In the time of Kings and Queens, Knights and Royal Courts, Saint-Louis existed, too. Originating in 1586 from Saint-Louis lès bitches, a small village located in the Moselle region of Northeastern France, the glassware company was born, later becoming a haute cristallerie. Surrounded by the natural resources that produce Saint-Louis pieces, the glassmakers naturally stayed put. Still to this day, crystal is blown and cut to perfection sometimes without a cinch of formal measurement.
According to Showroom Manager Dorothée Mathieux, Saint-Louis was interested in the D&D Building for a while with the interest in showing up for their clients in a physical space within a building known for attracting luxury brands.
(Above ) New Saint-Louis showroom at the D&D Building
“It’s hard to show these beautiful chandeliers in the catalog. [We want] to show what we can offer,” said Mathieux. GDG can attest to that, as we sat in the center of the showroom surrounded by sparkles of all kinds. The DDB’s Saint-Louis showroom is the only showroom in the United States that showcases lighting, whereas their additional space in New York’s 41 Madison just focuses on tabletop products. Saint-Louis also has a retail location in the Miami Design District.
“Either people don’t know Saint-Louis at all, or know Saint-Louis because their grandmother or whoever in their family had it. Our goal is to reach out to more designers and architects first and make them understand it’s not all about stemware,” Mathieux said.
(Above) New Saint-Louis showroom at the D&D Building
As we chatted, the television played footage of the glassmakers at the factory in France. “A lot of people are intrigued by how everything is made. When we tell people everything is handmade, they’re like, ‘Yeah, right’ but it really is fully homemade,” said Mathieux. According to Mathieux, it takes 12 years to become a professional glassmaker, but even with years of practice, there are still some things they can’t physically make. “People will ask ‘Why can’t this be made bigger?’ It’s just because men can only carry so much. There’s no machine so there’s a limitation to everything,” said Mathieux. There’s a lot of back put into these pieces, just watch the videos!
Upon moving to the D&D, Saint-Louis has noticed clients with specific requests that are prompting changes within the showroom already. “In the next few weeks were going to change a few things. It’s driven more by the demand than anything else. We see people asking for more contemporary items, like contemporary sconces. We will try to give them a little bit more of this. It’s been clear over the past few weeks that it’s really about contemporary [right now],” Mathieux said.
(Above) The Royal Wall of Options
Whether it is in the catalogs or in person, Saint-Louis shows up. They care about creating the best experience for their clients. “One of the things that they came up with a few years ago is this wall which we call, ‘The Royal Wall of Options’. There are so many options between the different dimensions, the colors, and accessories. We have [these options] in catalogs, but it helps for people to see and touch it.” Soon, Saint-Louis will be showing Spring pieces that will make up a whole new modular collection in which designers and architects will be able to design their own features
(Above) Saint-Louis window display at the D&D Building
Saint-Louis would advise you to actually use your crystal pieces, instead of letting them collect dust. “People think of crystal as so fragile, but it’s not really that much more fragile than glass. You use your iPhone every day and it’s extremely fragile and extremely expensive. I always tell people if you have it in your house, use it, because there’s no point in keeping it in a cupboard and using it once a year. When you drink out of crystal, it actually tastes different,” said Mathieux. “You break one glass, so, you break one glass. You have to enjoy life.”
Saint-Louis is hosting an impressive Virtual Reality experience at the D&D Building’s Spring Market on May 22nd, in which attendees can pretend they’re in France for a few minutes and see what it’s like to produce Saint-Louis cristallerie. Come enjoy the new space in Suite 816 of the D&D Building. Register for market here!