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This is our first trip to Milano – the place to shop in Europe.  So we had a mini tour of shops.

10 Corso Como is located at the far end of Brera in Milan, a bit off the tourist trail.  The complex is inside a row of 4-storey buildings and includes a large retail space converted from a commercial garage. The street-facing side of the building houses a hotel that has only three suites (aptly named “3Rooms”).  At the back, the retail space is divided into sections each displaying a collection of branded goods (generally small elite labels) from around the world.

Their goods are selected to reflect a certain life style – best described as hip, quietly luxurious, design conscious and international (some products co-branded with Comme de Garçon). There is also a simple graphic motif that unifies the whole retail concept – circles and amoeboid shapes- which were used throughout the store in their display and on their branded goods.   Apparently, they have a very cheerful online shop and branches in Tokyo and Seoul.

The second floor of the retail space houses two galleries and an art book/music/design object shop.  The founder, Carla Sozzani, was an editor at Vogue, Elle, etc in the 80’s and started a photography gallery and publishing company – Galleria Carla Sozzani which morphed into 10 Corso Como.

What made the place so attractive to me is the amount of green plants they have stuffed into the courtyard, piled up at the entrance, and hung off the balconies. They have effectively created a cool (both temperature and attitude) urban oasis.

This entire hotel-shop-lounge complex can easy fit somewhere in Tribeca, Chelsea, or the meatpacking district of New York.

We got here just as the place was opening; the lounge, bar and cafe sections were still closed.

The organic graphic motifs are echoed throughout the bar and lounge – wall decors, furniture. While the lofty space has a post-industrial air about it, there are few straight lines and 90 degree-corners in the interiors.

We spent the whole morning there. Later, the cafe opened …

Like many hotels and clubs in Europe, their in-house DJ releases compilation of music – their sound is not clubby or lounge-y –  it is compiled by themes but most tracks have a light world music feel.  Their website allows sampling of the tracks.  I got their “Best of” and am happy with the selection.

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