Tomas Maier talks personal taste: Part One

German-born Tomas Maier is creative director of both his eponymous brand of easy-chic fashion and Italian powerhouse Bottega Veneta

Tomas Maier in Florida
Tomas Maier in Florida | Image: Jeffrey Salter

My personal style signifiers are a fitted shirt, dark sweater and dark jeans from my own collection. My look is consistent, though the details change slowly.

The last thing I bought and loved was a Roman marble bust of an armoured breastplate from the Cahn gallery in Basel. I have collected antiquities for many years and have rarely found such an interesting piece that is not at a very elevated, museum-type level. Malzgasse 23, 4052 Basel (+4161-271 6755;

Maier’s Roman marble bust of an armoured breastplate
Maier’s Roman marble bust of an armoured breastplate | Image: Jeffrey Salter

And the things I’m eyeing next are fieldstones for a very long dry-stone wall in my garden in Maine. It’s a lengthy process that takes patience as each stone needs to be raw and yet fit perfectly into the structure. The man who is building it literally finds them in fields and is slowly amassing a collection.

The site that inspires me is the ocean – everywhere I live I have a view of the sea and it sustains me. The horizon is always the same and yet ever-changing, and it both calms and motivates me.


A recent “find” is Philippe Anthonioz, a Parisian artist who casts beautiful, tactile bronze objects that are both useful and decorative, from railings for balconies to sculptural lamps. His work reminds me a little of Giacometti, but more restrained. I love to discover and work with artisans like this – as we do at Bottega Veneta – and I am hoping to commission a piece from him next year.

The last meal that truly impressed me was dinner at the Vigilius Mountain Resort, near Merano in South Tyrol – simple perfect mountain food that reminded me of my childhood. It’s very hard to find such balanced cooking, neither overworked nor banal. I went for a weekend after a tough Milan season and it was very memorable. Vigiljoch Mountain,I-39011 Lana, South Tyrol (+390473-556 600;

Vigilius Mountain Resort in South Tyrol
Vigilius Mountain Resort in South Tyrol | Image: Georg Tappeiner/Design Hotels

The person I rely on for wellbeing is Dai, the Japanese masseur at the Armani Spa in Milan. After a long flight he does a brilliant, restorative job.

In my fridge you’ll always find fresh fruit, locally grown and in season; French cheese, which is hard to find in Florida, but Bleu Provence, a local shop in Palm Beach, imports it and calls me when supplies arrive; and dry white French, Italian or Californian wine. Bleu Provence, 300 South County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480 (+1561‑249 0522;

Philippe Anthonioz for Ralph Pucci sculptural bronze floor lamp, price on request
Philippe Anthonioz for Ralph Pucci sculptural bronze floor lamp, price on request | Image: Antoine Bootz. © The artist

My favourite room in my house is the library. I have lots of books, especially on photography and art, including first editions and works now out of print. I keep different types in different houses and I’m very organised. As an early riser, I like to go into the library when it’s quiet and arrange the books in a way that makes sense to me.

The last music I downloaded was Mozart’s Complete Piano Sonatas and Variations by Daniel Barenboim. Classical music puts me in a good mood – early in the morning, in the car, whenever. When I lived in Paris I used to go to a lot of concerts – it was a sort of holy ritual. Now I don’t have time, so this helps me reconnect.

Pop-art pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama at the Benesse Art Site, Naoshima
Pop-art pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama at the Benesse Art Site, Naoshima | Image: Alamy

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in  the past year is the Benesse Art Site on Naoshima and its surrounding islands, which I visited for a few days on a recent trip to Japan. Its Tadao Ando-designed architecture is beautiful and it is breathtaking as an art environment. The way it is presented made me fall in love with certain artists I didn’t love before; I saw them in a new way.

My favourite websites are auction sites, especially for the photography sales at the big houses like Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips. I learn a lot and have a look whenever I can; it’s about education rather than acquisition.


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