In a handful of cities there are streets where most of the world’s finest luxury labels seem to have taken up residence. These avenues, roads and boulevards are havens where those with even the most discerning tastes can find everything they want, all within a few steps, and Frankfurt is lucky enough to have one of the most famous in Germany: Goethestrasse.
Nicknamed Luxusgasse (‘luxury lane’) by locals, this tree-lined street was built between 1892 and 1894. Since then, it has survived more than a century of German history and is now home to a mix of classical, modernist and contemporary buildings that play host to some of the world’s biggest brands and most revered labels. Today, it is Germany’s third busiest luxury shopping street, providing visitors with 290 metres of temptation.
Tiffany & Co.
Among the many distractions are international fashion houses such as Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Loro Piana, Church’s and Louis Vuitton, but the real gems are the high-end jewellery stores. The Tiffany & Co store, for instance, is one of the finest jewellery boutiques in Germany thanks to its extensive 2013 refit. Modelled on the company’s renowned New York flagship on Fifth Avenue, the store covers 280 square metres and is decorated in the brand’s signature magnolia and duck-egg blue. Once inside visitors find themselves surrounded by impeccably crafted pieces, with rows of cases displaying collections of highly covetable engagement rings and yellow diamonds, as well as the new Tiffany T line.
The Tiffany T collection is made up of modern, simple and beautiful cuffs and bangles, and is the first by design director Francesca Amfitheatrof. ‘I believe there is great power in simplicity, so I took the form of the T beyond style,’ Amfitheatrof explains. ‘I wanted to create a symbol for modern life and its relentless energy that flows through New York and drives art and culture around the world. This is just the beginning of what I hope to accomplish.’
Another of the international jewellers that calls Goethestrasse home is just across the road from Tiffany: the renowned French marque Cartier. Inside, beyond the red velvet ropes that guard the entrance, visitors are treated to a breathtaking vista of bejewelled rings, necklaces and brooches, many of which feature the brand’s iconic panther emblem, as well as fine timepieces, cufflinks and leather goods.
The store’s centrepiece is a spectacular floating crystal chandelier, which hangs above a circular cabinet that contains some of the most valuable jewels in Germany. Cartier’s offering goes beyond the jewels themselves; the store also offers world-class customer service and bespoke setting services.
No trip to Goethestrasse would be complete without visiting German jewellery masters Wempe. Founded in 1878 by apprentice watchmaker Gerhard Diedrich Wilhelm Wempe, this family business has supplied Germany’s most discerning collectors with high-quality timepieces and jewellery from around the world. Today, Wempe stocks some of the world’s finest watch and jewellery brands, including A Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Patek Philippe and Rolex, as well as its own jewellery line, By Kim, designed by Kim-Eva Wempe, great-granddaughter of the founder.
However, it’s not only the variety of jewellery and timepieces on offer that have helped Wempe become one of Germany’s finest jewellers, it’s the label’s high level of customer service that inspires brand loyalty. ‘If you buy a watch or a piece of jewellery at Wempe you will also receive our service guarantee, which is unique in the industry,’ says Kim-Eva Wempe. ‘It doesn’t matter when and where you bought the piece, you will always be welcome at any of our 28 branches worldwide. Our employees will be delighted to look after you.
‘Our comprehensive service is something we are especially proud of,’ Wempe continues. ‘That was the case with my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father. I am proud to continue this tradition and am convinced that things will remain the same when my children take over the business.’
With its engaging mix of international fashion houses, world-renowned jewellers and German family-run businesses, all located on the same century-old street, it’s clear to see that Goethestrasse isn’t just a Frankfurt highlight – it is truly worthy of distinction as one of the world’s finest shopping streets.