Highsnobiety

Four years ago, in the midst of lockdown, longtime collaborators Vittorio Valigi and Francesco Velardi started selling second-hand vinyl records, clothing produced by their friends, and independent magazines from a makeshift shop in their small Milan apartment. In the years since, the project they dubbed Opal has grown from an improvised concept store to so much more.

Today, it creates cut-and-sew fashion collections, throws parties, and is a record label producing and promoting artists from the electronic music scene. And it has taken on a third member, co-owner and promoter Fabio Zof. 

No longer confined to the four walls of an apartment, Opal is now in an industrial building turned multifunctional space in Lambrate.

Speaking on a Zoom call from that space, Valigi tells me, “It's easy to speak about being ‘multidisciplinary,’ but I think we are truly respecting the term because we are managing different aspects of what electronic music could be.” 

To honor their roots, we asked Opal’s founders to curate a list of the best concept stores in Milan. “All of these places have one great quality in common which is that, at the base of everything they do, is research,” says Valigi. “It's constant research on stuff from music to books to garments. That's why we selected each one, because you can perceive that there is a lot [that’s happened behind the scenes].”

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Potlatch

Vittorio Valigi: Potlatch is a tiny library in Loreto. There are a lot of books everywhere and you can find some gems inside. 

They also organize workshops and music events with selectors. It's mostly ambient but sometimes they do jazz, punk, and rock. It's a type of place that’s rare to find lately; everything [else] is kind of posh.

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Slam Jam

V: They own everything interesting in terms of street culture. They know how to shape culture through music, fashion, and publications.

Francesco Velardi: If you are looking for garments that are only sold in other countries, [Slam Jam] will have them. For example, I really love the brand Online Ceramics, and you can’t find it anywhere else in Milan.

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Serendeepity

V: Serendeepity has a wide choice of records, a huge spectrum.

F: And you can buy books, you can buy stuff for DJing like headphones, needles, and turntables. They also stock our clothing collection, and when we have a release with our record label, we call the owner and ask to host the release party. It's a real community space.

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Volume

F: Here you can find great ambient records and really good books. It’s a concept store for people who want to listen to ambient music and read a book that is not from the older, bigger bookstores in Milan.

V: Also, the shop is tiny and you really feel at home there.

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10 Corso Como

F: This is one of the first places in Milan to be a multidisciplinary concept store with design and fashion. You can have a drink with friends, you can visit an exhibition, you can buy a book... this is somewhere I enjoy visiting regularly.

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All Times Tones

F: This place is more for diggers that don’t want to only play dance music. Here you can find a very big collection of world music, ambient, jazz, and blues. It's a very nice place for collectors.

V: It's a very friendly and interesting place with great music

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