10 Corso Como: High Style Hits The Seaport

Monday, September 17, 2018

The lucky travelers whose first stop in Milan has always been 10 Corso Como can now get their cultural and fashion fix at its imposing new New York store, gallery and restaurant that fills an entire block in the reviving South Street Seaport. It’s a must-visit and shiny big top.

When Carla Sozzani, the iconic Italian fashion original, first discovered a rundown garage in an out-of-the-shopping-mainstream neighborhood, on the Corso Como in Milan in 1991, she made it into a funky and homey meeting place. Visitors could discover the newest in clothing, books, art, and home décor. Soon an intimate restaurant followed, and then an extremely chic, if small, hotel called 3 Rooms was added. The store has stayed in the same location over the years, growing, and evolving into a larger and slicker space, conceived in tandem with Sozzani’s American collaborator in fantasy, the artist Kris Ruhs. Together, they have created a fantasy space that surprises all the senses.

The Howard Hughes Corporation had taken over the Seaport after the devastation of Super Storm Sandy, and is bringing it back as a shopping and entertainment destination for New York. They brought an outdoor concert venue on the newly built Pier 17, with stunning views overlooking the East River and the New York Harbor, and now they have lured 10 Corso Como to anchor the area. What a great idea.

The store is a playful mélange of the silly and the very serious, all reflecting Sozzani’s sophisticated and whimsical taste. Which is why it is a must visit. The senses are overwhelmed by the plethora of objects of humor and desire set in a singular setting. Playful and respectful, the store design is as much of a message as the merchandise. There is a wide selection of Corso Como accessories for the body and soul as you enter the store, as well as a series of cats with glowing eyes amid artistic chairs. 10 Corso Como gives new meaning to the phrase fashion plate (above):  Find them here and dine on and with Karl, Anna, Tom, Miuccia, Donatella and more. The delicate colors belie the tenacious natures of the subjects.

 Warhol (above, left) and Basquiat (at right) have their own offerings, décor, candles, books and more. Tables are full of surprises, and walls and dividers contain even more. Check out the Keith Haring chairs and toys.  Corso Como has (below) an engaging selection of Ettore Sosstass pieces from across the decades, glass, furniture, lighting and more, including tomes on the prolific architect and designer. Martin Margiela and other designers also have their outposts. This is a store made for gift giving. For you and for friends and family. Serious, adorable, silly, amazing or tongue in chic.

The selection of books (below) range from serious to playful. 10 Corso Como offers art, design, architecture, fashion, photography, graphics, personality centered, monographs and playful books. Most of them are in a dedicated section as you enter the store, but other works are scattered around the floor. Hang out and discover slow shopping.

Interested in Mondrian? The merchandising selection (below right) offers Mondrian clocks, playthings and a beautiful book. Whimsy and scholarly can co-exist. Love lips (below left)? The juxtaposition of the signature store codes and what sits in the store makes it even more intriguing to browse through. Discover all the artists sprinkled about the space.

When you are in the sneaker area, put together in conjunction with Reign, books mingle with singular kicks, including artistic colabs. The sneakers are among the most colorful around, yet they require you to come take a closer look (below).

You are then led to the area of the store that hold the men’s and women’s clothing. Wander among the displays. Women’s designers include Corso Como originals, Comme des Garcons and Prada, and Maison Margiela’s thought provoking designs. Avant-garde new comers like Sies Marjan bring a fluidity to the space.

Kris Ruhs designed a special area for Azzedine Alaia (below), a much missed close friend and collaborator of Carla’s. Look for a reissue of the book taken from carefully wrapped boxes that Carla and Christophe von Weyhe discover neatly wrapped in the Alaia atelier next month. The selection of his dresses, coats, jackets, shoes, bags were chosen with love and discernment

Bags, books, jewelry, shoes, sneakers and other accessories mix across the floor. Stella McCartney hangs alongside colorful newcomers. Wander the maze of rails and installations that Sozzani and Ruhs created.

Among those is a special edition of the revived Rudi Gernreich label for 10 Corso Como, browse the clothes and the stunning book. The clothes here are unique and ever changing. Hang out and browse and enjoy the one of a kind furniture and stylized floral displays.

The men’s selection heads in a street savvy direction. Balenciaga, Raf Simons, Undercover, Gosha Rubchinskiy, and others.  All the finishing touches are here. Shoes, boots, beltbags, messengers and backpacks and more kicks.

Gucci is represented only by shoes for men and for women. You can also find unique pieces from lines like the Australian company P.A.M. Streetwear is a universal language. It’s got a strong vocabulary at 10 Corso Como .


And of course there is an area of the space especially designed for lifestyle cosmetics and fragrances. Brands you love and brands you have never heard of, but need to try. There are over 40 of them. With its separate entrance the Gallery will be an ever evolving showcase. The current exhibit features among others, Helmut Newton photographs.

After, before or while shopping you can slip into the chic café. Then slip out and browse some more. 10 Corso Como is an elegant, exotic mélange, it’s like a fantasy Moroccan souk with a signature look. The complex and intricately beautifully conceived codes that Ruhs designed for the store only highlight the exquisite taste that Carla Sozzani has been honing for decades. Modern and playful. The space exists to delight.

NYC Private Shopping Tour is AVENUE’s new shopping column, covering retail exclusively for


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