One of the true style capitals of the world, Milan is home to some of the biggest names in haute couture and exclusive fashion labels. When you look at fashion magazines from all over the globe, Milan's fashion industry features prominently, whether it is interviews with elite designers or fashion lines from renowned stores. Many of the trends that are released each season hit the Milan catwalks long before they find their way to London or New York. The city is also home to charming boutique stores and many high-street brands. .
The fashion district
Much of the Milan fashion district centers around Quadrilatero d'Oro translated as the Golden Rectangle—the four streets contain a high concentration of stores including the Armani superstore on Via Manzoni, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren on Via Montenapoleone, and Gucci and Versace on Via Sant' Andrea. Prada's flagship store can be found in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Arcade, the world's oldest shopping mall. It hosts many other exclusive brands and the mall is worth a visit even if you don’t plan to buy anything. Take time out to stop for a classic Italian coffee and absorb the beautiful surrounding, including the classic Art Nouveau gallery with mosaic marble floors and ceilings.
Shopping on a budget
If your budget doesn’t extend to the price tags of famous brands, head to the outlet stores where you can often find superb bargains. If you are lucky, you may pick up a piece of branded designer clothing a much as up to 70% discount.
Beyond designer stores
If you are looking for a unique piece to complement your personality, give the famous brands a miss and browse the independent boutiques. Head to the Brera District to not only find some of the best boutiques but also enjoy the bohemian vibe of the area. Walking down the narrow streets and soaking in the atmosphere is an experience in itself. During the weekends, the charming streets are lined with antique stalls.
If you are the kind who prefers shopping in comfort with everything under one roof, Milan has several departmental stores across the city with a wide range of merchandise featuring everything from fashion and cosmetics to interiors and food. Some of the top department stores are la Rinascente, The Brian and Barry Building, Excelsior Milano, and Coin.