The fashion model’s guide to Milan

Traditional sources all, commonly used by travelers seeking local information.

But Italy’s fashion capital of Milan is no common city.

In a place that feels more like one big catwalk, swarming with models, the best guides to the city are those closest to the fabulous action.

That’s why we asked a panel of local glamour gurus to fashion a tour of the best places in Milan to get close to the beauty.

Fashion model Roberta Defez has done photo shoots for Italian designer labels such as I Ragazzi del Rosso and Gianmarco Rii and luxury hotel brand Belmond Hotels. The Naples native works for the ICE Models Milan agency and has a degree in marketing and communications.

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Also from ICE Models Milan, Olga Lopatina, born in Yekaterinburg, Russia, is a showroom model whose clients include Ermanno Scervino, Pinko, Diesel, Jil Sander and Marlboro Classics. She speaks four languages and has degrees in foreign languages and marketing. 

Enrico Labriola is a well known Italian fashion photographer who has shot for Grazia, Vogue Italy, Max France and Paris Match. Clients include Pitti Immagine, Dupont and Pomellato, and his work is regularly exhibited at the Cannes’ Fashion Photography Festival.

Below are the pros’ picks for places models and fashionistas drink, eat, dance, shop and generally look hot.

Be prepared to bump into more than one.

As a result, Milan’s discos are among Italy’s best.

Defez calls Armani Privé (Via Pisoni 1; +39 02 6231 2655) the most élite club in town.

Located in the Fashion Quadrangle, where houses for all the top brands are located, the club is lit in soft, reddish tones and features a minimalistic Japanese design motif.

“If you want to be noticed you need to wear tight pants and 12-inch high heels, but the dress code doesn’t stop you from feeling at ease and having fun,” says Defez. “Different from other clubs, it’s not cramped inside. It’s spacious.”

Defez and Lopatina also suggest The Club (Corso Garibaldi 97; +39 33 8951 5667) and Old Fashion Club (Viale Emilio Alemagna 6; +39 02 805 6231) — the latter rises from inside Parco Sempione and has a large tree jutting out of its ceiling.

Cover charge at most discos and clubs is €20.

The scenery is worth it.

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Silvia Marchetti is a freelance journalist and writer based in Italy.