History of Mavromac

Heritage month ……

How else do I celebrate Heritage month at Mavromac and Gatehouse – other than to reflect on the untold amount of Heritage we have under one roof.

In honour of the Queens passing we decided to feature Colefax and Fowler the Oldest decorating establishment known in England as our feature fabric brand this month.

To follow on from this, I would like to share with you the privilege of my working life with beautifully crafted fabrics.

I can start no earlier than with Charles Burger’s time line. Quote un quote – Charles Burger, one of the oldest and most illustrious Maisons dédition of home furnishing fabrics, holds an outstanding know-how, a rich library of family archives and ancient industrial tools. The magic of re-producing (edition) an ancient fabric is the alchemy between the motif, the supporting material and the printing or weaving technique to obtain the best rendering that immortalizes the historic spirit of the pattern. Charles Burger has been offering the most beautiful printed fabrics for more than 150 years from Louis XIII tapestries and silks with small motifs to damsks, lampas and brocatelles (Louis XIV – Louis XVI)

Moving on but still on French grounds and in the isle next to Charles Burger in the Flagship Mavromac showroom is Lelievre. Lelievre produced furnishing textiles since 1914, the year in which the French family founded the brand bearing its name. The four generations that have succeeded one another over time have perpetuated the company’s identity. The brands steady growth is in part due to collaborations with some of the most renowned fashion brands in the world, from Sonia Rykiel to Jean Paul Gaultier.

Entering Mavromac and Gatehouse showroom on your right is Manuel Canovas. Manuel founded his namesake textile house in 1963, debuting with a collection of large –scale prints and audacious color combinations that took a bold pivot from the comparatively hushed designs of the time. Äll my life I have liked big motifs. They feel more elegant, more generous, “Canovas said in an interview with House and Garden, which featured the designer’s Paris apartment in the January 1988 issue. Today, his designs are in international permanent collections, including that of the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, among others.

Moving on to a neighboring country, Italy, Rubelli has been designing and producing fine fabrics from Venice for over five generations. Steeped in history and unswervingly committed to design excellence, it is known worldwide for its silk velvets and damasks. The founder of the firm, Lorenzo Rubelli was born in Venice in 1847. A scion of an ancient Venetian family, his ancestor Cesare Rubelli, at the beginning of the 18th century, dyed the sails of the fleet of la Serenissima red – which may be where the name came from!

Moving westwards to Spain, Gaston Daniela is more than a brand. Their innovative spirit since the opening of their very first store in 1876 has made them one of the leading brands in the textile and interior design market.

Across the Atlantic, Angelo Donghia enjoyed unprecedented success as an interior designer of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Unlike many designers, Donghia had parental approval of his chosen career. When he was a mere eleven years old his father engaged him to decorate the family tailoring shop in Pennsylvania. His first major success came in 1966. The new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Centre was nearing completion and the opera club – a long established private men’s club within the opera house – hired Donghia to design its restaurant and bar. The opening –night premiere of Samuel Barber’s Anthony and Cleopatra turned out to be a dud, but at the intermissions the Opera Club’s white-tie-and-tailed members and jeweled-and-gowned lady guests were thrilled by the luxurious urbanity of Donghia’s interior, with its silver-foil ceiling, blue-glass chandeliers and black-upholstered Regency-style chairs. Angelo was an instant success.

….. as far as the rest goes. Come and visit us in our fabulous showrooms across SA, where we bring you the best of the world’s heritage in fabrics.