Best independent stores in the city
When it comes to shopping sprees, a mix of international labels and local designers – preferably in the same store – is what we’re usually looking for. And these 7 places are the perfect way to get that.
A trip to Vienna can be described as an old-time fairytale, a Christmas wonderland or an immersive cultural experience but you’ll rarely hear it described as a shopping paradise. Fashion might not be their main preoccupation, but that doesn’t mean that shopping in Vienna can’t be impressive anyway. If you’re tired of browsing the same old designer stores one at a time (just kidding, that’s fun) and just want to pick a great store with a little of everything, we’ve got you covered.
Here we go: 7 stores with high end understated timeless designer pieces. And some impressive furs.
This beautiful concept store spread over 2 floors promotes a contemporary style and has an almost Scandinavian vibe, with its white-on-white themed décor – which isn’t all that surprising considering that one of its founders has studied fashion in Antwerp. The interior contrasts nicely with the clothing and accessories scattered around, all in typically-Viennese dark colours but with a modern twist. That being said, the focus is on youthful brands like Acne Studios, Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackermann, Holly Fulton, Maison Martin Margiela and Comme des Garcons accessories.
More than fashion, the modernist furniture pieces scattered around the store – mainly cool chairs – are for sale as well, highlighting the theme of contemporary art and industrial design that rules the shop. Therefore, I’d say that their attempt to showcase contemporary design in all its aspects was a mission accomplished. For a little distraction in your shopping break, there are also fashion books and magazines available.
Another concept store but not just another concept store. The place has an effortless décor with some glamorous touches (like the gorgeous chandelier – a reminder of the old-time charm of Vienna) that perfectly highlights a cool collection of avant-garde clothing in all shades of black. Ebony, charcoal, café noir – you name it, they have it. It might sound a little boring, but, as Jean Cocteau states on the wall of the store:
“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.”
Back to your shopping cart, Wolfensson is an intriguing high-end boutique for contemporary pieces with a timeless appeal. You will find Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Marni, Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe or Yohji Yamamoto, but also upscale pieces from ingriguing brands like Lost and Found (fashionably recycled materials) and Julius (ethereal gothic pieces).
You do not want to miss Nicole Doleh’s ice-cool store. Or should I say stores, as there are two neighbouring spaces that house the women and men’s collections. With over a decade of experience in the fashion industry, the owner focused on highly hip, versatile and contemporary brands that fit the philosophy that people should not dress up occasionally but make every day a reason to dress up. Now that’s a motto I can get on board with!
To fulfil this promise, Inked carries pieces from Acne, Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang, Opening Ceremony, Mara Hoffman, JBrand, Proenza Schouler and many other cool contemporary brands. Right next door, there is a pop up selection for men and many accessories, from shoes to swimsuits. If you caught the fashionable sportswear bug, this is the place to shop at.
Sneaking in between all the famous international designer stores on the Tuchlauben, AMICIS Women borrows a bit of their elegance too. And I mean ‘a bit’ as a force of habit, you could easily think you’ve stepped inside Karl Lagerfeld’s mind.
Although there’s no Chanel inside, creating an ambiance of “easy luxury” was the purpose behind AMICIS. Beyond the elegant décor, the store carries chic collections from the likes of Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Balmain, Chloé, Carven, Erdem, Isabel Marant and Victoria Beckham. The fabulous shopping options also include fantastic accessories from Anya Hindmarch and magical shoes from Jimmy Choo, Giuseppe Zanotti, Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin. What else can a fashionista ask for?
Well, how about some fantastically quirky souvenirs? Song is a special sort of store and it keeps this strange tradition of having unevenly discoloured walls. Not sure what’s the deal there, maybe preserving the original building, but it works perfectly with the style they promote: retro chic with the most eclectic mix of things that you can buy.
One side of the store is dedicated to fashion and there is a blend of local and international brands, with names like Lulu Guinness, Olympia le Tan and Comme des Garçons amongst the store’s own creations. Fashion occupies the biggest part of the space but accessories, home decorations and contemporary art pieces are spread all over the place, so it looks more like a gallery more than a store. There is even a dedicated space for unique modern art exhibitions that intrigue and complete the look of the store.
Photo | Shopikon.com
Quite a famous name in the Viennese fashion scene, considering that the store has been around since the 70s. And ever since then it has transformed itself into a headline act for couture, with a clear style that sets it apart from the rest – paradoxically, since they general vibe is typically understated.
What makes them unique is their list of brands, with international names that are tricky to come by on the streets of Vienna: sole retailer of Miu Miu’s RTW line but also selling Rick Owens, Marni, Celine and Maison Martin Margiela. They all add up to a sophisticated avant-garde stylistic.
There are 4 locations around town, each one with a different story to tell and an ambiance that fits the aesthetic of the clothes they sell. Most brands can still be found in all stores but they’re worth exploring as a pack to make the best of their offer. Make sure to visit the outlet store in particular to get fantastic deals and discounts on unsold designer pieces.
Last but definitely not least, one for the connoisseurs and for fine fur buyers. Liska is the epitome of Italian glamour in the Austrian capital, is a dream come true for luxury fur lovers. Not ideal for eco conscious fashionistas but the store prides itself with responsibly-sourced mink, rabbit or chinchilla skins crafted into refined and glamorous coats, some more subtle than others.
If fur isn’t your thing, high end fashion focused on luxurious fabrics is also on offer with collections from Fendi, Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Versace or Jean Paul Gaultier. Superb craftsmanship really is their passion so you can be sure that whatever you buy here is top class haute couture. That’s a proper way to finish a shopping spree with, I think.
Happy shopping! And if all these wonderful places are still not enough, go browse our Best Local Stores in Vienna list and see what else our Viennese insiders have recommended.