Buyer’s insight: 10 Corso Como

Head of Buying Cyril Rahon on rising talent, radical fashion and retail in the Asia region

Fashion News

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Celebrated concept store 10 Corso Como prides itself on its unique mix of fashion, food, art, music, lifestyle and design. Conceived by former fashion editor and publisher Carla Sozzani as a way to join culture and commerce, the winning formula that was born on a cobbled strada in Milan has spread across countries and cultures to now encompass boutiques in Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai. It’s the latter two stores in the spotlight now with the announcement that the retailer’s longstanding partnership with the International Woolmark Prize (IWP) will grow to see the prestigious award’s winning collections stocked there for the first time.

Here, Head of Buying Cyril Rahon shares the philosophy behind his buying strategy and just why wool is relevant the world over. 

Head of Buying Cyril Rahon at 10 Corso Como Shanghai 

SHOP TALK

What prompted this expansion of 10 Corso Como’s support of IWP?

10 Corso Como has supported young designers since day one. It was just a matter of logic to extend Woolmark Prize collection to our stores in China.

What kind of industry advice do you think it is important to impart to emerging designers?

They have to keep their integrity. It is important that they know that fashion is a matter of different and crucial points of view, image, distribution and quality.

What do these rising names in fashion have to offer the industry?

A designer illuminates a road and he or she invites us to follow. Fashion is a mirror of society. Young designers are like sponges – they catch ‘l’air du temps’ with their fresh minds.

What qualities does a label need to have in order to make the cut at 10 Corso Como?

They must have something very unique, new, radical and sensitive in fashion.

What is the secret element that you look for when deciding what to buy? 

There is no doubt. When we see a collection, we know if it is good for us, or not. 


The interior of 10 Corso Como Beijing. 

You work with some of the world’s leading designers. What is it that has enabled them to reach that level of success?

Integrity. They never compromise in their style or their choices.

The IWP winning collections will highlight the use of wool. What is it about the fibre that appeals to you?

The first approach with wool is, of course, tactile. Wool needs to be consistent upon handling. Wool has to be noble.

And to your customers in Asia?

It’s soft, comfortable and nice to touch.

Does the curation of the stores or labels that you offer differ between Europe and China?

No, not really. We also need to follow our integrity in term of taste and vision.

What, in your opinion, has made the relationship between 10 Corso Como and the International Woolmark Prize so successful to date?

It is a success because the selection of the Woolmark Prize designers is always good. And it is true that 10 Corso Como loves designers who work with knits!

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