We love our designer aesthetics and remember them by their iconic signage, whether it be Chanel’s minimalist aesthetic or Wes Anderson’s pastel harmony. And when artists and designers choose to come out of their typical forte and design cafes (the best place to drool over an artist’s work), that too in the design capitals around the world, what can be better? Here are some of our favourite cafes and restaurants from around the world, informed by different artists and designers, whether it be an opulent Gucci eatery or breakfast at Tiffiny’s!
Fondazione Prada is an iconic modern art institution that was established to showcase contemporary art in all forms. Prada’s Bar Luce cafe is a striking example of creativity, located at the institution’s entrance, designed especially by American director Wes Anderson. Resembling a typical Milanese cafe with a charming ’60s vibe, the cafe is painted in sombre pastel hues (typical of Anderson) with arched ceilings, brass and wood wall panels, patterned decor and retro pinball machines that elevate the space further. While the interiors are an instagrammable dream, the food is just as amiable with an extensive menu of paninis, pastries, cakes and more.
Chanel as a brand has always been about elegance and minimalism. And this is apparent at the house’s Beige restaurant. The Michelin star restaurant is a collaboration between Chanel and French chef Alain Ducasse. Beige is a true representation of Chanel, with neutral white-and-beige interiors contrasted with silver, gold, wood and copper elements, with china and crystal for tableware. The menu specialises in authentic French food that is prepared using Japanese ingredients, creating a perfect meld of the two cultures.
Like most designer-owned cafes, The Blue Box Cafe by Tiffany & Co. embodies the brand’s personality through and through. Located on the fourth floor of its New York flagship store, the all-blue cafe is adorned with iconic tiffany blue glass panels, furniture and tableware, giving you a chic Parisian cafe vibe. Offering an all-day dining menu, the cafe has some delicious offerings, all of which have a very unique and amusing Tiffany’s theme, like the 10-carat breakfast. A very charming space, this cafe is literally the only place where you can actually use the phrase “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
Dior Café by Pierre Hermé, Seoul
Located inside the world’s largest Christian Dior flagship boutique in Seoul, the Dior cafe is a swanky eatery that echoes luxury and style. While the building takes on a tulip shaped design, the interiors feature a blindingly vibrant interior, complemented by hints of cool pastel tones, with exquisite Dior tableware uptop. The cafe was established in collaboration with renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermé, and so one can expect only the best of French pastry – sweets, cakes and macarons and more.
Gucci Osteria is a selection of Italian contemporary restaurants co-owned by Gucci and Massimo Bottura. The first Gucci Osteria opened in Florence back in 2018, followed by another in Beverly Hills in 2020. And now, the chain has expanded to Tokyo, making it the brand’s first restaurant in Asia. In true Gucci style, the restaurant embodies maximalism with printed wallpaper, wicker chairs and striking Gucci decor pieces making a statement. The restaurant is spaciously divided into multiple rooms, each projecting a theme of its own. The menu boasts of a combination of contemporary Italian meets Japanese cuisine, with everything from pizzas and pastas to sushi and ramen.
Ralph Lauren is one of the few designers to have the most number of restaurants and cafes around the world. The Polo Bar in NYC is the brand’s most popular joint by far. True fashion fanatics will notice how closely the restaurant resembles Ralph Lauren’s design vocabulary. Wooden walls, deep-hued wall paint, leather seats and equestrian art capture the brand’s association with Polo. The menu on the other hand, very American in its taste, is said to be inspired by Ralph Lauren’s own personal favourites like crab cakes, corned beef sandwiches, steak and the signature Polo Bar burger.
Vivienne Westwood Café, Shanghai
Capturing the designer’s eccentric spirit within the culinary industry, the Vivienne Westwood Café is a flamboyant space that is definitely hard to miss. Located in Shanghai’s K11 mall, the café is divided into two areas, an 18th-century heritage tea room and a modern photo studio concept. The café is painted in deep neutral tones with ambient lighting which adds an intimate aesthetic to the space. Guests can enjoy small plates and quick bites with fancy high tea menus at the café.