Ralph Lauren’s Italian Palazzo: The Ultimate Private Club For Fashionistas (And There Are Watches, Too)
There is a very special place in Milan, Italy that few locals even know exists.
The building’s door as seen from Via S Barnaba is nondescript with barely a sign to even let passersby know what might be found inside. The Milanese are familiar with the building as one of a handful of mansion-style houses built in the 1930s and 1940s in architettura razionale (rationalist architecture) style by wealthy members of society: this one was built in 1941 by the Campanini family. From its well-groomed terrace one looks across a street and into a well manicured city park.
Casa Campanini with its blue-blood origins boasts approximately 1,100 square meters (12,000 square feet) of space; its rooms are regally decorated in a homey yet refined manner. If the door were open and you wandered in, you would definitely be forgiven if you thought you were meandering around someone’s house.
It is a quiet place, deliberately so, but since its opening in September 2015 it has been known to fashionistas the world over as the Ralph Lauren Palazzo.
“[Milan] is a unique city where people appreciate refinement, quality, and style,” Lauren has said. Which may well explain why he chose to purchase this piece of property in 1989 destined to later become a private club for the well-heeled and fashionable.
Private, but not really secret
The Ralph Lauren Palazzo is a private club that one may only become a member of by being invited by Lauren’s organization or by another member.
The club’s main purpose, aside from forging deeper relationships with VIP clients and providing better customer service to them, is the privacy to be able to order, try on, and pick up bespoke clothing, watches, and jewelry made by Ralph Lauren. Members may also acquire prêt-a-porter clothing just off the runway here.
Two luxurious shopping rooms within the Palazzo are reserved just for such menswear and womenswear.
What can you see here?
The reception area feels very much feel like being in someone’s living room.
The furniture, peppered with exclusive textiles and leathers, is comfortable and a small library containing well-illustrated tomes on Wimbledon (Ralph Lauren outfits officials and ballboys at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club) and vintage automobiles (see how Lauren won the vintage car world’s most prestigious concours d’elegance in 2013 at Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza And A. Lange & Söhne: Time For Legends) will not leave you bored for a second.
Or you can wander out the ornate doors on the park side to the beautiful terrace, which – like the upstairs terrace belonging to the showrooms served by a private chef – is furnished with items from the Ralph Lauren home collection.
One particularly nice perk for members is the ability for the Palazzo concierge to attain reservations at Ralph Lauren’s notoriously full Paris, Chicago, and New York City restaurants, which are often extremely difficult to get.
And, finally, as a member you have the ability to get yourself put on the guest lists of fancy charity events and parties held at the beautiful, light, and airily designed fashion mecca.
The Palazzo Ralph Lauren Circolo Privato, as it is known in Italian, is a sophisticated customized shopping experience in a uniquely fashion-oriented and rarified setting.
Entry is by appointment only, and I for one am really glad I managed to score one to check out Ralph Lauren’s new 2016 watches. If you want to find out more about them, see A Very Brief History Of Ralph Lauren’s Watches And The 2016 Collection.
For more information on this uniquely luxurious flagship, please visit www.flagships.ralphlauren.com.