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Milan Is Peak Luxury—Here’s Everything I Packed to Look Like a Local

Close your eyes and picture the perfect vacation—where are you? For me, there’s no denying the allure of one destination: Milan, Italy. Often referred to as one of the economic hubs of Italy, the city on the surface may seem less exciting compared to the more “Instagram-friendly” cities in the south—e.g., Positano, Florence, or Rome. However, I’d argue that there’s so much to love about this metropolis that meets the eye, or at least that’s the opinion I’ve formed after spending four days exploring the destination on a press trip. From endless art galleries to some of the world’s best restaurants, there’s no shortage of incredible things Milan has to offer.

But possibly the best thing about this destination isn’t necessarily its touristy sites but rather its creative community. After all, Milan is renowned as the world’s design capital—hello, it hosts one of the biggest fashion weeks! But beyond big luxury houses, there’s a wave of smaller brands pushing the boundaries of design in new ways. Surprisingly, one of those brands is OtterBox. (Yes, I’m talking about the tech accessory brand.) While it was founded in Fort Collins, Colorado, it recently partnered with Desserto, a Milan-based sustainable textile producer, to create a collection of cactus-leather phone cases. It’s one of those collaborations that seem unconventional yet capture so much of the innovation that’s a central part of Milanese culture.