I asked Michael and Anna Trubrig, the couple behind Stillfried Wien, about the philosophy behind their new shop. “We asked ourselves, ‘What kind of store would we like?'” replied Michael. “Our style is inspired by the 50s and 60s, and we’re drawn to things that are special but don’t show off too much. And we like being surprised, seeing things we wouldn’t expect.” That explains why, even though Stillfried Wien mainly sells furniture and home accessories, it also carries Mühlbauer hats and Unique Allure’s handbags made from vintage scarves. And that also explains why, even though the merchandise is mainly from German-speaking Europe—with an emphasis on Vienna, where the Trubrigs are from—they’re reserving the right to include anything they want, from anywhere in the world.
Designed by Vienna-based Kim+Heep, the space has been opened up considerably since it was the very dark OLighting showroom. The star is definitely the ceiling, a gold-painted screen inspired by Thonet’s iconic cane chair, but there are plenty of good reasons—both new and vintage—to peel your eyes off the ceiling, including chairs from Vienna’s city hall (Stillfried Wien has the exclusive U.S. reproduction rights), exquisite glassware and objets d’art, and—something I imagine will go over well in these parts—TukLuk’s triangular mats, which kids can assemble into forts. (The mats have magnets along each edge and the covers are washable.) There’s more where the mats came from: The Trubrigs will be turning the downstairs space into a kids’ shop.
“We are only carrying items of highest quality,” said Michael. “We basically visited every single production facility.”
While German speakers would (and will) say the name shtill-freed veen, the Trubrigs are saying it still-freed veen, to make it easier for the rest of us. (Stillfried is Anna’s maiden name, and Wien is Vienna in German.) Naturally, I’ve added Stillfried Wien to the Tribeca Pronunciation Guide.
Stillfried Wien is at 40 Walker (between Church and Broadway), 212-226-2921, stillfried.com.
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