Cultured Magazine

Winter 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 135 of 359

134 All Access Publishing scion Alexandre Assouline is building on his family's history of luxury in print with a new digital platform. BY ERIC NEWILL PORTRAIT BY VICTORIA STEVENS PRODUCED BY MICHAEL KIRKLAND Alexandre Assouline is bringing luxury coffee table books into the 21st century. As director of marketing and digital operations at his family's eponymous publishing company—which since 1994 has been a leader in tomes celebrating the rarefied worlds of art, fashion and style—the 23-year-old is merging innovation with the brand's tradition of quality. "I love everything about our company—our products are incredible—but to make it even more relevant to the new generation is a very exciting challenge," he says. Make no mistake: Alex, who two years ago was a graphic designer for the firm, is passionate about books, their texture and weight, their feel and intimacy. He just wants to add to the reader's tangible enjoyment with a digital enhancement: "If you scan a page, you will be able to see more pictures and videos, hear music and watch interviews with the people who made the book—all in various languages." This ultimate behind-the-scenes access blends beautifully with Assouline's ethos of providing its readers entrée into the globe's cultural elite. Launched by Prosper and Martine Assouline in Paris, the firm and its subjects—from the French resort La Colombe d'Or to luxury brands such as Chanel to artists like Picasso—became a lifestyle education for young Alex, who grew up surrounded by beauty and ideas. "I am very lucky to have been informed by culture and travel from the beginning, and to have seen all these worlds," he says. "For example, when we made a book on Valentino, we spent time with him to understand his vision and the meticulous quality of his work. To have experienced that at such a young age was incredible." To Alex, each book is a completely unique entity. "It starts with a discussion, a passion. I now want to produce books on contemporary artists, to portray them and have the reader understand their appeal. When you go into a studio and look at the pieces and have the artist explain to you how they were made and why—I want the books to capture that." The digital element will undoubtedly enhance such a project, and as the company prepares to roll out such editions, Alex has also been busy overseeing the update of the house's website, which in addition to its sleek list of books and lifestyle products on offer, showcases another of his innovations: the Assouline Culture Guide, which updates viewers on the latest happenings in cities around the world. Though the consumption of books is rapidly changing, Alex says that exquisite coffee table titles are here to stay: "It is the object itself that is beautiful, a piece of home décor. My favorite is Room With a View, which shows vistas around the world. Every page is a different experience, and when you flip through you want to be inside that universe. We take you on a magical travel experience as soon as you open it." And when Alex's concept for exclusive immersion debuts, readers can step into a truly modern "magical experience" from Assouline.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cultured Magazine - Winter 2016