Get to Know Fashion Designer Neil Barrett Italian Home – With its espresso-colored walls and crisp white accents, designer Neil Barrett brings drama into his Italian abode.
Fashion designer Neil Barrett has a very particular approach to color. From one collection to another, he dyes certain garments the exact same tone. “You can have things from 15 years ago, and they’ll always match my latest pieces,” he explains. The hues in his Milan apartment are similarly studied. Almost everything in it is either white or some shade of brown, even the dining and living room walls, although they may initially appear black. “I like the idea of contrast,” he says of the bichromatic scheme. “Everything I do is quite graphic.”
The apartment is just a 10-minute walk from Milan’s cathedral and close to the remains of an ancient Roman arena. “There’s so much history in the area, and the buildings are stunning,” he says. The neighborhood also has a congenial community feel. His husband and business partner, Carlo Barone Lumaga, knows all the local shopkeepers by name; many of them have been there for decades. Lumaga often starts his day with an outing to the legendary Marchesi pastry store, where he buys croissants and an espresso for himself and crostatine for Barrett.
For the couple, who met on Capri nearly two decades ago, the apartment’s biggest draws were its huge terrace and the charm of its 19th-century architecture. From the building’s arched entryway to its old-fashioned elevator, it has an authentic Milanese flavor. “If you’re going to live abroad,” Barrett says, “you should feel 100 percent that you’re in your adopted country.”
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