10 Corso Como

10 Corso Como


10 Corso Como
The entrance of 10 Corso Como, Milan.

10 Corso Como is a cult bazaar for fashion and more, opened in 1990 in Milan and designed by Carla Sozzani. It offers sought-after clothes, accessories, jewellery, books, design objects, and furnishings, all assembled according to a cosmopolitan, refined and exclusive taste.

10 Corso Como is a revolutionary model, anticipating the ’boutique as a lifestyle” trend, in contrast to the traditional single-brand store of the 1980s. Along with international griffes, including Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, Prada, Ferretti, Westwood, Lang, Margiela, and Gaultier, there are the NN Studio and OZen lines created by Sozzani herself. Upstairs there is a gallery for photo and art exhibits, and a music room. Moreover, on the ground floor of this typical Milanese “ringhiera” house (a house with external balconies), there is a restaurant café. This concept-store recently opened the 3Rooms “bed and breakfast”: three suites “with some points in common which bring together art initiatives, modern antique collecting, design, and high technology.”

10 Corso Como, a boutique as lifestyle

In 2008, the roof garden opened its doors, a hanging space that houses the sculptures and ceramic works of contemporary artist Kris Ruhs. The brand represents a revolutionary model of understanding and marketing the fashion product: that of “boutique as a lifestyle,” a concept in stark contrast to the idea of ​​a single-brand store, which was the most popular in the 1980s. From Yves Saint Laurent to Tom Ford, from Comme des Garçons to Yohji Yamamoto, passing through Azzedine Alaia and Alberta Ferretti, all the fashion business’s biggest names have taken their places at least once among the stands of the boutique.

10 corso como
10 Corso Como gardens

A special place through which Carla Sozzani creates an entirely personal narrative every time can develop business and welcome and involve the customer in an all-encompassing experience of slow shopping. And for this reason, Sozzani expanded the brand outside Italy in 2002, when, together with Rei Kawakubo, she opened the 10 Corso Como-Comme des Garçons store in Tokyo. Six years later, she unveiled a three-story 10 Corso Como store in Seoul. Outposts in Shanghai and Beijing soon followed. Then, the company arrived in New York in September 2018. Eighteen months later, 10 Corso Como New York permanently shut down on 1st April. The retailer’s downtown location in New York by the pier also made it vulnerable to the weather. 

The importance of partnerships

When the brand entered the US, it made experienced hires such as Averyl Oates, a veteran of Harvey Nichols and Galeries Lafayette, who was hired as managing director to help Sozzani run the US side of the business.

For the property, a 28,000 square-foot space, the retailer dealt with real estate developer The Howard Hughes Corporation. But the Dallas-based developer didn’t have extensive experience in operating retail. Finding the right operating partners is key to an international expansion. When 10 Corso Como expanded into Beijing and Shanghai, it partnered with Trendy, a Guangzhou-based group backed by L Capital Asia that runs stores for brands like MissSixty and Superdry across China. 10 Corso Como’s store at SKP Beijing was shut in 2017 due to losses, despite SKP being one of China’s most lucrative luxury retail destinations. Two years after that, 10 Corso Como’s Shanghai store closed when Trendy declined to renew the lease and the partnership. Also, the 10 Corso Como-Comme des Garçons store in Tokyo has shut, as its license reached maturity in 2012.

Current situation

Currently, the remaining stores outside of Milan are in Seoul: a standalone boutique in the upscale district of Gangnam and another inside Korea’s largest luxury department store Avenue L, owned by Lotte Corporation. Both stores are operated by Samsung-owned marketing unit Cheil, which also manages pioneering South Korean retailer Boon the Shop.

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