Charles Curkin: Would it be OK if, by the time we conclude this interview, we will have used the future perfect tense at least once?
David Alhadeff: Oh yes, I will attempt to use it.
Tell me about the now. Is it perfect?
The now is pretty good. I feel the Future Perfect is in a really great place creatively. I’m inspired by what we’ve built in terms of our programming. The icing on the cake is this Casa Perfect gallery project. I get to have so much fun at work. Mondays are now my favorite days!
During your career, how has the design world changed?
Oh my God! It’s changed so much, and so often. When I started my career in 2003, the emphasis was on historical design. Contemporary was considered something of lesser value. I’ve watched that flip completely.
Would you describe yourself as a “player” in the industry?
Why not? I’m constantly rolling the dice, that’s for sure.
Has your family been supportive?
I have a Jewish mother. Need I say more?
I understand, but for our Gentile readers...
Yes, I have an incredibly supportive family. My mother frequently says, “Oh honey, this is fabulous!” It’s very sweet.
What’s the Future Perfect elevator pitch?
It’s a platform for collectible contemporary design.
A little more. The elevator doors have barely closed.
What I think is collectible is defined in three different ways: one-of-a-kind limited editions; studio-created works that are limited simply by the nature in which they’re made; and design that’s manufactured but changes an era—work created in multiples.
Mass appeal can be highbrow.
Totally. Don’t you think the collection that Hella Jongerius did for Ikea will end up in museums?
Sure. What do you avoid?
I try to stay away from things that are already in the market.
You work with big names like Lindsey Adelman and Jason Miller. Are there any new additions to the stable this year?
Chris Wolston. I’m very excited about what he’s doing with us. Otherwise, this year is about fine-tuning the people we already work with. We don’t need anymore submissions right now.
The Future Perfect was born in Brooklyn. Do you prefer the Hollywood Hills?
Personally, yes. In Brooklyn, there was a certain energy at the time. But what I have seen is that there’s been an exodus from New York to California. It’s just really exciting to be here right now.
You opened Casa Perfect earlier this year. Tell me about it.
It’s both our L.A. gallery and where I live. But since I live here, we can’t just be open whenever. You have to come by appointment. That said, the home is not set up like a traditional house. The rooms work as smaller, individual galleries that show work on the forefront.
Elvis Presley used to live here, right?
He did. The house was built in 1957, and Elvis moved into it in the ’60s. He spent very good, creative years here. It was also Lisa Marie’s first home.
You must have TVs playing Aloha From Hawaii on a loop.
We acknowledge Elvis’s presence through the things that are original about the house. But there are no bejeweled jumpsuits in the closets; no red scarves floating around.
Where do you stash your private things when customers come over?
In secret places.
Is Casa Perfect a success so far?
Yes. It has afforded us the opportunity to connect with our clients personally. It’s a private shopping experience, and a lot of people in L.A. are definitely interested in that.
Are you satisfied with the results?
With Casa Perfect, yes, but I am rarely satisfied by my own projects. I’m always thinking to myself, In a few years, what will I have done?
You just used the future perfect tense.
This story was originally published in the April 2018 issue of ELLE DECOR.