Milan Fashion Week kicks off this Wednesday, February 20 and concludes on Sunday, February 24. The main attraction are of course the runway shows from the likes of Gucci, Prada and Versace, leaving perhaps little time for anything else. But one still has to eat during Fashion Week — and if you have time, hopefully, get in a bit of shopping and site seeing as well. Whether you’re in town to attend the shows or just happen to be visiting the Italian city during Fashion Week, read on for our recommendations of what to see, where to go to shop and eat in Milan.
Florence may be Italy’s top destination for art icons like The Birth of Venus and Michelangelo’s David, but Milan has plenty to offer in the contemporary art scene. Start with a visit to art-social-fashion space Spazio Maiocchi, which has hosted exhibitions with Virgil Abloh and Carhartt WIP. On February 21, the gallery will kick off an exhibition with Korakrit Arunanondchai, which runs until March 31, as well as a collaboration with Slam Jam featuring artist Jeremy Deller and photographer David Sims, which runs until February 25.
Also a must visit is the Fondazione Prada — though you may end up there anyway as it’s hosted many a Prada runway show. Despite the name, this is a proper art museum, however, not a fashion museum. The main venue is located outside the city center, but there’s also a satellite exhibition space called the Osservatorio at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
For premiere fashion people watching in Milan this week or any time of year, stroll through the neighborhoods of Brera or Navigli. Or, to escape the fashion mayhem for a moment, stop by the expansive gardens of Parco Sempione.
If you need a last-minute outfit for shows and parties or just want to pick up a few pieces to take home, Milan will make it easy for you to drop a few hundred euros. If it’s your first time in the city, be sure to make a stop to the original 10 Corso Como, which is also home to a restaurant.
Another local favorite, of course, is Slam Jam Milano, located in Brera. On February 22, the store will host a launch party for its “Class of 1977” pack. Also in Brera is Antonia. The men’s and women’s retailer is worth seeing for the plush locale alone, which was designed by Italian architect Vincenzo de Cotiis.
If you end up at Fondazione Prada, then you’re all but obligated to stop by the onsite Bar Luce as well. Designed by Wes Anderson, the bar and cafe serves typical Milanese snacks with kitschy decor inspired by Anderson’s films.
Both Mag Cafè and God Save the Food are conveniently located near many of the fashion shows in Navigli. You’re likely to see attendees grabbing a coffee and bite in between shows. If you need something stronger than coffee, order one of Mag Cafè’s signature cocktails.