Milan is one of the most stylish and dazzling cities in Italy and one of the most historically significant. The commercial metropolis of Milan is home to many leading business centres, financial institutions and Italy's stock market. Milan is also known throughout the world for its high fashion and excellence in the field of design. The fashion industry is big business in Milan, where 51 fashion shows, 32 exhibitions and trade-fairs can be held within one week.
Shopping in Milan
We can begin our itinerary from the heart of the luxury shopping area in Milan: Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and Via Sant'Andrea, elegant streets that together with Via Manzoni, Via Borgospesso and Via Santo Spirito are the outer limits of the famous Fashion Quadrilatero. This area contains the most prestigious boutiques and showrooms in the world, that are really extremely expensive and luxurious: dazzling jewels created by the most famous name, clothes, accessories and shoes that are works of art. Many foreign tourists come to the showrooms and come out full of parcels, because Italian fashion continues to attract and fascinate the whole world, and Milan is the most representative symbol of all this.
For more affordable purchases, there are two important streets in the city that are almost entirely dedicated to shopping: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Corso Buenos Aires. Via Torino and Corso di Porta Ticinese are the right places for those "alternative" purchases: Custo-Barcellona, Diesel, Miss Sixteen, Gas and Fornarina stand alongside second-hand clothes shops, shops with bizarre objects for the home, handmade clothes and accessory stores made from silk and other precious materials.
Near Milan you can find the McArthur Glen Shopping City (Serravalle Scrivia, Alessandria), the Fratelli Rossetti outlet(Parabiago), Dolce & Gabbana outlet (Legnano), Timberland outlet (Pero), Levi's (Cernusco sul Naviglio) and Samsonite (Corsico) outlets, and finally Frette (Concorezzo) and Zucchi (Casorezzo) for bed linen.
One more part of business in Milan is its interesting markets. Here are just two of the most interesting and characteristic:
Fiera di Senigallia in Milan: You can find everything here: Indian, South American and African craftwork; new and second-hand clothes, old furniture, fake art nouveau lamps, perfumed candles and every kind of essence, books, comics, records, videos and DVDs.
Mercatone del Naviglio Grande
A large exhibition-market is set up that is dedicated to antiques: furniture, objects for the home, old books, jewellery, and lots more too.
Fashion is a great part of business in Milan, almost all the big fashion names are taking part. Milan is not a place for crazy, young designers or temperamental artists. In its stylish milieu, understated designs alla Armani fit perfectly, as does the luxury rocker style of Cavalli, the irony of Dolce & Gabbana, Versace's aggressive style and Tom Ford's glamour. Many of the fashion houses are staging their shows at their Milan headquarters or in post-industrial buildings on the city's outskirts.
The National Chamber of Fashion was founded in 1958. Since than it has been organizing events connected to the world of fashion. During these events, Milan is overrun by top models, designers, journalists, actors, politicians and representatives of business in Milan, and becomes even more trendy if that is at all possible.
The most important events are the ones dedicated to women's fashion: in the months of February and March and September and October, the autumn/winter and spring/summer collection for the next year are presented. There are parties, concerts and other cultural events that surround the fashion shows:
Milano Moda Uomo (Men's Fashion) autumn/winter (January)
Milano Moda Donna (Women's Fashion) autumn/winter (February - March)
Milano Moda Donna (Women's Fashion) spring/summer (September - October)
Trade fairs in Milan: Business in Milan can't be imagined without various trade fairs:
Fiera degli "Oh bej, oh bej"
The Fairs organized on December 7th and 8th around the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio and is one of the most moments of the year that any decent Milanese person eagerly awaits. During these two days there are market stalls of all kinds, some of them similar to the ones from Senigallia, flower stalls and sweet and cake stalls, all full of colour that attract and amaze. The name of the fair comes from term that the stall owners used to catch the attention of the people passing by.
Craftsmen's Fair - December
This fair was started up in 1996 and was immediately a success. Craftsmen's skills are the main attraction of this market fair: products coming from all over Italy, and from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America too. The fair is a huge one and fully deserves its title as the largest event worldwide for craftsmen's products: 100,000 square meters of exhibition space, with representation from about 90 countries.
The Salone del mobile (Furniture fair) - April/May
The Salone del Mobile takes up an exhibition area of more than 255,000 square meters inside the Milan Trade Fair District. It represents the products of more than 3100 of the most dynamic, creative companies on the international market and receives 260,000 visitors including economic and commercial operators, with more than 130,000 coming from 150 countries overseas.