The Tortona district is a creative enclave southwest of Milan's city center. It's full of old warehouse buildings dating back to World War I (sounds familiar) that for years housed industrial giants like GE and Nestle. Today, the factories have been refurbished into a lively neighborhood of restaurants, showrooms, and artists studios (the Nestle building was converted to Giorgio Armani's headquarters), thanks to an early move by a couple of fashion insiders back in 1983.
At that time, Italian Vogue art director Flavio Lucchini and photographer Fabrizio Ferri created Superstudio Group to fill a void that they saw in the fashion, communication and creative fields. Not only would their company offer physical space for artists, photographers, and performers to show their wares, but it would also provide all of the related support services - staging, lighting, casting, hosting, production, security, catering, etc. - that might be needed. And they chose Tortona for the location of their business (a move that many of their peers thought was questionable at the time).
Today, Superstudio is comprised 13,000 square meters of large, flexible warehouse space that can be used for events, exhibitions, fashion shows, photo shoots, advertising/television/cinema shoots, parties, and dance performances.
The historic Superstudio 13 in via Forcella 13 is comprised of 13 photo studios with different characteristics (e.g., dimensions, lighting, backdrop) which over the years have hosted some of the world's top fashion and music photographers, videographers, directors, models, and performers.
Vogue fashion shoots, Fashion Week runway shows, and Salone Internazionale del Mobile events are all in a day's work for the Superstudio team. Countless celebrities, models, and artists have worked in the space:
In fact, they had just broken down an exhibit by photographer David LaChapelle, who unveiled his "Land Scape" show here the night before I visited.
Which left lots of empty space for us to have fun in.
To see a behind-the-scenes video of what a fashion shoot inside Superstudio 13 is really like, click through to WhoWhatWear, which has a video of the M Missoni Fall fashion shoot that was done there last Spring.