It’s day 5 of my Milanese work trip and I am forming a very clear idea of what it’s like to actually live here rather than just vacation. It’s been an unreal adventure trying to figure out which bus to hop onto and which tram to ride to the Where Milan office in the north of the city. Finally I have it all worked out… catch tram 24 on Via Giuseppe Ripamonti to the Crocetta metro station, then make my way to Cairoli on the red line and once there, hop onto tram 1 all the way down Corso Sempione to Via Ezio Biondi.
Meeting all the staff at the Communications company was delightful. I was a little nervous, I must admit, but the silver-haired editor and president, Andrea, welcomed me into his office with such warmth that the tension drained from my body instantly. He introduced me to his partner, Daniele, as well as his staff in the open-plan office and sat me down at a corner desk. Everyone is so amused with my South African origin, that it makes for a great conversation starter 🙂
Alessandra is a gem. She is a tall, helpful and very friendly woman open to new ideas and my honest opinion. Alessia is on sick leave after falling badly but I look forward to meeting her because she made every effort to find me a room to rent. Rachele is a lovely young woman who drives into the city each morning from the tiny town of Varese. She took me along to a press conference which she arranged at Milan’s Olympic building.
I spent Monday night hopping between new store and showroom openings with Sergio, a finance journalist and his friend, Manuella, who sells top quality Italian silk. She is a social butterfly who spends her week nights fluttering throughout the city, making her appearance at the most exclusive fashion events.
My first stop was the opening of Manas’ new concept showroom where the brand showcased it’s collection of colourful platform sandals for spring/summer 2012.The sporty sole offers chic sophistication and practicality for women who are the subject of their own lives, Manas shoes are for real women who go about their daily activities in style and comfort. Manas shoes are available in Milan at my friend, Daniele’s Musto stores in Via Dante and Via Manzoni.
The next stop was Milan’s very first Tavecchi store on the corner of Via Borgospesso and Via della Spiga. Made in Bergamo, just a few kilometres outside of Milan, Tavecchi’s collection of top-quality leather bags for work and travel is well suited to the chic clientele who walk these vie.
Before calling it a night, I accompanied Manuella to the Greymer showroom on Corso Venezia where we were escorted upstairs to a buzzing room filled with Milan’s social elite. I ate my share of sushi and fruit sticks, said my goodbyes to my companions and happily rode the tram back home, giving my over-walked feet a well-deserved break.
You’ve got to love this place. It’s a city where suited men ride bicycles to work and where well-dressed women ride their vespas in high heels. It’s a city in which charming men refer to facial features as the ‘design of your face’, a place where almost every billboard is fashion-related and where every third woman is a long, lanky runway model. It’s a city in which society congregates to admire shoes, clothing and innovative artistic creativity. I LOVE it!