Four years ago, we released The Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style, our book exploring the homes and wardrobes of some of the world’s brightest fashion luminaries. A handful of the stunning closets from the time have never been published online—until now. Today we’re taking it back to June 2015, when we had the pleasure of shooting with Carla Sozzani, the founder of Galleria Carla Sozzani and creator of 10 Corso Como at her Milan studio and archive.
Nine times out of ten, we try to deny the notion that fashion, for all its tell-all roman à clefs and salacious Page Six scandals, is in any way intimidating. Sure, there’s the occasional fashion assistant or publicist with a sneer near-permanently painted on their faces, but we’re pretty sure those types can be found just about anywhere, regardless of industry. Every now and then, though, there’s that rare name who, for all our time spent digging through the underwear drawers of people of prominence, scares us. Just a little.
Like Carla Sozzani. She’s the iconic—a descriptor we don’t drop often—brain behind 10 Corso Como, a store often heralded as one of the best shopping experiences in the entire world. Don’t get us wrong: Sozzani was nothing short of lovely, despite us disturbing her in the middle of her work day to raid her stuff. But there’s no denying that as one-half of the most powerful sibling duo in Italian fashion (Carla’s sister, Franca, just so happens to be editor-in-chief at Vogue Italia), Sozzani is the tiniest bit terrifying. Just the teeniest-weeniest bit.
When we arrived at her store, we were led past the second-floor Galleria, and after being ushered through a clandestine side door, there we were, in her studio. Sozzani’s space carries off a certain organized chaos in a way that only true creatives can actually maintain. It’s lined by low, overstuffed bookshelves, with more to be found in towering piles along the floor; there are various keepsakes from travels around the world and white cork boards covered in art, magazine tears, and photos of close friends and family. Between the hanging bubble chair suspended from the ceiling in one corner and the Kris Ruhs flower sculptures in the other, it felt like a sort of monochromatic, wholly inspiring oasis, completely removed from the bustling superstore below.
In a surprise to absolutely no one, Sozzani’s wardrobe mirrors the look and feel of her space: a mix of neutral classics from Alaïa (Carla’s lifelong best friend—the store threw the launch party for the designer’s first namesake fragrance the night before our shoot), and more boundary-pushing pieces from Comme des Garçons. And then there’s her jewelry collection, made up of oversized silver statement pieces almost entirely by Ruhs, Sozzani’s partner and frequent creative collaborator (he even designed Corso Como’s logo), housed in seemingly endless rows of black filing cabinets adjacent to her office. A beyond-appropriate use of otherwise dormant office supplies, if you ask us.
As we cautiously attempted to mix in Sozzani’s things with her space—more than a few push pins may have fallen victim in the process, landing the papers collaging her walls on the floor, which was about as mortifying for us as you’d imagine—she tapped away at her Mac keyboard, peering up to observe us quizzically every so often. Again: terrifying. Good thing we had three massive floors at our de-stressing disposal to peruse after our shoot. We’d like to think Carla would approve.