Carla Sozzani is the founder of 10 Corso Como. Sozzani opened Galleria Carla Sozzani in a vacant garage at 10 Corso Como in 1990, originally as only an exhibition space. The Milan store now has an attached bookstore, fashion and design store, roof garden, hotel and café. Sozzani has gone on to open additional stores in Tokyo, in collaboration with Commes des Garçons, Seoul, and Shanghai, and has just debuted a new store in Beijing.
Sozzani told Interview, “I wanted to make a living magazine. I was, for 19 years, a fashion editor, so editing for me was instinctual, and maybe the only thing I knew then. I unconsciously got into retail without knowing what it meant, driven by the desire to communicate — to share my editing choices with readers who would become visitors and customers. I was sharing and getting feedback that I could not get then from magazines, as the Internet and blogs did not exist at the time. Photography had been a big part of my work, and I had also become passionate about collecting, so in 1990, the building at 10 Corso Como was the address where the loft was that became Galleria Carla Sozzani. That was the first stone — and then the bookstore, the café, and the store.”
Sozzani’s considered and cerebral edit and taste are at the basis of her success. “I cannot please everybody, but it is important to have one eye. This builds a faithful following and, consequently, good clientele. That’s why the conversation—the dialogue with visitors and customers—is so important. I’ve never been driven by what is 'in' or what is 'out.'" At the foundation of her success to date is her ability to create such unique spaces, which enrich the visitor culturally, artistically and socially.
Sozzani was inspired by the concept of an Italian piazza when forming her first and subsequent spaces, telling Interview she wanted to create a “place where people would come and meet, see an exhibition, browse through books, have a drink, eat, rest, shop.” Sozzani has also collaborated with Azzedine Alaïa and Rei Kawakubo and put on exhibitions for Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, David La Chappelle, Bruce Weber , and Steven Meisel . Her gallery has published numerous books and photography catalogs.
Sozzani was the founding editor-in-chief of Italian Elle in 1987, and was editor-in-chief of her sister’s Vogue Italia special editions. She left the title in 1986 and was appointed American Vogue’s editor-at-large for Italy.