By 60 Design
ALEXANDRE ASSOULINE The luxury publisher and collector on prized watches, libraries, and a copy of The Little Prince that got away What draws you to collect design objects, and where did the interest begin for you? I’m drawn to collecting design objects because of their unique beauty both in craftsmanship and background – each expressing its own individuality. I developed a love for collecting when I was about 10 years old and my parents took me on their shopping excursions through vintage flea markets, including the Paul Bert Serpette market, a hidden gem just outside Paris. How do you go about selecting a piece? Is there anything in particular that you look for? I typically lean towards pieces that have a particular history behind them, or perhaps embody the design period in which they were created. This quality adds immense depth to the work. Beyond this, it is also essential that the object evokes a feeling, as I find that’s where the beauty of each piece truly lies. In terms of materials, I am particularly interested in wood-based pieces, rather than porcelain or lacquer. Is there a purchase that you are particularly proud of? Yes – my Zenith Allegro Chronomaster Open XXT watch, in rose gold.
(Left) Alexandre Assouline. Photo: Emilia Brandao (Opposite) The library for 277 Fifth Avenue, curated by Assouline
Tell us about a work that got away. I had attended the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Armory one year, and was so happy to have come across a rare first edition copy of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Rather than immediately purchasing it, I decided to make the rounds and look at additional books. By the time I circled back, the book had already been bought. It was such a special find. What draws you to Salon Art + Design every year? It’s a beautiful curation of eclectic and distinct designers – each providing their own niche expertise and style. How has the Assouline catalogue informed your eye when it comes to design? Because each one of our books not only tells a story, but is also intricately made, we translate that same attention to detail into our designs. Taking pride in our immense focus on aesthetics and the tangible beauty of luxury, it is only natural for us to incorporate this idea into our creations. Books aside, what are some of your chief sources of inspiration for your work designing library spaces? I make it a priority to take into account the surrounding space. From there, I curate a library that will enhance the set space using our signature style, while still maintaining the essence of its originality. My aim is to always create beautiful and sophisticated spaces that allow people to unplug and simply enjoy the moment. Our brand upholds the importance of imagery, culture, luxury, and, essentially, style – all of which we utilize as great inspiration in everything we create, including our libraries. Have you any spaces you are particularly proud of designing? Yes – our curated space located at 432 Park Avenue, New York. How have you gone about designing your own home? In terms of overall interiors, I prefer a conceptual, postmodern style, with strong ethnic influences.