MILAN — A trip to Biffi quickly sweeps away any depressing thoughts about bad economies or pending wars. On any given day, Rosy Biffi’s boutique in Corso Genova brims over with customers eager to snap up the latest Marni antique floral dress, a Yohji Yamamoto oversize, razor-sharp jacket, or colorful embroidered sweaters from China Wall.

But Biffi also has a talent for discovering new, avant-garde designers. Its clientele is fashion-savvy and knowledgeable — and has deep pockets. "We were carrying Rohka before anyone had even heard of it," said Biffi, proudly touching the clothes on the racks. (Rohka designers Maria Restrepo and Ian Phin won the global young designers competition held here in September, together with Ichiro Seta.) "I love fashion and a season with bad collections really depresses me."

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