editor's letter
We’re so fancyCan you even define luxury? Is it the freedom to enjoy the finer things in life? Does luxury only mean money? Or is true luxury the comfort of having time to spare?In strictly monetary terms, the luxury market has endured the worst of times. When commerce in necessities nosedives, luxury sales barely ebb in a recession. Does this...
from our readers
We’ve been getting great feedback from our readers over social media. Thanks very much for your thoughts, ideas and insights! Check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!IN RESPONSE TO: “How to ... Be an American Refugee in Austria”To the Editor,Why just Americans? Will they have special treatment? People in the U.K. have been trying to find places in...
political tension austria america
Hardly has been there a time in recent years when the political tensions in Austria and America have been so similar, when both countries have been so vulnerable Amidst anger and fear that are nearly unbearable, half the population is terrified by the other half’s choice of a president, convinced that the country is doomed for the years to come.But...
op-ed
The left is in a crisis Across the pond, the presidential election ended in an upset after Democrats failed to convince their supporters to unite behind Mrs. Clinton, while dissidents flocked to both the Independent and Green parties.Still, the right-wing sweep in American politics pales compared to the Old Continent, where centrist and liberal parties have been fragmenting for years.The...
integration
It has happened so oftenSoon after their arrival in Austria, a refugee family makes a formal application for asylum and is assigned to a small town in the countryside through the Red Cross. The community embraces them, offering help both practical and personal – a place to live, translation, paperwork and language classes. A volunteer stops by regularly to...
luxury home
When the chips are down, how does a top-rated city give shelter to those who have lost everything? Recessions remind us that home is a luxury, the literal and metaphorical walls that both sustain and defend us against invaders. As summer gives way to biting easterly winds, the City of Vienna’s winter package for the homeless kicks in to welcome...
melange
The general manager of the Vienna Tourist Board, Norbert Kettner, shared his plans for “reputation management” and coined our new favorite phrase: Lifestyle Spießer  As we joined him on a cold November afternoon, our conversation with Norbert Kettner turned easily to luxury – a topic Vienna’s tourism sector is certainly no stranger to. However, Kettner believes that our understanding of...
luxury
Luxury retail is the lifeblood of the city center, but can Vienna manage to sustain its tradition of local craftsmanship with the demands of international tourism?By Margaret Childs & Elisabeth KlingWhen Markus Scheer was growing up in the 1980s, it was unheard of to stroll through the 1st district in jeans, much less shorts and flip-flops. It was simply...
international
A Russian expat investigates the local clichés and assumptions about her mega-rich countrymenTo tell the truth, I find no joy at all in telling people I’m Russian these days. After various changes in international politics (which I’m sure you all know about), I see no reason to invite a waterfall of stereotyped and prejudiced questions. Even in Vienna, a...
nicolas venturini
There are no rules in the world of luxury except that everything goes. The people who work with this clientele don’t sell a mere product, but provide an experience and a certain identityby Dardis McNamee & Janima NamCustom shirtmakerRepresenting the third generation of a 100-year-old business run from one small shop in the 1st district, Nicolas Venturini, 44, has...
profiles
There are no rules in the world of luxury except that everything goes. The people who work with this clientele don’t sell a mere product, but provide an experience and a certain identityby Dardis McNamee & Janima NamDirector of Sales,  5* Superior Palais Coburg ResidenzEva Zima was lucky enough to find her calling at an early age. As an...
profiles
There are no rules in the world of luxury except that everything goes. The people who work with this clientele don’t sell a mere product, but provide  an experience and a certain identityby Dardis McNamee & Janima NamDirector, Spanish Riding SchoolIf Elisabeth Gürtler ever had to draw up a CV, it would read like a Viennese dream: former manager...
profiles
There are no rules in the world of luxury except that everything goes. The people who work with this clientele don’t sell a mere product, but provide an experience and a certain identityby Dardis McNamee & Janima NamInterior DesignerA truly beautiful room, Philip Hohenlohe will tell you, pays homage to classic values –proportion, clarity, harmony, intimacy.“The sense of intimacy...
antiques
Vienna is teeming with ancient goodies and there are plenty of experts to help distinguish the Wedgwood from the deadwood In a shop called Dead People’s Stuff, I reveled in rummaging through the old costume jewelry, clocks and knick-knacks that vied for space with end tables and old sofas. It was the closest thing to an antiques store in the...
skiing
Skiing is deeply embedded in Austrian identity. In spite of climate change, technology has made the sport smarter and saferInternational families who come to Austria are often amazed to discover that a winter ski week is built into the school calendar. Throughout the month of February, the dates are conveniently staggered in the various Federal States to balance out...
luxury
Two Viennese entrepreneurs with very different paths to success embody the city’s attitude towards luxuryIf someone pointed a gun at my head and ordered me to name five luxury brands from Vienna, I’d be in quite a jam. Yet since moving to Vienna from America in 2001, I have found myself working with two of them. Soon after my arrival...
books
Two centuries of scandal, intrigue and dancing in Russia are masterfully handled in Simon Morrison’s Bolshoi ConfidentialIn 2013, the headlines about the Bolshoi Ballet were less about the perfect execution of athletic feats and more concerned with a vicious acid attack on its artistic director Sergei Filin. The world gasped in shock and struggled to reconcile the barbarous action...
