THE ANSWERS WITH.. . PROSPER ASSOULINE
Robb Report Singapore|January/February 2022
The French businessman opens up about his collection of extraordinary books, wine choices and more.
Lucy Alexander

PROSPER ASSOULINE IS impatient for a return to normality. Normality, that is, of a very French and rarefied type, for the 64-year-old luxury-book publisher really embodies the brand that bears his name. Founded with his wife, Martine, in 1994, Assouline issues jewel-hued, fat-paged tomes that express the couple’s devotion to all things nonpareil. Beginning with a homage to their favourite hotel on the Cote d’Azur, Assouline has since published more than 2,000 monographs on topics including panama hats, Venetian synagogues and the official history of Formula 1, doused in rubber-scented perfume. “What I like is to make books alive and tactile,” says Prosper. He enthuses about a recent two-kilo doorstopper on Versailles, “a special edition with the seal of Louis XIV... huge, gold, the cover is in velvet, it’s just unbelievable. When you buy the book, you can have a private visit with the curator and the president of Versailles. We just made 100 copies.”

While eye-popping books remain the core business, the Assoulines also curate private libraries and operate boutiques. Prosper, Martine and their son, Alexandre, the company’s global vice president, divide their time between New York’s Upper East Side and Paris’s 1st Arrondissement.

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