A keen clothesmaker from an early age, Maria Grachvogel specialises in ultra-flattering styles with flawless cuts. Having founded her eponymous fashion label in 1991, her Mayfair-based atelier is popular for its luxurious yet sustainably-minded styles. Recently, she has designed the staff uniforms for Mayfair’s new Colony Club Casino.
What do you most enjoy about walking?
For me, it’s about the freedom to explore with a sense of spontaneity. My work requires a regimented work ethic and structure, but walking offers an outlet to this. Being able to roam is the antithesis of my working week where timelines, deadlines and targets are always the driver. Walking allows a purposeful sense of discovery and helps me evolve as a person and as a brand. I think the greatest luxury in life is time and the ability to wander.
Where do you like to walk?
I love to walk everywhere in Central London, generally to and from meetings and have always walked to work from my home in Marylebone. My husband, son and I have also coined our “Wander Walks”, which is an opportunity to share in a journey without a prescribed ending — a walk which starts from home can easily end up in Canary Wharf via a canal or a restaurant and a chance meeting with an old friend. There are so few occasions in life where one will go on a journey and not know or plan the outcome or ending .
What about outside London?
We are fortunate to have homes in Austria and Ireland with the most spectacular scenery and colours — inspirational landscapes, rewarding hikes and a time to peacefully immerse oneself into nature. We love to find a great restaurant as part of our travels — our favourites include Ammererhof and Naturfreundehaus in Kolm-Saigurn, Austria, which can only be accessed by walking. Naturfreundehaus, in particular, is great in the summer as it is at the end of a brilliant walk past four or five waterfalls and has a glacier pool to cool off in. I particularly love Ammererhof in the winter as it is completely magical — it’s fun to hike up in the snow and either sledge or skidoo back again at night.