Vienna Philharmonic
A closer look at the Vienna Philharmonic and the New Year’s Concert, its most important event of the yearA curious thing, tradition. On the first day of the year in Vienna – provided you don’t sleep all day after the excesses of the previous eve – you turn on the TV at 11:15 and watch the live broadcast of the...
Kohlmarkt
High Street HighIf elegance and sophistication had an address, Kohlmarkt would be it. Connecting two must-sees, the Hofburg and the Graben, it is home to luxury brands such as Tiffany, Fendi and Gucci, with price tags in storefronts exceeding the average salary. During Advent, seemingly endless strings of Christmas lights beam down like glowing rain, hanging so densely they...
Collection of Historic Musical Instruments
What do old musical instruments displayed in glass cases have to do with music? The world-renowned Collection of Historic Musical Instruments has the answerMusic should be heard, not locked away in glass display cases, you might think. But when it comes to the treasures in Vienna’s Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, I beg to differ. So does Australian pianist...
west side story
The deadly rivalry between the Sharks and the Jets ignites once again, as an international cast takes the stage celebrating Jerome Robbins’ legacy The first measures of Leonard Bernstein’s jazz prologue start slowly, a melodic counterpoint to the snapping of fingers, driving the audience wild with anticipation. The turbulent sights and sounds of Manhattan in the 1950s will be brought...
dropkick murphys
The Irish-American punk rockers kick off their European tour in ViennaRaucous and bursting with Celtic pride, The Dropkick Murphys have been mixing Gaelic folk with punk for 20 years and counting. The Boston originals, not ones to rest on their shamrocks, are now touring in support of their latest album 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory, the first...
Twelfth Night
Vienna’s English Theatre presents Twelfth Nights in an uneven yet endearing versionAs the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death draws to a close, his inexplicable absence has been noted at Vienna’s English Theatre (VET). Yet all’s well that ends well: Straight from the Midsummer Scene Festival in Dubrovnik, director Helen Tennison brings the Bard’s  popular comedy Twelfth Night to the...
Medea
Grillparzer’s take on the classic Greek tragedy gets a modern revampAustria’s famous playwright Franz Grillparzer’s third and final installation of the Golden Fleece trilogy, Medea reinterprets the conclusion of the ancient Greek saga of the Argonauts as a timeless tale of revenge, vindictiveness, jealousy and exile.Picking up some time after Jason returns triumphant with the golden fleece, the hero,...
Christmas Carol
The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future descend upon Vienna with the Open House TheatreNow in its 32nd consecutive year since it was performed in Vienna by the International Theatre in 1984, the annual staging of A Chrismas Carol by Vienna’s English-language theatre company Open House Theatre (OHT) is a cherished holiday tradition, nearly as venerable as the...
gold standard
The Money Museum documents the country’s history with cold hard cashMoney is ubiquitous; after all it makes the world go round. However, for a medium so universal there is a lot of mystery enshrouding it, with the internal machinations of reserve banks and high finance often regarded with suspicion by the public. We may gamble with it, hoard it,...
Imperial torte
For decades, the Hotel Imperial has been pampering connoisseurs with a delicious, alluring cakeIts superb ingredients lend the Imperial Torte its exquisite, unparalleled aroma. Light cocoa crème is filled in between six ­layers of delicate almond wafers. Finally, fine chocolate glaze covers the sublime marzipan beneath. Truly, an imperial treat. No celebration without cake Legend has it that the famous “Torte”...
sarah morris
Visual artist Sarah Morris’ solo exhibition focuses on her cinematographic workNo stranger to the weird of the everyday, painter and filmmaker Sarah Morris is known for filming evocative cityscapes, capturing the glamour of Hollywood in Los Angeles, the symbols of power around Washington D.C. in Capital, or the clash of international athletes and turbocapitalism with regular Chinese life in...
franz west
The prolific artist’s collaborations with other notables underline the significance of participationA firm believer in communication and participation as integral parts of the creative process, artist Franz West’s works can be seen on display in public places around the city, notably the Lemurenkopf on Stubenbrücke near the MAK or his Gerngrosssäule by the Rahlstiege just off Mariahilfer Straße.Confronting his viewers...
invivo spirits
Claret is the liquor for boys, port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy. Samuel JohnsonAs cold weather descends upon Vienna, what can be more luxurious than to finish off a fine dinner with the warming comfort of a fine brandy  – the water of life (eau de vie) that has soothed the sated stomachs...
