The title of ‘fashion capital of the world’ has never been so hotly contested, with emerging Asian markets now competing on a global scale with the established hubs in Paris, New York and London. Yet despite the crowded field, one city still reigns supreme in many people’s minds: Milan. The Italian centre of fashion, the list of internationally recognised designers with roots in this city is almost as long as the list of internationally recognised designers in general, with Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Versace and Moschino all based in Milan.
The city’s fashion credentials stretch back considerably further than these illustrious names, with a reputation as a centre for luxury goods dating back to the Middle Ages. Today, the rest of the world is still closely following Milanese style, taking their cue from the trends that make their debut appearances at the twice-annual Fashion Weeks. This week, thousands of people will flock to Milan to discover what the fashion world has in store for Autumn/Winter 2014/15 – and they’ll return in September for the Spring/Summer 2015 shows.
Although the runway represents the pinnacle of the Milanese fashion calendar, the boutiques of the famous quadrilatero della moda, or quadrangle of style, have plenty to tempt travellers all year round. The residents of Milan are famed for their exquisite taste, with the dedication to fashion particularly evident in the city’s most sought-after neighbourhoods. Around the Via Monte Napoleone you’ll find the main shopping and fashion district of Milan, based around the quadrilatero. Incredibly busy around Fashion Week, its bustling vitality only slightly subsides once the catwalks have closed. There aren’t many residential apartment blocks here, however, as the majority of the area is given over to commerce.
Nearby Brera is frequently named as the most beautiful part of the city. Although it still has plenty of boutiques and restaurants, the historic apartments and stately residential buildings give it a charm and nobility that can be overshadowed in other areas by the designer glitz. Known for its botanical gardens, Academy of Fine Arts and galleries, residents here are also just a short walk away from the famous Teatro alla Scalla. If you’d prefer to stay on the outskirts of the city, Porta Ticinese is a peaceful haven towards the south of Milan, characterised by its imposing gate, tall narrow streets and of course, quality shopping.
There is, perhaps, only one passion in Milan that rivals fashion’s dominance – and that has to be football. As the home of both Inter Milan and A.C. Milan, there’s no shortage of football coverage in this city, providing a welcome escape for those left bemused by the ever-changing fashion trends. Milan also houses the main Italian stock exchange, Borsa Italiana, helping to maintain a population of well-educated and wealthy professionals. Easy links by rail and air to Paris, London and Rome consolidate Milan’s place on the international stage, enabling fast-paced travel for both business meetings and weekends away.
If you’re considering staying in Milan beyond the end of fashion week, Engel & Vӧlkers Milan can help you find your ideal property. Whether you’re looking for a new investment or a private holiday home, our expertly trained agents will be on hand every step of the way to ensure you close a successful sale.