Alex’s eagle eye developed as a buyer for Joseph, refining her know-how with stints at Harper’s Bazaar and Tank Magazine, before developing her space in Soho, London, an inviting design and retail oasis on its slicked streets. Alex lays out a path of instructions to her devotees, on how to curate your own luxurious living space. It’s one Alex has toiled over since she was little, when her mother would find her in her bedroom, moving around all her furniture in the middle of the night, “with a very serious face…. Until the next week where I’d move it all around again. I always liked seeing things in a fresh way.”
Alex’s style obeys a few simple laws; it is less about the things you accumulate than it is about the life of those things: “Often there’s no need to change things in life, you can work with what you have.” Alex’s knack for curation obeys a logic of minimalism, imbuing items with a new lease under new light or surroundings. It is this Kondo-like sense of wonder for the simple that gives, in Alex’s words, “so much joy.” The ‘feel’ of things lies at the core of Alex’s concept; her store mimics the pleasure of nosing the shelves of an especially chic friend’s collectables.
Eagle found her own so coveted that she would sell them on to friends, coffee tables, mirrors, and keepsakes: “I just recognised that this was something that I really enjoyed and that maybe it was something that people really liked, this idea of shopping for furniture or art while shopping for clothes or being inspired by glasses by having an actual drink, shopping from a home. So I moved my flat into a shop!” But by setting it in a retail environment, it loses the frisson of discovery. To foster a warm feeling, and allow one to linger, is “really important”, as is having “no hard sell.”
Eagle sees our homes as decorative, a culmination of small embellishments that tell a story: “I don’t think home has to be full of familiar things, or make you feel nostalgia or make up your past. It’s having a few things that embellish your life.” It’s a philosophy of luxury that is rooted less in emotion, more in the way streaks, blots, riots of colour and detail might swivel your mind’s eye away from the everyday and into something beautiful. It is the mining of things for emotion that Eagle prizes, but she understands this is a practice we do for others, more than for ourselves: “I think one of the nicest things is treating yourself as if you were your favourite guest.” She behoves us to choose your “favourite mug, a beautiful linen oversized napkin, a Venetian glass, you know, making a cup of tea look so pretty as if you had a guest coming…. I think that’s one of the biggest luxuries, giving yourself the respect and time, using the beautiful things you have for yourself as well as for a guest.”
When faced with new collaborations, the collections of clothes and home-ware for which Eagle is a byword, she looks to hone in on what the organising principles of a designer. Her collaborations tilt such industry starlets on their axis and offer them to us anew: “I thought I may as well go to the originators of these great things, rather than trying to emulate or copy them. They have decades, and in some cases over a hundred years, of experience in making. So, why not use their skills, why compete?” This, after all, adheres to the number one lesson of luxury, that less is more: “Buying one thing perfectly and letting it grow and adapt with you, this [is the] idea of real luxury.” The soothing pull of luxury is not one we can repeat, we are not hardwired to be able to receive such consistent dopamine surges of joy at newfound things. Eagle recognises this: “I think it’s this idea of not having to constantly consume but waiting and saving and buying something and really having it as a part of your life. I want to inspire people to enjoy luxury.”
As in style, so in life—the young Eagle, shifting the makings of her childhood bedroom, trying to tune into a certain frequency of life that pleased her and soothed her on an aesthetic as well as an emotional level. It’s what she looks to achieve with the Store, with her brand collaborations, with her career. After all, she says, “Once you find something you love, make it your life.”
What’s on Alex’s digital fingertips?
What makes the cut? Find out what the ultimate curator, curates.
Via della Scala
16, 50123 Firenze FI
51 Poland St
London W1F 7LZ
16 Rue Debelleyme
London W1U 4DF
58019 Porto Ercole GR
27 Lower Castle Rd
Truro TR2 5DR
7 Archer St
London W1D 7AU
12 Archer St
London W1D 7BB
What does the word “taste” mean to you?
The feeling of being drawn to an item, style or place that resonates with you.
Do you have a life motto that you live by?
Less is more, more or less.
What was the last thing that made you laugh?
My daughter this morning pretending to be baby hedgehog.
What are your favourite qualities in a human being?
So many, but kindness, loyalty and humour.
Who is your hero?
What is your biggest flaw?
I am overly optimistic with time.
What is your best quality?
What would your last meal on earth be?
Caviar on baked potato.
What does success mean to you?
Being able to do what I love every day.
If you had the power to change anything you wanted in the world, what would you change?
My metabolism 😉 only kidding. So many things but one at the top of the list would love to make central London pedestrianised.