Jules Leleu founded Maison Leleu with his brother Marcel in Paris in 1910. The firm specialized in interior design projects and furnishings created in the era’s luxurious Art Deco style for residential and commercial spaces around the world. There were plush sofas, sleek walnut cabinets that featured marquetry and brass door pulls, and stately coffee tables with bases that terminated with substantial bronze sabots.
A designer and ensemblier, Jules was one of the key authors of the Art Deco movement. While he did not win the fame of such contemporaries as Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jean-Michel Frank, Leleu had a longer career and was easily their peer in the conception of trim, refined furniture forms and in the use of opulent materials — from lacquer and ivory to sharkskin and exotic woods — that were keynotes of haute Art Deco design.
Marcel and Jules’s clientele included President Eisenhower, the Ecuadorian ambassador to France and Prince Pierre of Monaco, who favored Maison Leleu’s Directoire-inspired designs. Jules’s children, André, Paule and Jean worked at the family business expanding their reach to include projects that encompassed luxury passenger ship interiors and even so far as the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as the private residences of royalty. Maison Leleu would embrace many of the starker forms of modernism after the 1940s, as well as new materials such as artificial lacquer and plastics (then considered cutting-edge rather than cheap).
Maison Leleu closed its doors, somewhat mysteriously, in 1973.
Alexia, Jean’s granddaughter, pursued a career in pharmaceuticals but her family history always nagged at her. Why would such a successful company close its doors and walk away from it all? By meeting with her great-grandfather’s secretary, Françoise Siriex, Alexia discovered a contract between Maison Leleu and the Shah of Iran from 1969. Maison Leleu spent the subsequent three years designing and producing over 50 displays for an event that marked the anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire, but in a devastating one-two punch, the Shah didn’t pay for the work and the Iranian Revolution put any hopes out of reach. To avoid bankruptcy, Maison Leleu disappeared.
As of 2018, Alexia has reignited the old flame and is restoring the company back to its former glory. With a strong focus on her heritage and qualities that rendered Maison Leleu exemplary — refinement and timeless design — the new Maison Leleu offers furniture, lighting and rugs and has secured partnerships with luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Cartier as well as Claridge’s Hotel.
1950s French Vintage Maison Leleu
1960s French Art Deco Vintage Maison Leleu
21st Century and Contemporary French Art Deco Maison Leleu
Late 20th Century French Art Deco Maison Leleu
1960s French Modern Vintage Maison Leleu
1920s French Art Deco Vintage Maison Leleu
1950s French Modern Vintage Maison Leleu
1960s French Vintage Maison Leleu