The Mysterious Heritage of a French Style and design Household

a stack of flyers on a table: Alexia Leleu uncovers the family secret behind the French Design House Maison Leleu.

© Hearst Owned
Alexia Leleu uncovers the family members solution driving the French Style House Maison Leleu.

Escalating up in Paris, Alexia Leleu listened to stories about the fantastical Maison Leleu, an interior structure and home furnishings home launched by her fantastic-grandfather Jules Leleu and his brother Marcel in 1910. “Our dinners have been punctuated with anecdotes of outfitting the private residences of President Eisenhower, Prince Pierre of Monaco, and Brigitte Bardot, and crafting the eating room of the Elysée Palace,” she says. Jules’s children André, Paule, and Alexia’s grandfather Jean all labored in the household business enterprise, getting on these ambitious assignments as high-class ocean liners and the United Nations workplace in Geneva. Maison Leleu home furnishings and patterns adorned households around the earth, which include royal residences. Then it abruptly shut, in 1973.

a group of people standing around a plane: Jules Leleu with his sons Jean and André, who both worked at Maison Leleu.

© Courtesy Maison Leleu
Jules Leleu with his sons Jean and André, who the two labored at Maison Leleu.

As a little one Alexia acknowledged the stories as just that for a career, she went into the pharmaceutical sector. But in her early thirties she puzzled, Why did a enterprise as successful as Maison Leleu shut its doors without the need of so a lot as a whisper?

No a single in her family members experienced the responses (her grandfather died in advance of she was born), so Alexia began monitoring down former Maison Leleu employees and piecing collectively its regrettable fate: In 1969 the shah of Iran hired Maison Leleu to build an set up at Persepolis celebrating the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire. It was to be a grand affair—Lanvin intended the royal staff members uniforms—and Leleu invested three a long time recognizing a splendid display of 51 tents. But the shah never ever paid out the monthly bill, and, with the Iranian Revolution impending, he would never ever be equipped to. Maison Leleu shuttered to keep away from personal bankruptcy.

a living room filled with furniture and a rug: New editions of Maison Leleu furniture grace the homes of notable families of the 21st-century again.

© Courtesy Maison Gerard NYC
New editions of Maison Leleu furnishings grace the homes of noteworthy people of the 21st-century once again.

“The matter was silenced,” Alexia claims. “Why that is will continue to be a overlooked magic formula with my grandparents. All I was capable to discover is that they were being devastated. They shut the workshops on Rue Saint-Sabin in Paris and threw everything away.”

Or so they thought. Alexia was ready to identify her wonderful-grandfather’s secretary, Françoise Siriex, in 2017, and, she states, “after quite a few interviews with Françoise, she unveiled a top secret.” Siriex had gone as a result of the garbage bins and salvaged just about the total archive. “She gave me everything she experienced: materials, wallpapers, carpets, home furniture, sketches. I understood I had to provide Maison Leleu back again to daily life.”

a living room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table: Forty-six years after closing, the newly reopened Maison Leleu re-launched its rug designs in 2019 and its furniture and lighting designs this year.

© Gross & Daley
Forty-6 many years following closing, the recently reopened Maison Leleu re-introduced its rug styles in 2019 and its furniture and lights styles this yr.

In 2018, Alexia reopened the property and discovered that the earth was much more than ready for Maison Leleu’s return. In just two yrs she has garnered a new technology of well-heeled consumers: LVMH, Cartier, Claridge’s, alongside with celebrities which include “one of the Kardashian sisters,” Alexia states coyly. So considerably two series of rugs have been released, and this 12 months she released furnishings and lights collections. Anything is meticulously made in limited editions, with bespoke offerings for her customers. Alexia is finding suitable up where by her grandparents left off, and 50 percent a century later on Maison Leleu is obtaining the satisfied ending it always deserved.

This tale seems in the October 2020 concern of Town & Place. SUBSCRIBE NOW

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