August 5, 2019

FUTURE PERFECT

Head to Beverly Hills for a fashionable look inside Elvis Presley’s former home

Pre-Fall ’19 designer collections certainly delivered pretty things for the season ahead: deep romance, ’70s vibes, animal prints… To capture a soft, vintage mood Forty Five Ten headed to Casa Perfect in Beverly Hills, a mid-century gem once owned by Elvis and Priscilla Presley. While acclaimed photographer and international Vogue contributor, Yelena Yemchuk, worked behind the lens, we spoke to David Alhadeff, the man behind The Future Perfect and Casa Perfect.

 

David Alhadeff (Photo: François Dischinger) 

 

The Future Perfect, Casa Perfect… How do you perfectly define the two?
The Future Perfect is a contemporary design gallery showcasing collectible works with unique locations in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Casa Perfect is our conceptual gallery—part exhibition; part residential space. The first one is in L.A. and we opened a second Casa this year in an incredible five-story townhouse in the West Village.

How is Casa Perfect different than a showroom?
It’s not a showroom in the traditional sense, where rooms are staged to look like actual bedrooms or living rooms. It’s more of a gallery, so rooms are used as individual places for exhibitions. Another major difference: it’s lived in!

 

 

Then visits must be by appointment only?
Definitely. Opening by appointment only allows us to make it something really special—a private experience where you have our full attention. It’s like inviting you over for a drink at my home.

What gave you the idea to open Casa Perfect?
It was born a little out of selfishness and confusion! As a New Yorker, I couldn’t grasp the idea of how retail works in L.A. where everything feels like a destination. Like, how do you open as a brand in L.A. and not just die? But I really love this city. In fact, that’s Kristen’s fault! In 2008, we did The Future Perfect concession at her first store, Tenoversix.

L.A. at that time was all about Mid-Century Modern and historical design; I wasn’t sure how we’d fit in with our contemporary aesthetic. But by 2017, everything aligned and it occurred to me: Why not just get a kick-ass house, put everything in it, and then move in?

 

 

It sounds like Casa started very much as an experiment…
I flew out to L.A. with the idea—just to see if there was a perfect house and if this could work. I surprised everyone when I came back with a signed lease to the most quintessentially modernist home in Hollywood Hills. In 2018, Casa moved to its current location in Trousdale Estates, Beverly Hills.

The house you chose has a lot of history, doesn’t it?
It’s the former house of Elvis Presley—the most famous house in Trousdale Estates that made it a neighborhood of note. There were a lot of celebs living there in the ’60s and Presley’s manager suggested he move there as a way of networking. When he moved in, the neighborhood went bonkers.

 

 

Have you heard any good stories about its previous owner?
Tons. Not to mention the list of stars who’ve passed through these halls: Groucho Marx, Jane Fonda, Frank Sinatra… Presley was always hosting and entertaining. He was also really generous with his fans. There are so many pictures of the front of the house because he would just meet them at the gates.

Did its history originally draw you to the home?
I had no idea! It’s funny because it was super random. I saw the house listed on some generic real estate app and thought I’d give it a chance. Walking through I was like: “Wow, this is incredible. This is amazing. What’s with the Warhol print of Elvis Presley?”

With Casa Perfect now on both coasts, what have you observed about West Coast and East Coast clients?
Though we program the spaces differently, I think the clients are more similar than different. It’s mostly because that Cali-casual-meets-chic-Italian vibe everyone wants now looks good everywhere. It’s not about one singular style; what works these days is eclecticism.

 

 

When you founded The Future Perfect more than 15 years ago, you became known as a strong proponent of American design. Has that changed in favor of globalism?
Interior design differs from fashion in that trends change more slowly. At that time, there were very interesting things happening in American design that were completely underrepresented. I was creating an incubator for young and emerging talent—and that just so happened to be right there in Brooklyn. Now, it’s all over the world; geography is increasingly less interesting in terms of design. When it becomes important today is when it relates to where and how we make things.

How have you changed since founding The Future Perfect?
My aesthetic has matured over time. I’m able to be more critical and to appreciate the different levels of craftsmanship. I find myself more concerned about issues of sustainability. I do believe some of an object’s footprint can be offset by the long lifespan of the object itself. That said, we’re still working towards a sustainable business practice where nearly all of the wood is reclaimed or sustainably sourced, all scrap material is recycled, and everything is made without chemical flame retardants. It’s all part of a critical conversation we’re having daily.

 

 

What’s next?
I want to make more things for The Future Perfect. We’ve dabbled with a few limited-edition collaborations with designers: lighting with Charles De Lisle, upholstered seating with Jason Miller, Martyn Thompson Studio, and Pinch… That element of the business is something we want to focus more on. It’s a great way of further defining our aesthetic of playfulness and innovation.

The Details: Shop Pre-Fall 2019 collections at Forty Five Ten, 1615 Main Street.