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Walking along the street in Milan, you’ll find a dark, unassuming doorway marked 10 Corso Como. There’s no outward clue as to what lies within. I had heard it was like Collette in Paris, so was thrilled to make the pilgrimage, yet was totally unprepared for what I would discover inside. Once through the dimly lit entry, you emerge into a vast, open air courtyard that begins the sublime experience. Part greenhouse, part warehouse, and part haute couture house –  the ambiance stirred my designer’s sensibility to the core. This mecca for the well-heeled, artsy crowd is home to shops, galleries, a cafe, bar, rooftop terrace and a 3-room hotel. “Promenade through art, design and fashion in a single space. Stroll the crossroad between desire and culture.” While the store is extravagantly pretentious (the salespeople have perfected the art of haughty disdain), overall, 10 Corso Como manages to feel accessible and inviting. I came away inspired, awed and exquisitely gratified.

Fair warning: the video below is 8 minutes long. (Of course it is. Would a place like this be concerned that generally people lose interest after 3 minutes? Ah, no.) Still, watch what you can to soak up the flavor of this exceptional little gem.