This month sees Milan take its turn on the “Big Four” Fashion Week circuit (18–24 February). But while fashionistas used to congregate in the city centre, these days indie Italian designers are moving northwards, to the natty neighbourhood around Garabaldi and Isola stations. Galvanised by the huge success of 10 Corso Como, which has grown from a bookshop and art gallery to global concept store over the past 20 years, a bunch of stylish boutiques, including Strategia, are now bedding in. Isola-Garibaldi also has the best vintage shops in the city – you’re more likely to encounter a handpicked selection of 80s D&G than have to rummage through mismatched rails here.
Presided over by Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale (vertical garden) – one of Milan’s best-known landmarks – there’s a distinctly green feel to the area’s coolest bar, Deus Ex Machina. This foliage-filled courtyard sits under the same roof as an industrial motorbike store and craft workshop. And in hidden hangout Frida, you’ll find Milanese millennials sipping Aperol aperitivos in a covered greenhouse with vines trailing the walls.
Didn’t get the memo? Cowboy boots are back. Say it loud and proud with a vintage pair from Kudetà. If they’re gone, never fear: Le Vintage’s high-ticket designs range from Puffa jackets to ballgowns.
Via Garigliano 4, +39 02 69311885
Castiglioni creates wearable molten-looking jewellery sculptures at her atelier in Isola. Bag these star earrings in time for Fashion Week.
Via Pastrengo 4, +39 02 8723 7979
Selling period fashion “from the 19th century to the 1980s”, at Delphine you may unearth a real museum-worthy piece, like this lace neck navy ruffle shirt. Open on Friday and Saturday only.
Via Guglielmo Pepe 16, +39 347 734 7030
04. Chiara Ferragni
One of the foremost fashion bloggers in Italy, Milan-based Ferragni has turned her playful designs into covetable pieces with a flagship just steps from Garibaldi station.
Via Vincenzo Capelli 5, +39 02 3657 3157
10 Corso Como
A must-visit for any self-respecting fashion lover. Pick up a show-stopping leopard print Alaïa coat from the world’s coolest concept store.
Corso Como 10, +39 02 29002674