Annabelle Selldorf talks personal taste: Part One

Architect to the art world Annabelle Selldorf designs museums, private homes and exhibition spaces, including those for the Gagosian and David Zwirner galleries

Annabelle Selldorf at her home on Fifth Avenue, New York
Annabelle Selldorf at her home on Fifth Avenue, New York | Image: Dorothy Hong

My personal style signifier is a ring that I wear every day. It was designed for me by Rudolf Klein, a jeweller working in Cologne, and it is a beautiful combination of rose gold with a yellow sapphire. I have a clear, spare style and this special ring works with everything I wear. St Apern-Strasse 4, 50667 Cologne (+49221-254 961).

Selldorf’s G Lorenzi horn money clip
Selldorf’s G Lorenzi horn money clip | Image: Dorothy Hong

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Arles, in the south of France. I went to visit the LUMA Foundation and found the Provençal landscapes and the local architecture to be magnificent. I stayed at the India Mahdavi-designed hotel Le Cloître, which has an intimate feel and delicious food, and that made my trip even more special. From €160; 18 Rue du Cloître, 13200 Arles (+334-8809 1000;


And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is fleur de sel from Camargue, bought at the wonderful Saturday food market in Arles. Although I could probably buy this delicious sea salt in a gourmet shop in New York, I love that it reminds me of that trip – just a little bit – every day. Le Marché d’Arles, Boulevard des Lices and Boulevard Clémenceau.

Anthony Aiden Opticians in New York
Anthony Aiden Opticians in New York

An object I would never part with is a money clip made of horn that I bought at G Lorenzi in Milan many years ago. I use a money clip every day in place of a wallet, and I find this one to be particularly tactile and just very cool. Via Montenapoleone 9, 20121 Milan (+3902-7602 2848;

An island in the Oshidori-ike Pond at Ryoanji temple in Kyoto, Japan
An island in the Oshidori-ike Pond at Ryoanji temple in Kyoto, Japan | Image: Shutterstock/Jonah Anderson

The last item I added to my wardrobe is a pair of midnight-blue Céline loafers that work perfectly with the trousers and suits I tend to favour. These are inspired by men’s loafers, but have a silver chain across the top that adds a little something special.

Selldorf’s Rudolf Klein ring
Selldorf’s Rudolf Klein ring | Image: Dorothy Hong

The best gift I’ve given recently was an outdoor ping-pong table to some friends for their home in Maine. This German‑engineered table is made of aluminium, has a beautiful blue top, heavy-duty wheels and is made to withstand the elements. From $999;


A recent “find” is the Japanese restaurant Neta in the West Village. Everything there is out of this world – the chef’s omakase menu, the spectacular service, the intimate space – and it just left me feeling happy. I especially liked the sleek, elevated bench-table that is central to the restaurant, as well as the fact that the place isn’t trying too hard. 61 West 8th Street, New York, NY 10011 (+1212-505 2610;

The last music I downloaded was Mutatis Mutandis by Nona Hendryx. I think her R&B music is soulful and interesting, and I just love her voice.

The beauty staples I’m never without are Pratima’s Pitta Essential Oil and Pitta Herbal Cleanser – they do wonders for the face and smell like jasmine and sandalwood. I also have a slab of Aesop soap in my bath; it is the most luxurious one I know. Aesop Body Cleansing Slab, £17; Pratima Pitta Essential Oil, $36, and Pitta Herbal Cleanser, $19;

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the East Village in New York. I love Barnyard for its selection of artisanal cheeses, cured meats and delicious sandwiches, and Juice Press for freshly squeezed juices. St Mark’s Bookshop has an incredible selection of printed material and is open late, and I always buy my glasses at Anthony Aiden Opticians, just around the corner. Anthony Aiden Opticians, 42 St Mark’s Place, New York, NY 10003 (+1212-533 1577; Barnyard, 149 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009 (+1212-674 2276; Juice Press, 70 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003 (+1212-777 0034; St Mark’s Bookshop, 31 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10003 (+1212-260 7853;

The site that inspires me is Kyoto. The architecture and gardens there are so sophisticated. My favourite place is Ryoanji, a Zen temple with an exquisite rock garden; I think it’s the most beautiful place in the world, and it informs my own simple aesthetic.

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