MILAN — Two Italian landmark retailers are joining forces.
Tiziana Fausti and 10 Corso Como revealed on Thursday they have created a joint venture to expand and reinforce the presence of the latter globally.
Carla Sozzani, the founder of 10 Corso Como, said she had “only praise for the groundbreaking work of Tiziana Fausti. Her determination and style in maintaining such a strong market presence and the success she has achieved is admirable.”
Sozzani underscored how each retailer had “created in independent ways two realities that stand out for their uniqueness and complementarity. I look forward to this new energy at 10 Corso Como.”
The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the retail scene to the core, and the partnership’s objective is to blend the visions of Sozzani and Fausti, further developing the storied Milanese brand in Italy and around the world with the creation of 10 Corso Como-the-global-shop, translating into the digital world the experience of 10 Corso Como.
“I have great respect for the cultural presence Carla Sozzani has created over the last decades in the fields of art, design and fashion for the brand 10 Corso Como,” said Fausti, founder of the namesake multibrand stores and chairman of its parent Holding Exor. “An innovative concept that has contributed to make the city of Milano an international center. I believe that the experience acquired by Exor in these years with brands, luxury and research shall cooperate to the further development of 10 Corso Como.”
Fausti founded her store in 1979 in the Italian city of Bergamo, a one-hour drive away from Milan. The brand has grown to include an e-commerce channel. Tiziana Fausti carries brands ranging from Givenchy and Balenciaga to Gucci, Prada and Versace, to name a few. Fausti, while continuing to fulfill her responsibilities as president of her companies, will focus on the further development of 10 Corso Como and its digital global presence.
At 10 Corso Como, first established in 1991, Sozzani pioneered a retail concept that blended fashion, cuisine, art, music, design and lifestyle. Her store in Milan is located in and identified with the street of the same name and has contributed to the development of its neighborhood. 10 Corso Como, in addition to the store, includes a restaurant and café. There is also a gallery and a bookshop.
Sozzani often refers to the store as a bazaar. Her office brims with books and photos by Man Ray and Helmut Newton, art by Ruhs, and furniture by Norman Cherner.
The sister of late Vogue Italia editor in chief Franca Sozzani, Carla started her career in publishing. After a long stint at Vogue Italia, she launched Italian Elle in 1987 before setting out in retailing.
The brand had been going through some growing pains and changes, with recurring rumors circulating about its future.
In 2017, the building housing the store was sold to former Twin-set owners and founders Simona Barbieri and Tiziano Sgarbi, but the rent was renegotiated and the store stayed put. Donato Maino, chief executive officer of Dieci Srl, told WWD at the time that the store in Milan is a license of the brand 10 Corso Como given to the company Dieci srl. Maino clarified that “the gallery, the bookshop and the restaurant are not part of Dieci srl.”
In 2002, together with Rei Kawakubo, Sozzani opened the 10 Corso Como-Comme des Garçons store in Tokyo, which has since closed.
Two other stores, in Shanghai and Beijing, have also been closed. Last year, 10 Corso Como shut its 27,000-square-foot Shanghai store as its Chinese operation partner, the L Capital Asia-backed Trendy Group, declined to renew the lease and the partnership, according to the retailer.
A spokesperson from 10 Corso Como in Milan said at the time that the closure of the Shanghai store was expected. “The seven-year license of the 10 Corso Como brand in China and the lease of the building of 10 Corso Como at 1717 West Nanjing Road, Shanghai, have arrived at maturity.”
Trendy shut 10 Corso Como’s store at SKP Beijing in 2017.
The 28,000-square-foot store represented the breadth of Sozzani’s imagination and her longtime collaboration with American artist Kris Ruhs, who was responsible for the flagship’s edgy graphics that appear on nearly every surface.