Charles-Henri Leroy, International Director at Saint-Louis
How does a centuries-old house like Saint-Louis stay firmly rooted in the modern era without betraying its past?
We manage to do so through our exacting standards as a signature brand with over 430 years of experience. Saint-Louis upholds these standards through its declaration of a contemporary and desirable art of living.
Every day, Saint-Louis signs off crystal creations – tableware, decorations and lighting – crafted by master glassmakers and glasscutters, a number of whom have been awarded the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. All of them possess incomparable, time-honoured expertise that has been refined from generation to generation: the crystal is mouth-blown, hand-cut and hand-decorated.
Their talent has established Saint-Louis as an expert in colour and glasscutting, two iconic disciplines of the House that give rise to a wide variety of styles. But although we do, of course, develop our trademark pieces and have our own essential designs, there has never been one Saint-Louis style, but a plurality of Saint-Louis styles.
Saint-Louis is a manufacturer that remains in the spirit of the times, continually drawing its inspiration from contemporary artistic trends. In doing so, the House constructs and renews its identity, but also reinvents itself through adaptation and by offering new applications, such as horizontal chandeliers for low-ceiling spaces and standalone lamps suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, to name just a few examples.
What are your bestsellers in France?
In interior design and lighting
- We have Folia, our first collection to span across several different product categories, designed by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. We are working with him again to create new lighting that meets the needs of modern interiors in a multiplicity of styles and with varied ceiling heights.
- And, of course, there is the Royal collection, with chandeliers available in models of 8 to 48 lights. In horizontal, short or long format; with or without hurricane shades, there is a wide choice of bobèches, hurricane shades, pendants, lampshades, chains… One chandelier can currently offer over 15,000 combinations!
- Our iconic Tommy collection is a concentration of virtuosity. From the star design on its base to its goblet studded with diamond cuts, bevels, net cuts and bead cuts, the Tommy glass is our veritable brand ambassador.
- Another essential bestseller is the Les Endiablés collection, an exciting and explosive marriage of two glass goblets, brought to life by José Lévy. Stood upright or turned upside-down, these little pieces ignore conventions and can be used however you desire, as glasses, vases, night lights or even as containers for trinkets.
You collaborate with numerous renowned designers. How do you choose them and what do you expect from them?
Our collaborations take the form of an encounter; of a shared desire. We seek to find new sources of inspiration and have an exchange of new perspectives from daring designers who are ready to become immersed in our expertise, to challenge our materials, and to redirect and reinvent applications. They must be true lovers of craftsmanship and understand every facet of our DNA in order to reinterpret it in their creations. As for the rest, we rely upon our creative power as a manufacturer in order to inspire them.
How much do exports represent in your business activity and what are your main international markets?
Exports represent 75% of our activity. The main export markets are the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, China and Japan. (This order is not proportionally related to turnover.)
What are you expecting from Paris Déco Home?
- We want to be able to promote the Saint-Louis brand through new encounters initiated by this event.
- We are hoping that this will become the new unmissable event for decoration and design in Paris, and that it will help Paris become a thriving capital in the sector once again, on a par with Milan.