Where? In the lively Brera district, which is a short walk from Milan's city centre. Expect chic antiques shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants and bars.
Who? Stylist Antonia Giacinti opened the boutique in February 1999, stocking shoes. She took the concept one step further a year later, expanding into the store next door and selling women's ready-to-wear clothes. With her New York sensibility and European eye for luxury, Antonia now has a cult following among Milan's most fashionable women.
Fashion finds: unlike other hip stores, Antonia does not sell lifestyle products; it is solely dedicated to fashion. Nor does it have an in-house line. Expect a mix of cutting-edge labels and fashion heavyweights such as Albino, Lanvin, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Giambattista Valli, Couture Du Cuir and Schumacher.
Shoes are by Yves Saint Laurent, Miu Miu, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Christian Louboutin and Pierre Hardy. Must-have handbags include Thomas Wylde's skull-embellished leather styles or Zagliani's exotic-skin totes, injected with softening silicone.
The vibe: the contemporary space is airy and similar to a SoHo loft. The furniture is sleek and sophisticated while plenty of light showcases the products at their best.
The crowd: stylish Milanese women browse side by side with celebrities, fashion editors, stylists and music-industry executives. You'll also spot famous footballers' wives on occasion.
Extras: Giacinti plans to open a men's boutique around the corner next month. Events are usually held when a brand is launched in store. Giacinti personally oversees the visual merchandising and window displays, and the store is known for its creative and unusual installations.
Antonia is at 1 Via Ponte Vetero, Milan, Italy, tel: 39 02 8699 8340; www.antonia.it.