florence foster jenkins
Mediocre amateurs are legion – but not many have fans throughout generations, including Cole Porter and David BowieLong celebrated as the “world’s worst singer,” Florence Foster Jenkins was a soprano of such outrageous inability that her notoriety filled concert halls. With her recordings appreciated among irony-attuned music lovers for decades, it’s no wonder that she would eventually be immortalized...
casey affleck
Casey Affleck shines in this reflection on loss and copingAfter premiering at Sundance to widespread acclaim, Manchester by the Sea creates a very personal yet realistic portrait of growing up, death, and the meaning of family.Lee Chandler, a janitor in Boston, returns to the titular hometown after his brother’s sudden death to care for his orphaned nephew. As he...
love and friendship
Seduction and manipulation are at the heart of Whit Stillman’s period dramaTranslating written correspondence into a seamless narrative, Love and Friendship fills in the blanks in Jane Austen’s epistolary novel Lady Susan, leaving much of her words intact as it unfolds between stately homes and Regency fashions.Having disrupted a friend’s home and marriage, the widowed Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale)...
nocturnal animals
Tom Ford’s second film is slick and stylized like Italian leatherAfter making waves with his debut A Single Man, fashion designer-turned-film director Tom Ford follows up with a neo-noir psycho thriller. Based on a novel by Austin Wright, Nocturnal Animals delves into the relationship of Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) and Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal), a divorced couple estranged for...
Imperial Day Off
Emperor Franz Joseph himself opened the Imperial Hotel in 1873 and since then the hotel has hosted a potpourri of famous guests from Queen Elizabeth II to Charlie Chaplin. Within these venerable halls we shot moments of luxury, from donning high fashion robes to the enjoyment of dance, food, sleep and, most importantly, love Creative Direction Ali Rabbani // iamrabbani.comPhotographer Isaac Blake Styling Lana...
Today's luxury
Owning has given way to experiencing and people have started to care who makes their clothesBack in the 1990s, it seemed to me that the only way to describe luxury was in terms of material goods, unattainable for all but a chosen few who could shell out the big bucks. As long as it had plenty of diamonds and...
marcos valenzuela
The sleek Viennese label Tiberius is turning 25 in 2017. We had a chat with its designer about penguins and the future of fashionWho are you?I am the short, hyperactive, passionate guy with the funny accent and the loud laugh. Normally I respond to the name Marcos Valenzuela.What is luxury for you?Delegating tasks to the right person and...
my favorite things
Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.Coco Chanel, French fashion designer (1883-1971)
kuro
Kohei Kurosa serves udon and other beloved Japanese staples at his newly opened restaurant, Kuro“I asked my Austrian colleague what he would like to eat during our last night in Japan,” said Kohei Kurosa, founder and manager of Kuro, Vienna’s latest Japanese eatery. “Udon. Kobe beef was good, but udon was better.”The famous Japanese thick noodle soup has few...
crazy lobster
High-end meets low-key at the new downtown eatery Crazy Lobster, offering more versions of the crustaceans than Vienna has ever seenIn all honesty, eating lobster in a landlocked country will always feel weird. But it’s this exotic creature that takes center stage at Crazy Lobster, a new eatery tucked into a few ancient arches on Naglergasse. The restaurant’s goal,...
Die Parfümerie cocktail bar
Follow your nose to aromatic cocktails at Die Parfümerie BarFinding Die Parfümerie can be a challenge. The new permanent home of a trio of mixologists that made their name as a pop-up bar, we searched in vain for a sign indicating their presence, strolling unsuspectingly past the locale several times. Finally, we consulted Siri and reexamined an inconspicuous storefront...
sekt
Austrian bubbly has had a rough time lately, but new regulations might just put it back on track“The velvet was flowing like a river! Let’s have another bottle of the velvet!”  If things had gone differently in a marketing meeting for sekt a couple of years ago, you might have heard such exclamations around Austria on New Year’s Eve.The...
Hahnenkamm Race at Kitzbühel
The Hahnenkamm Race at Kitzbühel is the world’s most famous – and ferocious – downhill ski eventThe view from the start house on the Streif course at Kitzbühel is one of the most frightening in sports. Below the tips of the racers’ skis, the mountain falls away in a steep drop. Then, after one icy turn, there’s the lip...
wolfgangsee
During the holiday season, the Wolfgangsee turns into a paradise for lovers of all things AdventWith the Christmas season starting earlier each year, it was no surprise that by early December last year my friends and I were already feeling burned out by the conspicuous consumption and forced cheer of the capital. So for St. Nicholas Day, or December...
plamen dejanoff
Sofia-born artist, Plamen Dejanoff lives and works quite comfortably in ViennaSince 1995, he has exhibited his artwork in galleries, trade fairs and museums around the world, including a solo show at the Belvedere’s 21er Haus in 2015. We asked him what he thinks differentiates the perception of luxury in Vienna with that of other cosmopolitan cities.In my opinion, Vienna...
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