Nader Bolour, the owner of the iconic rug gallery Doris Leslie Blau, has an unparalleled eye in finding unusual rugs, keeping his finger on the pulse of the ever-changing market, and intimately understanding the needs of decorators and clients. Whether it’s the invigorating “chase” of the next remarkable antique carpet or creating an exclusive new contemporary design, Nader works to bring a bit of soul to every room through the selection of a carpet.
Nader Bolour – Owner, Doris Leslie Blau Gallery
Nader’s passion for antique carpets began early on, growing up in the family business. Going back three generations to the 1930s in Tehran, Bolour & Sons gained global recognition as one of the most celebrated dealers in the field. In 1978, Nader’s family established Y&B Bolour in London, where Nader worked under his father and quickly honed his knowledge about the carpet industry. At the age of 16, Nader first met Doris Blau, America’s grande dame of antique rugs – a friendship that would later change his life. From an early age, Nader developed an uncanny ability to understand both his buyer and the market he served and became a leading voice on the international scene.
Branching out on his own in 1994, Nader opened the U.S. location of Y&B Bolour in New York City. Reconnecting with Ms. Blau, a friendship turned into a partnership and in 1997, Nader purchased the Doris Leslie Blau Gallery.
Nader’s success derives in part from the fact that he starts movements rather than follows trends. Known as a superb gallerist, curator of exhibitions and catalogues, and event planner, he blends the historic with contemporary, the local with foreign. As well, the internet exponentially globalized the carpet industry, a reflection of the quality of the company’s sophisticated website and blog. His unrelenting commitment to excellence, transparency, quality and design, at fair market pricing, contributed to his acknowledged leadership within the industry.
Using his business acumen, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, he has collaborated in and outside the industry on a number of exceptional partnerships. In 2007, he launched the Fashion Designer Collection, collaborating with fashion icons Tommy Hilfiger and Nanette Lepore. In 2009, he launched the Designer Collection, offering diverse creations from 46 interior designers and architects, with contributors including Miles Redd, Amy Lau, Albert Hadley, Ike Kligerman Barkley, Mariette Himes Gomez, Cullman & Kravis, and Gabhan O’Keeffe.
In 2011, Nader curated a collection of European Vintage Rugs from the 1920’s-1950’s, as well as a book featuring the compilation. The collection showcases 81 vintage rugs, featuring some of the most influential designers from the first half of the 20th century such as Märta Måås-Fjetterström, Barbro Nilsson, C.F.A. Voysey, Ingrid Dessau, and Paule Leleu.
Nader is the curator of several books, most recently publishing “Color Theory” in 2017, a beautiful journey into the world of colors captured in the intertwining warp and weft of antique, vintage and contemporary rugs.
Agents representing important estates come to him to sell unique rugs. They know their heirlooms will be treated with respect and sold correctly. As well, among the icons of design who patronize the firm are Tommy Hilfiger, Amy Lau, Miles Redd, Mariette Himes Gomez and Cullman & Kravis.
“I see myself as a partner in the design process,” Nader says, referring to the clients and designers who come to him with an idea, a scrap of fabric or paper or a piece of tile and say, “Can you make this into a rug for me?” It’s been said that Nader helps develop the taste of the tastemakers. He gives his clients insight into their own imagination, so that they live with the idea that anything is possible. “After all, the soul of the room is in the carpet,” Nader explains.