Supporting young designer brands and setting the focus on fair production and distribution are just two of the many reasons why a visit to the Sight Store should be on your to do list while you are in Vienna. We spoke to owner Vivien Sakura Brandl about her concept.
What’s the story behind your store? When and why was the shop opened and how did it develop?
I have opened the store in 2007, so this year we are celebrating our 10th birthday! I was working for a Japanese bank and decided (now 10 years ago) to create a place in Vienna, where designers and young brands are supported, where artists can show their work and a creative community can come and work together. Thanks to the support of all the people working with us, our liable customers and the media, SIGHT STORE Vienna developed very well and we are recognised internationally. We have been recently featured in the Wallpaper Vienna Travel guide.
How would you describe your assortment and what makes it special?
As I mentioned before, we are trying to support young designer brands, where we see a strong passion. So, there are Austrian designers next to Scandinavian designers next to Japanese brands and British labels. The focus is to create a small diverse world, where the design along with a fair production and distribution goes without saying. Most likely our carefully selected collection is a little bit biased by my origin, as I was born in Brazil, my mother is Japanese and my father is Austrian, so I lived for a while in those countries and I am certainly influences by those cultures and taste. But overall I think it is important, that you identify yourself with the things you are presenting, and then it is easy to tell the story behind it and you will be able to surprise your customer.
Which brands and styles are your bestsellers right now?
As it has been a very cold winter so far, we are sold out for winter coats – we all loved the arctic coat by year one collective, a brand from the UK. But also the beautiful backpacks and macbook sleeves from my favorite brand Maison Baluchon from France have been very popular… My own brand SIGHTLINE, which is produced in Europe, has found lots of fans and followers recently too.
Which new brands did you add to the assortment recently and how did you discover these?
We are going to start to present LILA JOHN as of March 2017 with her first Spring Summer collection. I saw her graduate show at the Angewandte Wien last year and I was deeply impressed. Two weeks later, the designer came to my store to ask me, if there would be a possibility to present her collection. This was such a nice coincidence and now I am very curious if my customer love the collection as much as I do!
Where do you order your products (showrooms or trade shows - which ones)?
We usually visit Paris (Women’s collections), Copenhagen (Revolver, CIFF etc.) and Tokyo (TFW, showrooms) for different showrooms and trade shows. But I must say, I love just walking around the cities to discover new trends and watch people. For instance Tokyo you just step out of your room and you to get inspired…
Which trends & looks do you think will dominate in fall/winter 2017?
Strong colors like orange, pink and red and dark yellow in oversized jackets and coats. With denim you are never wrong...
How often do you redecorate the store, how important is the interior?
I think the interior is very important. That’s how you feel, when you enter the store. With each event we are organizing the decoration changes, too. So in December we have been presenting an Austrian Swim-wear brand and we called the event Tropical Winter and the decoration has been as such.
In summer we usually rent the parking space in front of the store and we create there a decoration for the public. Last year it was a white wooden installation with lots of palm trees and plants, the year before we had a boat. People just loved sitting in there and having a drink from the bars next door.
How do you interact with your community?
We talk, we facebook, we instagram…
What have been the biggest challenges in leading the store so far?
There are always so many ideas and projects, so it is really hard to decide each time, what we are going to do first. And also that the hours of a day are limited to 24.
Which person – celebrity or not – would you love to welcome in the store one day?
If Michelle Obama would visit us, I would love to have a talk and a coffee with her. But I guess I would close the store for a while then...
SIGHT STORE VIENNA
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-6pm
Instagram: sight_vienna / sightline_vienna