In the end Antonio Marras has given in, and given his consent to the opening of “Nonostante Marras” (literally, “Despite Marras”) in Milan. As the name playfully suggests, it is ironic that this has since become the Alghero-born designer’s most important concept store – an unusual and successful project that paradoxically seems to have flourished “despite” its main promoter. An instance in which the aphorism by Italian comedian Pino Caruso, “I don’t always agree with my opinions”, appears less surreal than usual. Today, “Nonostante Marras” – set up in a former workshop in via Cola di Rienzo, outside of the Milanese fashion quarter – is the top seller for the famous designer’s creations. It also is an original meeting point within a structure that seemed destined to regretful desertion, bringing peeling walls back to life with Sardinian sweets, ceramics, flowers, old furniture, vintage finds, and peculiar books that have been arranged in wooden drawers, shipped directly from a needle factory near Biella. An excellent idea to tell a story of beauty. A quality that can be found anywhere, even outside the designated quarters.