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Clothes

Matera | Elisa&Janna

Here's one of those magical partnerships, a case of - to paraphrase Aristotle -  the whole being undeniably greater than the sum of its nevertheless remarkable parts. When I first met Johanna Curti she was quite rightly floundering in Matera, desperately in need of an outlet for innate creative and business talents to follow a decade in London as a ...

Genoa | Cashmere Technology

I met Andrea Moretti quite by chance in Genoa, the home town he loves and where he opened the store which showcases his ingenious cashmere product. Moa is the name of the shop, bang in the centre of town, and Moatech the patented textile Andrea dreamed up a few years ago to replace down in quilted clothing. Using the finest …

Verona | Hell’s Kitchen

Marco Lai was fixing a puncture on his bike when he had his eureka moment. It was the inner tube that did it. The young designer with eco-attitude, reluctant to throw the old one in the bin, envisaged a new life for it, a Frog-Prince transformation into something good-looking, functional and long-lasting. City wear. City-proof. And then came the name, Hell’s …

Milan | G.A.B.

Sourcing and selecting only superlative Italian products, G.A.B. is a new Milanese boutique-showroom for clothing and accessories, leather goods and interior design, with a concept all its own. Patrizia Campagnari and Claudio Alghisi pooled their business experiences and their faith in the excellence of Italian products, and opened the store a few months ago in a quiet, elegant quarter of town …

Milan | Pianoprimo

Here’s a gorgeous new design store in Milan. No window displays to lure you inside because it’s on the first floor, piano primo, but once you know it’s there… Design trio Fabio Cocchi, Luigi Rotta (ex Dovetusai studio) and Alessandra Mauri put their heads and experiences together to open Pianoprimo in a rather elegant building on the corner of Via Savona.  In other words, at …

Naples | Unique Umbrellas

In a narrow side street off Via Toledo there’s a workshop where Mario Talarico has been making umbrellas all his life, just like his father and his grandfather before him. This is an edifying tale of tradition, of passing on skills and maintaining a name synonymous with rigorous craftsmanship. Achille Talarico started it all in 1860, with a factory employing …

Milan | Wait and See

The name conveys the concept, one of time and tranquility, tempting you to slow your pace and look around. Wait and See is designer Uberta Zambeletti‘s own store, cosily housed in a former convent in the old heart of the city. With degrees in textile design and fashion from London’s top art schools, the lovely and talented Uberta has launched her own collections and …

Gioiosa Jonica | Ethical Luxury

Cangiari is a luxury fashion house with a boutique and showroom in Milan and an international following, but sturdy roots in one of the most troubled areas of the South. It’s the brainchild, or rather one of the brainchildren, of an organzation called GOEL founded in 2003 to fulfil a mission as mammoth as it is noble: to forge change in …

Milan | Happy Birthday 10CC!

Concept store par excellence and inspiration to dozens of others around the world, 10 Corso Como celebrated its 20th anniversary recently, with limited editions of a whole variety of products sporting a special logo by resident artist Kris Ruhs, including co-branded tributes from the likes of Comme des Garçons, Maison Martin Margiela, Paul Smith, K-Way and Superga. It started life as a …

Milan | Made in Love

Putting together a finely-tuned green philosophy and original designs, Ecojewel makes stunning jewellery using recycled metals and ecogems. It’s the project of a company founded almost five years ago by one Luca Ghelardi Tarducci, a man with sound experience in every aspect of the field, from mining precious metals and gemstones to jewel design and production. His idea was to change how …

Prato | OpificioJM

Here’s the coolest, cosmopolitan concept store, tucked against the 14th-century walls of Prato in Tuscany:  OpificioJM, where opificio is a factory – usually something to do with textiles in this neck of the woods – and JM is for John Malkovich. The John Malkovich, in case there are others. Malkovich, who considers Tuscany his second home, opened the store a few months ago …

Turin | Laura Tonatto

One of very few women in the world who create outstanding perfumes, Laura Tonatto counts Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Giorgio Armani and several Saudi princesses among her customers. In her workshop on the southern outskirts of Turin, overlooking the city and the Moncalieri hills, great scents are developed as they have been for millennia: by a superlative nose. Born with …