When people think about Milan and Italy, a lot of different things come to mind. There is the great food, the fine weather, the incredible architecture, and the successful football teams, to name just a few things. However, undeniably, the most famous aspect of the city that comes to people’s minds when thinking about Milan is fashion.
This beautiful city is recognized as the fashion capital of the world and one of the global capitals when it comes to luxury goods and designer labels. Twice a year, the city hosts Milan Fashion Week, which is one of the most well-known and prestigious fashion shows on Earth. Milan is also the home of many famous fashion brands, such as Versace, Armani, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana.
With Milan having so many distinguished fashion brands and upscale shopping districts around the city, it is the perfect place to visit for a shopping trip as well as a vacation. In between seeing the sights and enjoying some excellent meals, you can also indulge in buying products from some of the world’s most renowned boutiques. Therefore, join us now as we take a look at some of the best items to buy and the best places to shop in a city that is made for fashionistas and trendsetters.
Bags and Backpacks in Brera
These days, bags, backpacks, carry cases and, are some of the most highly sought-after luxury items. Just like having an expensive watch or designer shoes, owning a bag from a globally recognized luxury label is a symbol of status just as much as it is a fashion accessory. More than just this, though, in recent years, designer bags have become the number 1 accessory for anyone interested in keeping up with the trends of the fashion world. With so many incredible brands to choose from, finding the right one for you might be more difficult than you think.
But don’t worry, this is why we are here to help with some insider suggestions. It goes without saying that a Gucci, Armani, or Prada bag are some of the most popular and obvious choices, but if you are looking for something a little bit more unique, special, and one-of-a-kind, Milan has all that and more. Milan fashion bags, for example, with their M logo and patterning, are stylish enough to rival Gucci, come in a variety of styles, and only cost a fraction of the price.
There are also many other Milanese and broader Italian brands in Brera, such as Milaner, Maria La Rosa, Marta Ray, Amira Bags, Iocabella, Tramontano, and dozens more. All have their own independent design and finesse to them and are a lot more affordable compared to the top labels. If you are looking for shops to find bags like these, Milan has many great options. There is Figus Designer, which has two stores, one near the Chiesa Di San Maurizio church and one near the Parrocchia S. Simpliciano church.
There is also a My Style Bags right across the street. If you are looking for a leather bag, there is Alma Milano right by the Castello Sforzesco. The best place to find bags though is throughout Zone 1 of Milan around the Duomo Di Milan and the Teatro Alla Scala. Here, you will find a range of bag-specific stores such as Longchamp, Bric’s Milano, Valentino La Rinascente, Louis Vuitton, and many more.
Jewelry and Accessories in Brera
Jewelry making and gemstone cutting have been a part of Italian crafting traditions for thousands of years. As far back as the Etruscan civilization, long before the Roman empire had formed, there are artifacts of jewelry design. These range from rings and earrings to broaches and bracelets, hairpins, and intricate headdresses. This trend of creating high-quality jewelry continued through the Roman and Renaissance periods and is still considered an important aspect of Italian social life today.
Fine gold and sterling silver are considered the two premiums when it comes to Italian jewelry. However, there are also dozens of jewelry stores that specialize in handmade pieces that are nothing you will find anywhere else. For generations, these skilled artisans have made jewelry from natural materials handpicked from all over the world. One such store is Monies, which makes use of the term “wearable art” with its elegant and handcrafted natural wares, or Agapanthus Gioielli, whose intricate treasures are hand brushed and sanded for a natural finish. Both stores can be found near San Babila.
If you are looking for something more archaic, Martino e Mazzolini molds some of the finest bronze and brass pieces you will ever see and is located near the Pagano metro station. Hidden throughout the historic streets of Milan, you will find many more jewelry stores known for their finely cut stones and unique craftsmanship. Many of these are found just north of the Duomo Di Milan in the Via Della Spiga shopping district. In particular, Via Monte Napoleone Boulevard contains the majority of these jewelry stores, including Cartier, Van Cleef, Damiani, BLVGARI Milano, Tiffany & Co, and many more.
