Paola Russo fell for Los Angeles at age 20 during her first trip out from France. Years later, she served as fashion director for the city’s überchic retailer Maxfield before opening her own boutique, Just One Eye, in 2011. In the 5,000-square-foot Art Deco building in West Hollywood, Diane Arbus prints rub shoulders with leather Prada blazers, and cases of glittering jewelry stand just down the hall from Edwardian-era piano benches and bold rhino sculptures. Russo is expanding into a new space next year, but for now, the jet-setting curator extraordinaire is scouring fairs and flea markets from Pasadena to Paris looking for unique designs to add to Just One Eye’s inventory. We caught up with her fresh off a European tour to learn more about her distinctive style, favorite galleries, must-have meals in Milan, and more.
At Home in Hollywood
I love my neighborhood, which is near La Brea and West Hollywood. I walk Runyon Canyon every day—it’s 2 minutes from my house and 10 minutes from my work, which in LA is crazy! I walk up and down those hills, take in the nature, and enjoy the view of the Hollywood sign. When I have free time, I go to yoga classes on Abbot Kinney in Venice and take walks in Malibu Canyon. I also enjoy going to the flea market in Pasadena, spending afternoons at Soho House’s Little Beach House Malibu, and grabbing dinner at Chateau Marmont and Matsuhisa.
LA is happening right now. Gagosian, Maccarone, Regen Projects, Hauser & Wirth, and Marciano Art Foundation are some of my favorite galleries. And there are lots of cool underground galleries, artists, and studios—Night Gallery has great emerging artists, including Mira Dancy and Sean Townley. Nearby is Ghebaly Gallery, which has a young up-and-coming French artist named Neïl Beloufa.
Artists to Admire—and Acquire
I like Alex Israel and Mike Kelley, but my favorite LA artist is Ed Ruscha. I love his unique pop art and conceptual art and his perspective on Hollywood. I would love to own something by Adam McEwen, Picasso, Pollock, Brancusi, or Warhol. There are so many works of art I want—the list is long!
You have to buy what you like and stay true to yourself, especially when it comes to art. I like a mix of everything—I’ll buy a $200,000 chair and put a $10 chair next to it. Our last purchase [for Just One Eye] was a painting from Nate Lowman called Ask the Dust from Maccarone gallery. All of the art in Just One Eye’s collection is on view in the store. We’re constantly switching around pictures, from Nobu-yoshi Araki to Thomas Ruff to Marilyn Minter.
Like my taste in art, my personal style is eclectic. I tend to play with colors and fabrics and mix chic and gypsy-style pieces. For jewelry, Daniela Villegas is one of my favorites. Her designs have beautiful colors, and I love mixing all of her rings—you can wear them every day or at a special event. I also love Venyx’s sophisticated point of view, and Mimi So’s jewelry has a good vibe.
The world is so busy—everyone everywhere is trying to make it happen! I appreciate slowing down, which is why I go to Tahiti. I understand why Gauguin ended up there. It’s one of my favorite places on earth.
My last trip was to Paris, Milan, and London. My favorite hotel in Paris is Le Bristol, and while I’m there, I always try and eat at Lapérouse in the 6th [arrondissement]. When I’m in Milan, I stay at the Four Seasons and eat at Il Baretto al Baglioni—I order the squid pasta and the artichoke salad.
Eyeing the Future
When I opened Just One Eye, there was nobody else around! Now Jeffrey Deitch is opening up a new gallery nearby, and new restaurants will be coming in—the area is going to be more of a destination, with lots to do and see. I’ll be opening a bigger store in an old factory. It’s going to be a completely new adventure. I want to try to take some risks and do something different—I’m going to do something even a little more out there.