From 27th September to 1st October 2023, the LAPADA Berkeley Square Fair will open the doors of its iconic marquee to over 100 exhibitors from the worlds of art, design, furniture, jewellery, sculpture and so much more, welcoming an international audience of collectors in the process.

As we countdown the weeks to the launch of the Fair, we speak with Freya Simms, the organisation's CEO, who discusses what attendees can expect from the 2023 event, and reflects on her personal highlights from years gone by. Read on for the interview in full, and find out more about the LAPADA Fair by clicking here.

Receive your complimentary tickets to this unmissable event by clicking here and using the code 'CCguest'.

If you weren't the CEO of LAPADA, you'd be...?

I probably have a different answer for this question depending on the day, but I’m going to say author. I still have quite a few short stories and unfinished manuscripts on the go!

What is LAPADA's core purpose, and how does the Berkeley Square Fair reflect this?

LAPADA is the largest society of professional art and antiques dealers in Europe with over 500 members worldwide. LAPADA has organised the Berkeley Square Fair for  15 years (although LAPADA though hosted a fair for over 30 years)and its purpose has always been to provide LAPADA members with a premium London location from which to present their exhibits to an international audience of collectors.    

What can visitors to the Fair expect?

This year’s fair will be a feast for the senses with visitors able to view and acquire works of art, furniture, paintings, jewellery, sculpture and so much more besides from over 100 exhibitors. A highlight I am particularly excited about is the Berkeley Square Collective, curated by House & Garden magazine’s Interior Designer of the year, Maddux Creative. Featuring a bespoke wallcovering by Fromental, this exhibit will demonstrate how antiques can be incorporated into a contemporary design setting.  Visitors will also be able to see Steve Winterburn sculpting a bust of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II live at the Fair, enabling them to better understand the intricacy that goes into creating a work of art of this quality.  

What's the role of the Fair's Selection Committee?

The Fair’s Selection Committee comprises leading designers, curators and influencers from the worlds of art and design. This year’s members include the interior designers Rita Konig, Louise Bradley, Kelli Ellis, Shalini Hinduja, James Mackie and Jo leGleud, who will be joined by curators from the Wallace Collection, the Rothschild Foundation and the Houses of Parliament, amongst others. Each year we invite our Selection Committee to peruse the fair ahead of opening to choose their favourite stands and to select objects for the Fair’s awards.  The discussion over which exhibits receive the accolades is always highly animated and it’s one of my favourite parts of the build-up to the opening day.

What is your personal favourite artwork / object from a previous Fair?

That is such a hard question – I have been treated to so many exquisite pieces from signed jewels through impressive pictures to some show stopping furniture and more. Perhaps a personal and modest favourite are  a pair of watercolours I bought from LAPADA member Ted Few a few years back.

And finally, how do you relax when you're not working?  

There’s not much time for relaxing right now! Walking, reading, heading to the galleries, a bit of ‘making’ – I’m a fan of textile art, but I find the best way to relax is through lots of laughter over good food and wine with friends and family.

With thanks to Freya Simms.