Gift Guide: Five Holiday Gifts For The Modernist
When thinking about gift-giving, it’s important to consider how and where the recipient lives. People don’t just inhabit a geographical location but also their homes, workplaces, and social spaces. The perfect present should feel at home in that world, no matter how diverse it is.
That is why, when thinking about holiday gifts, we thought of Vieren.
When we first heard about Vieren watches, we were impressed by the classic, streamlined shape of the brand’s rectangular models. Then, as we learned more about the Toronto-based brand – founded by entrepreneur Jessica Chow and Project Runway All Stars designer Sunny Fong – we came to understand our attraction to these timepieces.
For Chow and Fong, watchmaking is not just about doing a variation on a stylistic theme; it’s about creating a composition for living. And in that spirit, we’ve built a gift guide of design and architecture-themed objects that best complement Vieren’s family of timepieces.
Cool & Collected
Vieren launched in March 2020 with five luxe but affordable models: Matte White, Matte Black, White Diamond, Black Diamond, and Black Croc. Minimalist in silhouette, these watches also have a maximalist mood due to their premium materials.
So, we thought: What better way to display these modern watches than with one of Vieren’s incredibly fetching vegan leather watch stands?
Vieren Co-Founder Jessica Chow comes from a grand tradition of female entrepreneurs. So, to better appreciate how Vieren’s modernist timepieces fall into the timeline of design, we recommend “Woman Made: Great Woman Designers” by Jane Hall.
Published by Phaidon, this lushly illustrated tome celebrates more than 200 women product designers of the modern era, including Ray Eames, Eileen Gray, Florence Knoll, Ilse Crawford, Faye Toogood, and Nathalie du Pasquier.
One of the defining characteristics of modern interior design is its sleek and uncluttered approach to life. The movement began in the 20th century but is still going strong today because of its emphasis on embellishments that do double duty, like the 810 Tray in cherry gold marble from Anastasio Home.
As a bonus, Anastasio Home’s Founder Gabriela Anastasio Holloway is a former communications executive from the luxury watch industry and, therefore, a kindred spirit to Chow and Fong.
In 1970, legendary furniture manufacturer Herman Miller hired its first in-house graphic designer, Steve Frykholm, and tasked him with designing a poster to promote the company’s annual picnic. His graphics soon ended up in museum collections and placed him in the pantheon of Herman Miller’s most illustrious design alumni, whose ranks include the likes of George Nelson.
Now, starting at $595, you can deck the walls with the gift of framed posters and advertisements by Frykholm, Nelson, and others straight from Herman Miller’s archives.
Vieren Co-Founder Sunny Fong comes from fashion, but his watch designs could also double as works of art. Likewise, Birkenstock and Opening Ceremony have collaborated to create a series of clogs inspired by surrealist artist René Magritte.
Specifically, we recommend the Boston Magritte House clog model based on the painting “Empire of Light,” which features a nocturnal street scene below a bright blue daytime sky. Because, honestly, we can’t think of a better way to describe the spirit of Vieren: Respectful of tradition but willing to break the rules.
(Vieren images by Liam O'Donnell)