Industry Insiders: Max Riedel, Crystal King
Max Riedel knows crystal. He’s the Riedel Glassware spokesperson, and a member of the 11th generation of a family business known for spinning high-end glassware. Riedel was born in Vienna, but now leads from the office in New York, where he attracts fellow car lovers and attractive women. More on his fast lifestyle after the jump.
Point of origin: There was school and military service which is mandatory in Austria. Later, I did the very first internship at Tiffany in New York. Then, I picked grapes for Taittinger Champagne, after which I moved to Paris for three years where I worked with our distributor. My father and grandfather were always wanting me to come on board and they made it easy, so I was very fortunate to join in 1997. Then came the big move to New York.
Non-industry projects: I have a lot of interests outside of my industry, but I designed a champagne glass for the Riedel collection, the pink ‘O’ glass which we introduced in 2004, 15% of the proceeds from the sale of which are donated to one of my favorite charities, Living With Breast Cancer. It’s now in it’s fourth year. As with the pink ‘O’ champagne glass, 15% of every pink ‘O’ glass we design at Riedel is donated to the charity. I received an award from the BBC award for our involvement.
Favorite hangs: I’m so rarely casual, I always wear a suit and tie, but sometimes I travel, go on long trips with beautiful cars in wine countries, often in the South of France. This year it was Tuscany, and last year the Cote d’Azur, but in New York I like to spend time at Blaue Gans or Bar Boulud .
Industry icons: My father. Nobody is as creative as my father, and as far as the wine country goes, my heart beats for the Pinot Noir in Oregon; they’re very consistent. When it comes to winemakers, I like the late Robert Mondavi, with whom I worked, but for sure I admire Frederic Engerer President of LaTour.
Counterparts: I was engaged, but we split after six years, so now when it comes to hanging out with beautiful girls, I’m very open minded. But like to hang out with foodies like Lee Schrager, and others who contribute to our industry. And, of course, anybody who likes to ride around fast cars.
Projections: I foresee a promising future in my family business as it’s grown so much. We purchased our biggest competitor, so now we’re free to act in any industry where glass prevails. We’re coming up with a new decanter for the Reidel brand, and we’re also coming up with a crystal beer collection, based on old concepts, a beautiful glass that’s actually dishwasher safe. We’ve come up with a four-piece crescendo for the pink ‘O’ collection — available through our new web store which we launched in August, linked to riedel.com, the first web store that carries our entire collection.