This mecca for the traditional sartorialist lays claim as the world’s first menswear label. Josef Knize, bespoke fitter to the Habsburg archdukes, established the store in 1858. Ernst Dryden, who would later become Coco Chanel’s designer and a renowned Hollywood costumer, developed Knize’s fashion label for the stylish man in 1922. Two years later, Knize Ten, the world’s first men’s fragrance, was also launched.
Fittingly, the Adolf Loos-designed “concept store,” if you will, is rich with elgance through material, not ornament: sinuous black Swedish granite opens into a narrow ground floor, while winding cherry wood stairs leads up to the generous oak-fitted space modeled after an exclusive gentlemen’s club.
Ironically, the best walking ad for Knize was not a lad—‘30s actress Marlene Dietrich ordered her trademark suits from them. The store’s new annex, designed by Italian architect Paolo Piva, also offers a Knize’s women’s section and ready-to-wear collection.