A narrow street, lined by cobblestones and surrounded by elegant windows.
Almost completely pedestrian, it is inhabited by distinct people coming in and out from shops with one hand holding the new purchase, perfectly wrapped inside a bag, and the other waving to the man opening the door and wishing him a good day. It’s Via della Spiga we are talking about: one of the most sophisticated streets of Milan, the only pedestrian street of the Fashion District.
Fancy shops, remarkable signatures, catwalks clothing and accessories are what make Via della Spiga unique, even if it’s only for window-shopping.
Credits foto: https://flic.kr/p/b4s2DP
The Naviglio Interno was a small canal built in 1450, aimed at increasing Milan’s commercial activity: running between Via Senato and Via della Spiga, it was full of elegant shops and tenement houses. It was covered in 1930 and, today, it is paved in grey and holds the ticking of the stylish shoes that walk on it.
In 1800, what we call today the Fashion District became the scene of romanticism: the architecture reflected such a style permeated by both Renaissance and Neoclassicism arts, with a Baroque hint. Via della Spiga began to be dwelled by craftsmen and traders and, over the years, it has followed the many Milanese embodiments of culture, from Scapigliatura to Risorgimento.
During the ’50s, many Via della Spiga art galleries and art studios became the meeting place for intellectuals and artists.
However, they continued to co-exist with the traditional artisans’ shops: the Giuseppe Garibaldi greengrocer, owing his nickname to his red beard, the tavern famous for its freshest eggs, the shops selling unique buttons and tailored gloves.
The transformation of the street into fashion temple has been silent and has gradually begun in the ’60s.
In 1963 the first boutique, Cose, opened in Via della Spiga: it was a shop with a highly unique attitude, that of collecting extravagant proposals not similar to the common way of dressing. From that moment on, designers started choosing Via della Spiga as the place where to experiment the new-born prêt-à-porter fashion, thought and produced according to the industrial design rules. The first big names to choose Via della Spiga were Versace and Ferré. They were soon followed by others: thus, Via della Spiga, sheltered and quiet, quickly became the centre of sophisticated and quirky fashion.
Credits foto: https://flic.kr/p/b4s32r
Perhaps it is true that you cannot judge a book by its cover; but in Via della Spiga, you can certainly judge a shop from its window. The shops of Via della Spiga enrich their windows with attractive mannequins, alluring lights and design creations that invite all passers-by to step in.
We suggest you to enter Via della Spiga from Corso Venezia: you’ll see a small alley, straight and coloured by evergreen plants. Enter it and you’ll discover the wonders of Via della Spiga.
First, you’ll meet Falconieri: its light wood interiors hide a collection of cashmere dresses where the attention to details and to the colours chosen is a key element. Then, a little further, you’ll see Longchamp collection of shoes and bags, carefully placed on the shelves overlooking the window.
Credits foto: http://www.vogue.it/trends/shop-in-the-shops/2013/09/michael-kors-apre-due-nuovi-negozi-a-milano
The accessories give their way up to Peuterey and Moncler jackets, and then find it again in the refined extravagance of Michael Kors. Chopard jewels are protected by the elegant staff that will point you the way to the exhibition space.
Cross the street and, in front of you, you’ll see Prada with its dark windows and its colourful collections. On the opposite side, Miu Miu, that instead plays with lighter hues, and, next to a dark green door, Dolce and Gabbana and the elegance of its black lace creations.
Keep walking and your attention will be drawn to a unique light blue colour: that of Tiffany and of its creations. If you have with you a croissant and a wide-brimmed hat, this is the best time to reinterpret Audrey.
Credits: Ivano Tomba via http://www.amiciviadellaspiga.it/boutique/tiffany/
The last stretch of Via della Spiga is open to cars, but few are those that venture to reach this narrow street and mess up with the peaceful atmosphere. Here, Moschino and the Porche store will warmly welcome you.
Another short pedestrian walkway will take you to Via Manzoni, and invite you to another shopping round.
Credits preview photo: www.duomomilano.it