The la Rinascente department stores founded in Milan in 1865 by the Bocconi brothers can be found in all Italy’s major cities. From women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories to home furnishings and cosmetics, you can tap into the latest trends as you marvel at a variety of departments just as you would in France at the Galeries Lafayette. Here we shine a light on an unmissable shopping destination in Italy.
Milestones of an Italian success story
In 1865, brothers Luigi and Ferdinando Bocconi opened the first Italian department store on Via Santa Radegonda called “Magazzini Bocconi”. Senator Borletti bought the company in 1917 and began focusing on high-end merchandise with elegant, fashionable products. That same year, writer and poet Gabriele D’Annunzio dubbed the store “la Rinascente”. In the 1950s, la Rinas- cente reaped the bene ts of the Italian economic miracle by creating a home appliance department. Then the retail chain opened its own factory for women’s ready-to-wear. In 1969, the company was sold to the Agnelli family and the Fiat group. From 1990 to 2000, a joint venture was formed with the French chain Auchan to make a foray into mass food distribution with a new brand. The Borletti family took over the management of la Rinascente in 2005. In 2011, Thailand’s Central Retail Corporation (CRC) took control of the group and its 11 stores in Italy’s big cities.
La Rinascente Milan : the jewel in the crown
While la Rinascente has 11 outposts in Italy’s major cities (Rome, Turin, Genoa, etc.), the store on Piazza del Duomo in Milan is its iconic agship. It has survived 140 years of Italian history while remaining faithful to the vision of its founders to democratize fashion. This avant-garde destination dic- tates fashion and design trends and is a hotbed of talent. For example, fashion designer Giorgio Armani began his career there in 1957. A year later, this shrine to fashion debuted the rst collection from Ottavio and Rosita Missoni. With its dream location, la Rinas- cente Milan is blessed with an ex- traordinary view of the cathedral from its seventh floor. The store boasts 20,000 m2 of oor space with an 800 m2 shoe department on the third oor. It’s no wonder 10 million visitors flock here each year! La Rinascente Milan, whose annual sales top 300 million euros, hosts lavish events to coincide with major happenings like Milan Fashion Week and the International Design Show.
Rise like a phoenix
As its name and history attest, la Rinascente will always be a place of reinvention. While costumers go to la Rinascente to shop, the stores are rst and foremost showcases for the latest and greatest in the ever-evolving world of Italian design. These department stores serve up inspiration, re- laxation and entertainment to all comers, making them beloved by Italians and tourists from all around the world.
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