Monday, May 18

Profile: Alexa Hampton

''I have absolutely no interest in a trademark style,'' the late, great Mark Hampton once declared. Yet, classic, comfortable interiors became his hallmark. It was these traits and his impressive clientele including Anne Bass, Brooke Astor, Estee Lauder (for whom he decorated three houses) and Mike Wallace that made him an icon of American design and one of the nation's most sought-after decorators.

Like her late father, Alexa Hampton, President of Mark Hampton, Inc., possesses the same gifts and rare abilities to make classic design both extraordinarily beautiful and exceedingly comfortable. At the young age of thirteen, Alexa began her informal training by apprenticing at the family firm.

Following her father’s untimely death Alexa took on the role of President and featured designer of the iconic Manhattan based firm. Under her direction and judicious eye the renowned design firm continues to excite and delight clients and design enthusiasts around the globe.

An accomplished painter and renderer, who preserves these traditional techniques in her office, Alexa completed her graduate work in art history at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, and New York.

Widely credited as one of the top tastemakers in her field, she is also the creator of a growing collection of licensed home furnishings that bears her name. Grounded in both traditional and eclectic interiors, Alexa has been named one of the ‘AD 100’ by Architectural Digest every year since 1992. Her work regularly appears in national publications including, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Quest, W and Vogue.

House Beautiful once described Alexa as, “A modern spirit with a soft spot for old-fashioned good taste.” A most fitting combination.

How would you describe your personal style?
Eclectic, informed by classicism and pragmatic.

What inspires your creativity and designs
I kid you not...everything! From lowbrow media like television shows to highbrow influences like architecture and art.

What are your most prized possessions?
Family photos.

What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
My Family (and spanx!!!)

Who are your style icons?
Mark Hampton, David Adler, Frances Elkins, David Hicks, Albert Hadley and Bill Blass.

Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?
I would like to work with a smart developer who would have me design and furnish a hotel in the manor of an extremely luxurious private residence.

What books are currently on your bedside table?
Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child
New Moon by Stephanie Myers
The Gianni Versace Lake Como Sale Catalog for Sotheby’s London
American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham

What is your favorite luxury in life
A good night’s sleep.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

Past or present who most influenced your direction in life?
My father.

Who would you most like to meet and how would you spend the day?
The answer to this question changes with some regularity. Right now…I would love to meet President Obama, and I would love to spend the day talking to him. Also…I would like to spend the day with Bernie Madoff and ask him, “How dare he…”.

Profile by Ronda Carman
Photos 2 & 3: Billy Cunningham/Bruce Katz Published February 2000 (AD)
Photos 4 & 5: Scott Frances Published July 2007 (AD)


pve design said...

Good to see that the apple did not fall far from the tree. I adore her luxuries, her books and her eclectic yet pragmatic style.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

She is one of the most delightful people—energetic, fun, a bit raucous, a dame in the best sense of the word.

ALL THE BEST said...

Patricia I felt the same way after writing the profile on Alexa!

I completely agree An Aesthete's Lament! I love anyone who declares cheese as their idea of earthly happiness!

Porchlight Interiors said...

Very elegant style. Alexa has a very cofident style

franki durbin said...

Oddly enough, I was just researching her recently. She's got a certain confidence about her that isn't swayed by anyone else's wishes, demands or trends. I particularly like her focus on lasting style. Her rooms are never "of the moment" fashion, but that's what will keep her in the pages of AD, season after season, year after year.

wide open spaces said...

I adore all the spool pieces she choice in that last image. Really lovely.

Karena said...

Learning from the best is fabulous! She is amazing, and a great interview by the way! Thanks Ronda!

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Although your interview with Alexa is just a snippet into her personality, I immediately liked her. Any woman who is honest enough to say she can't live with out Spanx, well you just have to like. Seriously though, she certainly has her priorities right. What a terrific, talented woman. She's following in her dad's footsteps, yes, but blazing her own trail as well.
Great interview!

ALL THE BEST said...

Dumbwit Tellher I soooo agree! I already loved Alexa, but when I read that she can't live without spanx I loved her even more!!

Tricia Mitchell said...

The images you chose to include in this post are so classic and timeless. I just love them. So many designs are trendy right now that I fear in a few short years they will be dated. But rooms likes these never go out of style.

Tricia - Avolli

An Aesthete's Lament said...

You should interview Larry Laslo. :)

Toby Worthington said...

Public Television (in the USA) used to air a programme on Saturday afternoons to do with antiques and decoration. The Keno brothers were ostensibly the hosts, but the star of that enterprise was the all too brief segments with Alexa Hampton. She was totally
charming, well versed, smart as a whip and obviously
the person who ought to have had her own half hour
on television.

The Antiques Diva™ said...

I've been a fan of Alexa Hampton for sometime following her career as it graces the pages of my favorite publications, but today reading your blog, I realized she's someone I would be friends with if I were to ever have the opportunity to meet her. How can you not love a lady who can't live without spanx!! I want to sit down with her and have a coffee!

Laura Holland said...

I loved the profile on Alexa. She is an amazing lady that has built an amazing career upon the classic training by her father, the late Mark Hampton. Alexa has a large collection launching with Hickory Chair this fall! I have linked your site to Made by Hickory Chair - for people who take furniture personally!

ALL THE BEST said...

Thank you for your link and comment on All the Best. She really is an amazing lady. I recently had the pleasure a meeting Nadine Blake (a friend of Alexa). Nadine has nothing but wonderful things to say about her as well.

All the best,