In autumn 2014, as Assouline celebrated its 20-year anniversary, the luxury culture and lifestyle brand opened the doors to Maison Assouline, its first international flagship store, located at 196A Piccadilly in London.
The Maison is described as a three-floor temple to the act of reading—and collecting—by Robb Report (February 2015). Originally a banking hall designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1922, the Grade II–listed building was one of the most iconic locations in the capital and is now acting as an all-encompassing Assouline lifestyle hub.
During our visit last month, we were pleased to hear further about their Bookbinder, Paolo who specialises in bespoke bindery for the personalization of books, notebooks, picture albums – anything the customer wishes really!
‘This is a truly 100% bespoke service that we proudly offer to create unique pieces for our clients, regardless of whether they want to create something from their own collection, or from Assouline’s. ‘ – Paolo
Elected one of the top five best bookstores in the world by International Traveller (February 2015), Maison Assouline has it all: an exclusive line of furniture called “Assouline Interiors,” embossed book bags, stationery, a vintage collection curated by Prosper Assouline himself, a bespoke bindery service, and the Swans Bar serving from breakfast to early dinner—espresso, artisanal tea, wine, champagne, and cocktails with a menu that ranges from canelés to foie gras.
Paolo’s work is produced using a wide range of materials to create unique and hand crafted pieces. Paolo has always been intrigued by the traditional bookbinding techniques and materials used by bookbinders over the centuries.
His approach to the construction and decorative technique of each book is classic with a modern interpretation of content expressed in the design.
Paolo specialises in fine bookbinding, box making, gilding, leather design and other bespoke commissioned work.
His career begun in Italy in 1995 where he worked for 5 years as an apprentice bookbinder and typographer. He then worked for several years as a digital designer in both the print and web industries, focusing on the production of books and magazines.
Maison Assouline (196A Piccadilly, London W1J 9EY)