Los Angeles-based designer
Natasha Baradaran is not only inspired by Italian mid-century design, she has a long family association with the country. Here, just in time for the annual Salone del Mobile furniture fair, she shares some of her favorite finds and cultural delights in Italy's design capital. 83
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Vintage furniture stores and heavyweight fashion boutiques fill the Breara Design District—plus it's where many of the most innovative temporary design installations occur during Salone. If you're a fashion and furniture enthusiast, Brera is a must. For vintage pieces,
Roberta e Basta is my favorite—they have a series of stores throughout the area, divided by decade. My favorite place for a drink after hours is Radetzky.
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Antonia is my favorite fashion boutique in the city, because of Antonia Giacinti's personal take on established fashion lines. Much of what they show is exclusive to the store. I get compliments on everything I’ve ever purchased there.
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Next to the Cathedral, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is probably the most iconic spot in Milan, and rightfully so. It is where the Milanese convene, stroll, grab an espresso, and survey the goods in Old World shops and the boutiques of global luxury brands.
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Galleria Ottoman was inspired by the lines of the Galleria's glass ceiling—and I wish I could place one right in the center of the Galleria, where I could sit for a few hours to watch all of Milan pass by.
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Nilufar, the one and only Nina Yashar’s design gallery on Via Spiga. I love her vision of presenting lesser-known vintage pieces with iconic, historic modernist works. Most of all, I admire how she experiments with contemporary makers such as Martino Gamper. She's mastered the art of collaboration. Plus, she's my husband's cousin.
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My favorite sculpture of all time—Arnaldo Pomodoro’s brutalist sculpture in Piazza Filippo Meda. It’s a stunningly large work, exposed for all to enjoy.
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When I have time, this is one of my favorite excursions, just outside the city. Not only is the
Fondazione Prada eye opening, with its avant-guard contemporary collections, but the architecture by Rem Koolhaas is unreal! The gilded exterior of the main building reminds me of Kyoto's Golden Palace. Plus, I love the café, Bar Luce, which was designed by film director Wes Anderson.
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Villa Necchi is one of my favorite homes, ever. In particular, the bronze portion in the entry foyer is magnificent. I'm forever inspired by the architect of Villa Necchi, Piero Portaluppi.
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Villa Necchi, which finally achieved the fame it deserves when it was used as the setting of Luca Guadagnino's movie "I Am Love," also inspired my
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For a spring lunch, I love the courtyard at
Salumaio di Montenapoleone. It feels like you're dining at a palace right in the center of town.
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Sempione Park has been one my favorites places ever since I used to go there as a child when visiting my grandfather, who was a Persian rug dealer in Milan.
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My most recent bench design is named
Sempione, as a tribute to the afternoons we spent together feeding pigeons in the park.
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Tearose is a chic, lifestyle concept boutique that hosts a floral design studio, fashion boutique, and lifestyle shop in one. I will be doing a pop-up presentation with Tearose during Salone this year, to debut my latest furniture collection, Andro. The idea of mixing various inspirations together into one vision is a philosophy that my work and this special shop share.
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Ceresio 7 is great for an aperetivo after a day walking through the exhausting Salone del Mobile—plus it offers an outdoor pool in the heart of Milan.
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Owned by Miuccia Prada and ideally located on via Montenapoleone,
Pasticceria Marchesi is perfect for a morning or afternoon espresso with something sweet. I can’t get enough of the green onyx interiors and the perfectly tailored uniforms designed by Miuccia herself.