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.
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.
“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.”
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