Where do you stay?
“I’ll change up the hotel, but I always stay central. Milan’s
may be my favorite Four Seasons in the world. The location, off Via Montenapoleone, can’t be beaten, and it’s in a converted convent with these beautiful high ceilings. I doubt they’d have built it like that now, but that’s Milan: So much of the architecture is brilliantly proportioned. It’s a very noble city. The
has a fabulous bar and wonderful exterior terrace, but the
is the most authentic. It was recently renovated yet feels old-school, the city’s equivalent to Venice’s Hotel Danieli.”
What is your go-to shop?
“Milan has so many great spots for antiques. Nilufar specializes in mid-century modern furniture; I have some of its shelves and light fixtures ready to assemble for my new country home, in Bibury, in the Cotswolds. It was built in 1580, and the main house was finished in 1630.”
Any style secrets?
My general attire is disheveled—I have a thing for hickory-striped OshKosh overalls—and I don’t have to wear a suit to work every day but I do wear them, generally at times of day when other people don’t. I have a particular place in Milan, Caraceni, where I get them made. It’s a legendary tailor’s with a really specific cut whose customers have included Gianni Agnelli and Aristotle Onassis. You can always tell a Caraceni. I’ve had about 20 suits sewn by him. He has been there for decades and has had all these fabrics—mohair, linens, cottons—bolted to the walls, which I love to peruse. A tip: You can usually get an appointment a day or two out, though the suit may take a year to make.”
Your favorite Milan memory?
“The greatest place in Milan sadly no longer exists. It was G. Lorenzi, a men’s shop. Although it was more of a museum, selling things you couldn’t find anywhere else. Everything was really expensive. You could go in there and drop $100,000, no problem, on axes, cutting boards, toothbrushes, nail-scissors made of solid gold. I bought so much stuff, including decorative knives from makers all over the world because I like steel. I would buy knives made of meteorite.”
The best aperitivo?
“I like to think that friends and I popularized
years ago, when we hosted a party there during Salone del Mobile; now it’s crammed with all the young designers. The owner, Maurizio, is a quintessential Italian barman—it’s not just his job, it is his whole life, and he makes the most wonderful cocktails. I once designed a shaker for the bar with the Italian company Alessi. Maurizio was my consultant. I’ll grab a booth by the window and have him mix me up a Campari Shakerato, Campari shaken with ice, which you only get in Milan. I tried to order it in Venice. It didn’t work out.”
How about dinner?
“There are so many great restaurants in Milan it is hard to eat badly. Bice is a rustic trattoria near Montenapoleano. If it’s the season, I’ll do pasta with fresh truffle, followed with a Grappa Nonino. Otherwise, it serves a saffron rice with curry spices and shrimp that I Iike.”
What’s your tack-on?
“I always try to make it to Como. For years friends and I would rent a house in the village of Torno. There’s a little neighborhood-style place called Il Belvedere, through the small cobbled square right on the lake. There are only two restaurants in the town, and this was the more familial. The people who run it are supercool. I have known them for 20 years. You can also stay there. They make the most incredible marinara, cooked in tinfoil and loaded with octopus, mussels, shrimp, and vongole, served over pasta.”
Why do you love Milan?
“I’ve been coming here for years and I still never go far from the central area, which is vibrant, compact, and walkable. The city is quirky but conservative. There’s nothing risky or edgy. It’s brilliantly dependable, but I love it for that.”
What kind of traveler is your luggage designed for?
“One is the mundane traveler. And the other is the person who wants to do exotic things. I am both of them. The people who will reap the greatest benefits from these bags are those who travel a lot. They’re in and out of planes, or whatever the mode of transport is. I want people to see these cases and go, ‘Wow, I’m never going to use anything else.’”
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GALLERY Marc Newson
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler