La Rinascente

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 August, 2007, 12:00am

Where? The headquarters (right) of Italy's premier department store are in Milan, visible from the city's grand Duomo. But there are La Rinascente outlets in every major Italian city, including Rome, Turin and Naples.

Who? The Bocconi brothers started La Rinascente in Milan's Via Santa Radegonda district in 1865. Over the years the store has undergone a number of ownership changes, the most recent being in 2005. The current owners are updating the store and revamping its image.

Fashion finds: La Rinascente carries a mix of Italian and foreign brands, including Dries Van Noten, Hussein Chalayan, Jimmy Choo, Giuseppe Zanotti and Moschino Cheap and Chic. Since fashion director Tiziano Carini was appointed, La Rinascente's outlook has become much more forward thinking - the classic styles are still here, but edgier, more unique brands are especially welcome.

The vibe: the ultimate shopping establishment, the eight-storey behemoth in Milan is classy but not intimidating. Wide and expansive on the inside, with perfectly uniform archways on the outside, it's like the malls in Hong Kong - except with more appealing exterior architecture.

The crowd: hip mother-daughter pairs and shoppers looking for personality.

Extras: La Rinascente runs has a more experimental concept store called Jam, which carries more affordable brands such as Lucky, Guess and Baci & Abbracci.

La Rinascente is at Via Washington, 70 Piazza Duomo, Milan, Italy, tel: 39 2 88521;