Each shopping capital has its signature department store. Paris has the Galeries Lafayette, London has Harrod’s , New York has Saks Fifth Avenue and Milan has its own one: the Excelsior. The building has been designed by architects Jean Nouvel and Vincenzo de Cotiis who have turned an old cinema in the city centre into a shopping paradise.
It is set on seven floors from the basement to the rooftop. The lower level is a contemporary grocery store where to taste and buy typical Italian products: fresh meat, pasta, pastries and chocolate treats will make your tour on this level a mouth-watering experience. The ground level offers to its visitors “an itinerary of exclusive scents framed by sweeping curtains and modern installations that ooze a latter-day opulence” (Excelsior’s official website). Here is where the store’s perfumery is settled along with fancy design items right next to a bar where to have a coffee while enjoying the view on the Galleria del Corso. The tour of the store must continue to the upper floors starting with the first level which is dedicated to women’s sport and casual apparel.
The second level is the place where men want to be. Here is where a large collection of clothes and accessories has been displayed by the well know retail guru Antonia. She has been able to wisely combine luxury products with more affordable ones. This is the main idea behind the store’s philosophy. The combination of new and old, the mix of high-end products and emerging designers’ items. This concept also reflects the reputation of the city of Milan. Its capability to merge the tradition with the new generations’ ideas. If you would like to truly understand the role of Milan as a shopping capital, the Excelsior department store is the place to be.