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Why gallery titans Nilufar and The Future Perfect made a transatlantic pact

The two preeminent galleries have joined forces to promote a new in-house furniture collection with pieces developed by a long list of leading talents

When it comes to championing playful, or expressive, luxury, no two collectible design platforms are more adept than Milan’s Nilufar Gallery and New York’s The Future Perfect. Both institutions have spent the past two decades shaping the industry in their image: a focus on contemporary decorative arts that celebrates fresh expression and experimentation as much as the translation of age-old techniques and historical details.

At the forefront of the Brooklyn makers movement and the subsequent emergence of autonomous art-design studios throughout the city in the 2000s, The Future Perfect emerged as one of the country’s—and even the world’s—most revered platforms purveying one-of-a-kind, well-crafted, slightly ornate wares. It grew over time to include unique, contextualized, home-gallery spaces in Los Angeles and San Francisco. With a move of its New York flagship into a David Chipperfield-designed West Village townhouse in 2021, The Future Perfect adopted a highly curated approach throughout its network.

Nilufar founder Nina Yashar
Nilufar Gallery founder Nina Yashar pictured in front of the Sofa Macaron by Gal Gaon (Photo: Filippo Pincolini)

New collections are presented through an ever-changing exhibition programme utilizing these venues’ different domestic—albeit lavish—vignettes. Other rooms remain appointed with curated selections of other works, as if to suggest a level of seamless integration. Almost everything can be spec-ed; even the bespoke wallpaper. Unlike other market heavyweights, much of the gallery’s offering is produced on a limited-edition basis rather than as one-off art pieces. There are some exceptions of course.

Nilufar was established in 1979 by Iranian immigrants to Milan trading in the finest carpets and historic furnishings. Since the early 2000s, the gallery has expanded to include a more contemporary catalog of works by some of the day’s most innovative artists and designers. Think Dutch design but also those pushing material and application in Japan and South Korea, among many other places.

With the gallery’s main storefront well anchored in the city’s posh Quadrilatero della Moda district, the acquisition of a massive 1,500-sqm outskirt warehouse from Opera company La Scala in 2015 unlocked the door to new possibilities. In this space, Nilufar has programmed groundbreaking thematic Milan Design Week shows while also staging style-specific vignettes. Through this curation, the gallery has fostered many of the overall design industry’s top emerging and established practitioners.

The new Open Edition collection comes as a culmination of that tireless cultivation. Many of the names Nilufar nurtured over time have contributed to this extensive yet succinct assemblage. The 100 or so serially produced, rather than limited edition, designs reflect gallery founder Nina Yashar unified vision for a sophisticated home interior. The various sofas, credenzas, and vessels coalesce around whimsical yet restrained juxtapositions of form, hue, and texture. Lustrous textiles and iridescent surface treatments play off of organic and strictly geometric shapes.

Through various ventures, offshoot venues, special projects, and a consistent presence at most fairs, both platforms have a lot of similarities. Both have established extensive and eclectic talent rosters. Both present themselves as elevated one-stop shopping experiences for buyers, their advisors, and interior designers. In looking to launch the new offering, it only seems fitting that Nilufar should choose The Future Perfect as its main U.S. partner. Deciding to debut the collection during New York’s cultural high season and around the same time as Salon Art + Design 2023 this November was also a strategic move.

This collaboration offers a dynamic glimpse into the future of design excellence.

Nina Yashar, founder of Nilufar Galler

“The Open Edition collection was curated to ignite a vibrant exploration into the boundless realms of design possibilities,” says Nilufar founder Nina Yashar. “We are thrilled to be bringing this exhibition to The Future Perfect, which we consider to be the authority on American design. This collaboration offers a dynamic glimpse into the future of design excellence.”

The Orient Armchair by Nori in Venezia Dark Olive at Nilufar Gallery in Effect Magazine
The Orient Armchair by David/Nicolas in Venezia Dark Olive velvet personifies the Nilufar aesthetic, with elements of classic Italian design spiced with a retro-future sensibility that is entirely contemporary

Beirut design duo David/Nicolas (David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem) developed the retro-futuristic Dualita bench and modular Orient armchair. Tel Aviv architect Gal Gaon’s amoebic coffee table anchors on a leaning base. Milanese designer Osanna Visconti’s ornate elliptical carpets take on a bold yet elegant presence. London-based Analogia Project‘s Unfold dining and living room set matches well with the studio’s striped glass and bronze, layered-cylinder luminaires. Semi-translucent and colored-glass elements integrate warm, seemingly old world yet emphatically current, pastels. Relief panels carry contemporary themes and slightly-fluted wood forms the base of cubic settees.

Pieces from The Open Edition – described by Nilufar founder Nina Yashar as “curated to ignite a vibrant exploration into the boundless realms of design possibilities” (Photo: Joe Kramm)

“Nina’s discerning eye and dedication to innovative design has redefined what it means to champion emergent voices,” says David Alhadeff,founder of The Future Perfect. “The Open Edition collection, with its fusion of meticulous craftsmanship and formal experimentation, is set to captivate the imagination of design enthusiasts and collectors alike. Through this partnership, we do not merely join forces — we celebrate the lasting legacy of Nilufar and The Future Perfect and our shared vision of championing boundary-pushing design, while embracing the industry’s vast frontiers.”

Read more: Gallerists | Interiors | Design | Milan | New York