Eastern Europe, part of the DNA of many top international luxury brands
The most fabulous brands of the world often have a piece of their history related to Eastern European countries. While composers such as Chopin, dancers such as Baryshnikov or institutions such as the Theatre Kirov in Saint-Petersburg revealed the wonderful poetry of the East to a fascinated Western world, other talent from Prague, Warsaw, Bratislava, Bucharest or Moscow have contributed to the rise of prestigious brand names. With its artists, its aristocrats, his know-how and its hand-craft traditions, the East has on numerous occasions taken part in the advent of luxury in the West. An exchange of old cultures just like Europe…
In 1912 in Nice, on the Promenade des Anglais, the Rumanian man Negresco built a palace in which he amassed the largest fortunes of the planet and contributed in making the French Riviera one of the esteemed places of world luxury. The engineer Ferdinand Porsche was born in Maffersdorf, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Frenchman Louis Vuitton, by creating a line of high-priced luggage with flat lids, seduced many great travelers and accompanied sultans, maharajas, kings and tsars, on their long journeys, and asserted himself as a pre-eminent figure in the art of travel.
It was a crystal from the land of Bohemia which, upon arriving in Boston, turned blue through a chemical reaction… A blue which became the symbol of wealth, the house brand of the Ritz Carlton. Swiss watches of Patek Philippe were born from the talent of two Polish immigrants, whose first creations were inspired by themes from Polish history. In 1860, when Berthold Kempinski opened a wineshop in Breslau (Poland) along with his brother, he laid the foundations of a chain that promised a spectacular future in the international hotel business. The Kempinski brand today represents the oldest European collection of luxury hotels: Baltschug in Moscow, Moika 22 on the Place de l’Hermitage in Saint-Petersburg, and other sumptuous palaces in Prague, Budapest, Sofia and Slovenia, Slovakia and Croatia.
by Francesca Barba
Francesca Barba is the owner and CEO of RADOSA, a Luxury Travel Club in Central Eastern Europe and she has kindly contributed with this material as a feedback to our previous article ”Does Eastern Europe produce luxury brands”