Milan is an international shopping gem, offering an irresistible mix of high-end designer boutiques and cutting-edge concept stores. One emporium in which visitors could spend hours getting lost and soaking up the best on every floor, from delectable Italian cuisine to impeccably made watches and jewellery, is the Brian & Barry Building San Babila. Offering 12 floors of retail temptations, this is one shop not to be missed on your trip to Milan.
In the heart of Milan
‘The Brian & Barry Building is in the heart of Milan, just a short walk from Piazza San Babila,’ explains general manager Roberto Zaccardi. ‘From this spot you get an amazing view of the city and of Milan’s cathedral.’ The building itself was created by architect Giovanni Muzio and dates back to the 1950s. After its transformation into the Brian & Barry Building, it opened to the public in March 2014. ‘The renovation did not affect the exterior, which has retained its original façade,’ Zaccardi explains. ‘Light, airiness and transparency characterise the interiors, where the simplicity of the furnishings and the quality of materials is expressed in a unique concept of minimalist sophistication.’
Brilliant in every department
Clean lines and sleek displays ensure the products on offer truly shine. That’s true whether you’re on the seventh floor, home to traditional menswear, or in the basement, an area dedicated to Italian gourmet brand Eataly’s food market, which stocks the finest ingredients and epicurean gifts. As Zaccardi explains, ‘We chose Eataly because it represents food excellence, and that’s also why we chose RossoPomodoro, the Hamburgheria and La Piadina dei Fratelli Maioli.’ These cafés and eateries have something to please everyone, whether that’s a delicious hamburger, excellent pizzas and pasta or a traditional Italian flatbread.
The latest fashions
When it comes to fashion, the Brian & Barry Building carries everything from the latest catwalk pieces to time-honoured names with faultless reputations. The fifth and sixth floors offer womenswear, with classic looks to be found in the Iconic Woman section, and more modern styles in Contemporary Woman one storey up. The eighth floor offers street style-influenced menswear, tapping into the current trend for a more relaxed, sporty look. If it’s watches and jewellery you’re after, the second floor will truly captivate, with brands including Chanel, Montblanc and Bell & Ross on offer. In the ground floor gallery, visitors can discover the history of Brian & Barry, as well as marvelling at displays that entice visitors to explore the upper storeys. The store is constantly looking to the future and keeping things fresh for both new visitors and regular fans alike. ‘Everything is always in a state of evolution,’ says Zaccardi. ‘We want to give our customers a unique experience, with events and co-marketing operations, and of course by introducing new brands.’
The customer comes first
Clever consideration has been given to the varying needs of the Brian & Barry Building’s range of customers when it comes to the layout of the many floors. Some people may be popping in just to replace a beauty product, whereas others may be looking to spend a day seeking out the best on every floor. To cater to both, the building offers two ways to get around, from the ‘slow-moving’ stairs to speedy lifts. Added convenience is provided by the extended opening hours, from 10am to 8pm, as well as by the extensive selection of the finest local and international brands under one roof. ‘The Brian & Barry Building customer is seeking excellence in fashion, taste, jewellery, and watches. They are a customer that loves to get the best “Made in Italy” brands and the finest international labels,’ says Zaccardi.
Wine and dine
The Brian & Barry Building also offers its customers fine dining in its Asola restaurant, under the aegis of chef Matteo Torretta. Rooftop bar Terrazza 12, which offers 12 signature cocktails alongside a host of classic drinks in stunning 1950s-inspired surroundings, is the perfect place to relax after a day of shopping. It’s only fitting that Zaccardi should have the last word. ‘The Brian & Barry Building wants to become a hub for everything that involves Milan. We have already hosted art and photography exhibitions, and Terrazza 12 is the perfect place for events. We love Milan, and we are going to bring Milan and its engaging cultures into our building.’