I wanted to introduce fresh and sunny colours with more contemporary and art influence. I wished to live close to fashion, with the charm, the energy and a permanent renewal,” says Patrice Marraud des Grottes, founder, president and creative director of the inimitable French interior textile brand, Élitis. “We want to bring something charming and poetic, always using new techniques. We are always experimenting, bringing impertinent ideas but always keeping a touch of seduction.”
Founded in 1988, Élitis burst onto the décor scene as a breath of fresh air at a time when “the decoration industry was very conservative”. It was all about “the ‘glory of the 18th century’, focusing on classical and traditional art heritage,” Marraud des Grottes explains. “I was very much interested in fashion, and I anticipated that the decoration industry was about to change.” Leading the charge of renewal the industry was crying out for, Élitis built a catalogue of products such as laser-cut fabrics, metallic linen, embroidered leather and novel 3D wallcoverings featuring shells woven into the textile. “At Élitis we are incessantly going forward, our motto is a constant renewal of products,” Marraud des Grottes says. “Our curiosity pushes us to adapt the classic decoration codes to fit our very personal vision of interior design.”
In its latest bid to continue overturning décor convention, Élitis released a new series of collections pushing the envelope further in terms of materials and visual impact. The Perles collection, which includes the “Tourmaline”, “Topaze”, “Parade de Samba” and “Nouvel Eden” designs, each in up to nine colourways, features embossed wallpaper fashioned after a mosaic of thousands of tiny seed beads; or the Équateur collection, with “Careyes”, “Manzanillo” and “Derby” designs formed of digitally printed woven paper and foil; or the Raffia & Madagascar collection, which uses woven raffia fibre to present paradise-inspired wallpaper designs such as “Cuba Libre” and “A Big Splash”. And the all-time house favourite? The Mémoires collection – “our best-selling item ever,” says Marraud des Grottes – initially launched in 2007 using leather- or hide-look embossed wallpaper to background a visual tribute to classic imagery of Africa, with designs such as “King”, a panoramic portrait of a lion on a wood-effect wallpaper; “Panthère”, a panther-hide look tile-effect wallpaper; or “Totem”, with its symphony of tribal motifs. The collection has proved popular enough for Élitis to include it in its High Performance Contract (commercial and hospitality) collection.
The Mémoires collection has helped Élitis take its aesthetic message worldwide. “We export to 120 different countries,” says Marraud des Gottes. “Besides our Paris and Milan showrooms, we opened two new showrooms in 2016, in Berlin and New York. We also have projects for Asia-Pacific in the pipeline.” Élitis is a perfect décor bedfellow for the family-owned interior company Seneca Textiles, which has brought the brand’s unique design perspective to New Zealand for more than a decade. As Marraud des
Grottes says, “The DNA of Élitis is innovative products – textiles, wallcovering, wallpaper and accessories – with a strong aesthetic focus.” Which is exactly what makes Élitis right at home here.