Designer Clothes in Brera
Designer clothes are and always will be the core staple of the Milan fashion scene. Things like bags and jewelry are simply ways to accompany, accentuate, and complete the full enchantment of any outfit. The prime example of this is the Milan Fashion Week, which takes place twice a year, once in September/October and again in February/March. Here, dozens of the best designers showcase their newest collections for the upcoming season.
This is a great time to visit Milan if you follow fashion, as during fashion week, the city is buzzing with tourists, media, and designers, all hyped for the event. In addition to the show promoting all the upcoming lines from the industry’s biggest players, it is also a great chance to see the work of all the hottest young designers and fringe labels. Furthermore, many stores and boutiques also take advantage of the event by offering promotions and deals to get shoppers in the door during this busy shopping period.
With that being said, you don’t have to visit Milan for fashion week to get the most out of your shopping experience, as the city’s boutiques are alive and kicking all year long. If you are looking for designer clothes in particular, the best place to start is the Serravalle Designer Outlet, the largest designer outlet in Europe. Here, you will find all the biggest brands in Europe all under one roof, and it is a great place to spend a day out shopping. However, it should be noted that Serravalle is not in the Brera district, but about an hour out of Milan. Still, there are buses that go very often directly there and back.
If you don’t want to leave the city, there are plenty of other great locations to buy designer labels. For starters, there is the Highline outlet and the DMAG outlet. Both are within walking distance of one another and are located relatively close to the Duomo Di Milano and the Teatro Alla Scala. If you want an even more spectacular shopping experience, why not try the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II? This incredible architectural marvel is the oldest active shopping mall in Italy and is sure to make your jaw drop as you browse the many luxury boutiques. It, too is located just a few minutes’ walk from the Duomo.
Footwear in Brera
Finally, we come to what many people believe is the most important fashion item of them all, footwear. There is an old adage that says the first part of your outfit that people look at is your shoes. Whether this is actually true or just an old marketing campaign of footwear traders, nevertheless, a person’s shoes are a very important item in their wardrobe as it is something that they use on a daily basis.
The type of shoes a person chooses to wear can also say a lot about the wearer’s personality and the type of person they are. For example, a person who wears trainers might be a person who is active all the time or a person who values comfort and function over style. Whereas a person who wears designer shoes or heels all the time, be they made from leather, suede, or velvet, for example, is more likely to be someone who takes their appearance, life, and career more seriously.
Whatever your preference of style is when it comes to footwear, there is no better place to shop for it than in Milan. With so many great shoe shops and outlet stores around the city, you are sure to find a pair of shoes that uniquely highlight your individual personality and personal style. Like all the items on the list, many of the stores can be found scattered around the Duomo, Via Della Spiga, and Via Monte Napoleone.
Manee and Belfiore are great places to buy handcrafted shoes in the Brera neighborhood, while La Rinascente and Excelsior are regarded as two of the better high-end shoe stores that sell a lot more than just Italian designer shoes. Spectrum is another great store to buy sneakers and hip-hop-style footwear, although it is a little further out of the way. These are just a few suggestions, there are so many more great shoe stores to be found throughout the city.
Is shopping in Brera neighborhood worth it?
Brera is an elegant, trendy neighborhood in Milan full of fabulous restaurants, pedestrian alleys, luxury fashion boutiques, and lovely art galleries. It is a place where you will feel elegant and classy just by wandering around. However, if you are interested in fashion design, you will have the best time in your life in the Brera district. Maybe you have shopped in New York, London, or some other nice places, but Milan is in a higher league.
Not only can you spend a few days entering fashion boutiques in the prestige Brera neighborhood, but you can also enjoy looking at plenty of trendy people with unusual designs along the way. It is like an open-area fashion week that runs all day, every day in Milan. And of course, it is available for everyone and completely free. Therefore, shopping in Brera is absolutely worth it, and we are sure that you will love it.
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