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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 …

Maranello | Creative Leathercraft

Better known as the home of the Ferrari legend, Maranello can also pride itself on a tannery which is revolutionizing the concept of ‘leather goods’. At Priante PelleItaliana, under the visionary guidance of Luigi Priante, they’ve shifted the boundaries of what leather can do. With over 50 years of expertise in tanning and turning out conventional products, and a level of quality recognized and put …

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 …

Turin | Gothic Gazebos

Guido Toschi Marazzani Visconti‘s designs for exclusive tents, marquees, awnings and gazebos reveal a passion for the historic and the exotic. Some are inspired by the lists of medieval jousting events, others by the luxury pavilions of the 17th and 18th centuries, still more by the traditional tents of North Africa’s Berber people. The goods are hand-made to order by …

Piacenza | Designed to Burn

Le Morandine are a series of gorgeous, variously-shaped, hand-made candles by designer Sonia Pedrazzini. They’re inspired by the works of acclaimed Bolognese artist Giorgio Morandi, a forerunner of Minimalism best-known for the subtle tones of around 1000 still lifes in oil depicting bottles, vases, jugs and bowls. Like the everyday objects in Morandi’s paintings, Le Morandine come in muted colours with …

Milan | Temporary Fever

  On top of the usual Christmas frenzy, Milan‘s been hit by an attack of temporary fever this year with pop-up spaces selling everything from prosecco to ecodesign. Here are some of them. Fior Fiore is a  temporary space opened by the Coop chain to showcase the finest Italian foods and bring the producers into the public eye. There’s a calendar of events including  tastings, meetings and …

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 …

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