The first “concept store” in history, 30 years after the visionary creation by its muse, Carla Sozzani, it remains the undisputed world icon of fashion trends and fashion photography.
The temples of fashion, the elegantly “timeless” ones, can really be counted on the fingers of the hand. And 10 Corso Como is not just one of them, but it is even “the shop” for which the expression concept store was coined, as the sociologist Francesco Morace used this neologism for the first time to define the reasons for its immediate success.
Its deae ex machina are legendary: Franca Sozzani who with her direction brought Vogue Italia to the Olympus of publishing, and above all her sister Carla. In 1990 she decided to open this place with the idea to create a photographic art gallery, thus being one of the first visionaries to address fashion photography as a full-fledged art.
For my 10 Corso Como I wanted to create a living magazine
For the creation of her world, or rather of “her living magazine” as she told in an interview, Carla chooses an old renovated garage with a magnificent internal courtyard surrounded by old-style railing houses, one of the symbols of Milan, and large modular spaces. And it is probably also thanks to the redevelopment of the spaces made by the American artist Kris Ruhs that 10 Corso Como becomes one of the most recognizable and glamorous brands on the planet. Kris created, in fact, not only the black and white logo that will become the icon of the concept store but also many of the furnishings and sculptures that characterize the environments such as the beautiful ceramics that adorn the panoramic rooftop.
Given the success, the Gallery expands and in 1991 the garden café and the bookshop are born, giving life to a place where shopping and culture are intertwined. A unique experience made even more coveted thanks to the many glam exhibitions and events that follow one another every week in the concept store spaces. Then in 1998, it is the turn of the restaurant and in 2003 of the 3 Rooms Hotel, a B&B with only three rooms, obviously of ultra design, which overlook the internal courtyard.
At the entrance, in the magnificent garden, there are the café and the restaurant, perfect for a quick break or brunch. From here you can reach the iconic shop that develops through many different rooms. A true fashionista’s paradise, it boasts original selections of clothes by famous and emerging designers, but also furnishing accessories, jewels and gadgets.
Going up to the first floor you enter the bookshop and the art gallery which over the years has seen the organization of exhibitions of the greatest fashion photographers in the world including: Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber, Bert Stern, Sarah Moon, Paolo Roversi, David Bailey, Hiro, David LaChapelle.
Whether it’s for a walk among cult design objects and works-of-art, a coffee or the desire to buy the latest limited editions of the most famous designers, even today, 30 years after its launch, 10 Corso Como is still an essential point of reference for all creatives and lovers of Beauty.
The spiral staircase near the gallery leads to one of Milan’s best-kept “secrets”: it is the beautiful terrace of 10 Corso Como, with a privileged view of the skyline of the Porta Nuova skyscrapers, which over the years has hosted some of the most glamorous parties on the panorama of the world fashion.