Anyone who loves fashion, art and design will be familiar with the name Assouline. Renowned for its collectible books on subjects ranging from fashion, art, design, travel, the culinary arts and more, the Maison was founded in 1994 by Prosper and Martine Assouline. Since then it has published around 1,500 titles, and there’s nothing quite like an Assouline book.
Now, the second worldwide Maison Assouline is coming to Dubai. Aptly housed in the Fashion Avenue section of The Dubai Mall, the boutique is devised to offer a journey through the senses. From the specially formulated aroma that transports visitors to a stylish library to the big screens showing classic footage curated by Martine and the carefully composed playlist, the boutique reveals a true Cabinet of Curiosities.
“We designed Maison Assouline Dubai to be the perfect maison: the ambiance is warm and very unique. Everything was custom-made for the store and designed in true Assouline fashion,” says Alex Assouline, Assouline Publishing Vice President. “The two large wooden tables in the heart of the store, for instance, are historic from British libraries in 1905 with green leather and four-metre-tall lamps. Besides our full collection of books housed throughout the store alongside vintage objects, we also created a salon just for our iconic Ultimate Collection.
Maison Assouline concept store interior at The Dubai Mall
Each object in the store has been placed to tell a story. There are two long library tables from the 1900s, sourced from the well-known British Library; made-to-order items such as the decorative head sculptures placed above the books; and the antique divinités. Decorating the space is also a vintage jewellery box from the film Sunset Boulevard and a display of early 20th-century hand-spun Louis Vuitton and Goyard trunks, displayed to showcase the best of old glamour to whisk you back in time.
“The Swans Bar was inspired by the old Hollywood glamour of the 1930s where everyone can enjoy our signature mocktails, each named after one of our titles,” says Alex, describing another feature of the boutique that is surrounded by grand gold-mirrored beams and poised stools. “In the private salon, clients will also be able to customise their own private library and we’ll be hosting pop-ups through the year. The outside terrace is also one of my favourite spots where everyone will be able to take in one of the best views the city has to offer.”
Why Dubai? Clearly, the Maison cherishes heritage and old world glamour. Dubai, with its futuristic skyline is far removed from the old New York streets where the Assouline headquarters are located. “We saw Dubai as a city almost exactly in the middle of the world,” explains Assouline. “Only a short plane ride away from so many great places, we knew it was important to be able to grow our reach and introduce a whole new audience to the world of Assouline.” Bridging East and West, old and new, Dubai like Assouline offers rich avenues for discovery.
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