There’s an on-brand design for everything you can imagine. Artist Kris Ruhs has truly created an alternate, pop-centric universe.
The complex is a bit hard to spot as you stroll down Corso Como and I nearly missed it. The entrance is covered in greenery and the tiled sign is fairly high. The mystery is part of the fun, though because as you enter the courtyard, you can’t quite tell what you’re walking into.
Is it a clothing store? A restaurant? A hotel? As you start exploring, you realize it’s all of those things…and much, much more.
My favorite part of 10 Corso Como is the boutique. It feels like a show of tightly curated art installations where everything happens to be wearable AND for sale. There’s the in-house line featuring hand-illustrated patterns covering everything from perfume and shirts to tarot cards and pins.
Then, there’s a killer selection of avant garde men’s and women’s designers, an area dedicated to the best shoes and finally, jewelry and accessories sprinkled throughout. If you’re in Milan with a stack of cash to burn, this is obviously the place to do it.
The attention to detail trickles down to the restaurant. I ordered a coffee….and it came out with a specially wrapped chocolate and a basket of branded sugar packets. There’s a fantastic selection of organic, healthy options on the menu, too which is nice when you’ve been traveling across Italy, gorging yourself on pasta all week. Oh come on, I can’t be the only one!
This is a place where the art crowd and who’s who in Milan gathers. Everyone that was seated around us was stylishly dressed and if people watching is your jam, you know where to find it.
I had to take a selfie to remember that yes, I was really here and yes, this place is real.
In an age where everything can be ordered with a click of a mouse on Amazon, where everything feels rushed and lacking in imagination, it makes me happy to know that places like 10 Corso Como still exist.
Details do matter.
So does art, design and fashion.
I’m so glad there’s a home for it to all thrive.