Back in 2007 I was studying for my final Chartered Accountants exams. We actually got a summer that year, and as painful as it was to study over the summer months, about ten minutes down the road from my house, Kildare Village had just opened. Over the course of that summer, visiting the outlet became my daily break, at about 11ish to be exact. Starbucks had opened there, which that time was still a novelty and hence, my treat became a latte at 11am every weekday morning. After a while, the barista used to have my coffee sitting on the bar awaiting me. Now that put a smile on my face every morning and thankfully, I passed my exams with flying colours. Since then, Kildare Village has expanded to be what they call “chic outlet shopping” and that it is with brands such as Coach, True Religion, Church’s, Hugo Boss and Tods all present in this very nice place to spend a Saturday afternoon.
What I did not know until recently was just how big the chic outlet shopping phenomenon is. Value Retail, its parent company are one of the largest retail groups in the world, with shopping villages in nearly every continent, and with a heavy presence in Europe. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled to be invited by Value Retail to travel to Milan (during fashion week I should add) to take a tour of Fidenza Village, it’s Italian outlet. Now the bonus here was that, as part of my trip to Milan, I got to hang out at the Vogue New Talent launch, attended by none other than my fashion idol, Anna Wintour who I stalked non-stop (I have pictures to prove it!). A showcase dedicated to finding the world’s emerging design talent, from accessories to clothes, this platform, supported by Vogue and Value Retail will rocket any designer chosen to fashionable success.
But that wasn’t the main event of my trip. Under the Italian sunshine, about an hour from Milan and not too far from the historic city of Parma, sits Fidenza. A place full of mouthwatering fashion I should add. Walking around this village is a shoppers paradise, its setting is tranquil but its contents is exciting. A personal favourite label of mine, Pinko has the most amazing shop, and when there is up to 30% off, it is all the more appealing! I couldn’t resist just one little jumper to add to my Autumn Winter wardrobe. I was also very privileged to be allowed try on an array of diamonds in Hearts of Fire, a new addition to the village. Hearts of Fire have mastered the craft of cutting the perfect diamond, and yes I had a look under a microscope and they are flawless! You could play in this shop all day!
Shoe shops are plentiful; I picked up a cute pair of brogues from Miss Sixty, who had a huge selection of jeans naturally. The village is currently amidst a great campaign called Destination Denim (also in Kildare) to show off its denim ranges. The campaign is great with a Route 66 theme, but Fidenza have also commissioned the help of local artists to create installations around this theme as well as parking the shiniest Mustang you have ever seen in the village’s main thoroughfare.
Organising a break to somewhere nice is not normally driven my its shopping (well in my world it is) but if you happen to be planning an Italian getaway near Milan, I highly recommend taking a trip to Fidenza. Oh and I should of course mention, hungry you will not be. No. There are loads of cafes, including Barlumeria where I happily snacked on the best antipasti ever and a local pasta dish. Shopping is hungry work.
With thanks to Value Retail for inviting me to Fidenza Village.