In Seoul’s swank Gangnam district, books are the new black. Assouline is the famed French purveyor of luxurious art, lifestyle and fashion books, and the “lounge” concept adds a cafe and gallery space to make the world’s chicest bookshop just that much more chic.
I was soggy from Typhoon Tenbin raging outside when I first laid eyes on Assouline’s scarlet walls and dramatic lighting. The elegant backdrop is perfect for indulging in a cafe au lait, checking out the latest rotating art exhibit and browsing titles such as the popular Gypset Travel and The Impossible Collection of Cars. I was flabbergasted to discover that the store’s most expensive item is a book of space photography costing a whopping $8,000. Equally stunned was I to learn that my French 75 champagne cocktail cost $17.00. Sigh. Such is the price of chicness.