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 identity

by Dardis McNamee & Janima Nam

Custom shirtmaker

Representing the third generation of a 100-year-old business run from one small shop in the 1st district, Nicolas Venturini, 44, has spent his entire career honing his skills as a custom shirtmaker. But what he really feels is special about what he’s offering is his ability to listen to his customer in order to ascertain precisely what their perfect shirt might be.

This process is not something that can be duplicated by a computer program (“I’m not of the 2.0 or even the 1.0 generation – more like 0.5.0.”). Each of his shirts is made by hand, by one person – unlike many other high-end brands. “My shirt has an aura because it’s made by a human being for a specific customer. When shirts are being produced in a factory somewhere in the Pacific, they don’t know who they’re producing for.”

According to Venturini, this level of quality is maintained in Vienna by only a handful of small operators in the 1st district. “For us, there is a direct connection between the producer and the customer, nothing in between.” A fact that explains why his family produced shirts for Austria’s last crown prince, Otto von Habsburg, and still makes them for the remaining Habsburgs.

“When you wanted to produce something very special during the empire, you were chosen to produce for the monarchy. This was the highest honor you could achieve, so we have this sense of making the very best product.”

Although Venturini wears his own shirts, luxury for him is not so much a material thing as a temporal one. “For me, luxury is having found someone to listen to me reflect on my life. For that, I thank you.”

The feeling was mutual.

We do more than produce a luxury product– our shirts are not cheap, but they’re not overly expensive – it’s also a luxury moment.