Meet Miss Larroudé: Alex Bass
As the founder of Salon 21, the fine art and interior design studio focusing on supporting emergent talent through the art of conversation, New Yorker Alex Bass knows how to spot talent. In between hosting panels, parties, and pop-ups, Bass shared what makes the city her favorite this time of year, why she loves the art world, and how she hopes to grow her social concept into a next-gen success.
Where are you based?
What’s your favorite Larroude shoe?
I have already worn my Dolly Boots all over the city—both with jeans for an elevated look and some extra height, and with evening wear. I just know these will be a staple all throughout winter.
What excites you about the season?
I genuinely love the weather—Summer is not my season! I think we can all relate to how much we love this time of year in New York, specifically when the leaves fall and the city starts to feel alive again. The cool air and the thought of the upcoming holidays, spending more time with family and friends, is always something I look forward to. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite and I can't wait to have a friendsgiving this year—we’re all dressing up as Ina Garten!
What's your favorites restaurant/dish in the city?
Il Cantinori. I have been going there with my family since I was a child and it really feels like a family restaurant. Not on the menu, but get their sampling of pasta specials. I’m also obsessed with the trout almondine at Pastis.
What IG account(s) do you follow for Inspo?
Kelly Wearstler is probably the most influential person for me in terms of both style and design. I also love September Studio for floral design, Half Baked Harvest for easy and delicious recipes, @aude.jolijour, @lukeedwardhall, @theworldofinteriors, @roman_and_williams_, and so many more accounts for design inspo. For fashion, my friend Svita Sobol of @lacollectionparticuliere
What inspires you?
Art and the city. Being in a busy city is one of the most inspiring places you can live in my opinion. I wake up every day and feel inspired to get moving and get to work. I’m also lucky to be near so many amazing museums and galleries where I am constantly soaking up inspiration.
How did you get your start?
I studied both studio art and art history in school and always gravitated towards time periods where artists and other creatives gathered in person to exchange ideas. I wanted to bring back this mode of communicating and socializing around a shared love of art to NYC, to the 21st century, which is why I created Salon 21. Working with emerging artists in the city has been the highlight of my career so far!
Piece of advice for your younger self or one thing you wish you knew when you were first starting out?
Celebrate the highs and let the lows be a learning experience, and keep moving forward.
What does a typical day at work look like?
I will get to Salon 21 relatively early to clean up for an event the evening before. On my walk to the salon from my apartment, I’ll stop for a smoothie and a pastry in SoHo. If we’re setting up for an event that evening, I’ll have to go to the flower market in midtown, which is chaotic but also a highlight of my day. Once the space is set up for whatever is happening later, I’m able to put on some music or a podcast and attempt to get through my inbox. We are open by appointment daily, so clients will typically begin to come in at noon to view our latest exhibition. Salon 21 keeps me working late! We have about two events per week that run after work hours, so I’m usually here working and mingling until around 8pm, but that is the best part of the job.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your industry?
I think we all feel imposter syndrome at times. The art world is so niche, all about connections, and truly one of the hardest to break into even with as much formal education as you can have. Building that credibility and legitimacy amongst collectors and clients takes time but is ultimately what I am striving for.
What is one of your biggest successes so far?
Watching people have meaningful conversations at Salon 21 and making new friendships is so inspiring and keeps me motivated. We only opened a little while ago, and seeing the place alive with people taking an interest in arts and culture while supporting new talent is so rewarding. Anytime we do an event and I feel like my vision is being communicated to others, I feel like that is a victory.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully growing Salon 21 and traveling more! We just did a collaborative dinner in London (one of my favorite cities and where I studied for my masters) and I’d love to bring our t?
What’s your go-to Spotify Playlist?
The bar 9 Orchard has a great playlist that is a mix of instrumental, oldies, classics, and pop. I also love “Nancy Meyers and Kitchen,” which is always a great pick-me-up.
What is your fashion uniform?
Honestly whatever is staring at me when I open my closet, but typically a comfy pair of jeans, loafers or boots, a t-shirt (because layers) and an amazing piece of outerwear. I also always layer on my charm necklaces and love a pop of metal with jeans and a tee.