Iranian Nightmare Turns Into American Dream

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March 10 (Bloomberg) –- Domus Design Collection Co-Founder and Curator Babak Hakakian discusses his family’s history and the business of luxury furniture. He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock (Source: Bloomberg)

Of the most respected names in the industry.

I want you to tell your story and then we will get into the details of the current furniture business.

You want the shirt version or the long version?

Whichever you would like to do.

The revolution in 1978 is the reason we ended up here.

I grandfather -- my grandfather started the business at the age of 13. he started as an apprentice in iran.

In tehran.

He had no choice, obviously, he came from a very poor family and his father had passed away.

Being the oldest son he had no choice but to start working.

Years later he had built an empire in the furniture industry in iran and was a very respected member of the community but when the revolution happened in 1978, he was forced to leave the country due to our religious background and we had to start over again.

You start over again and you come to the united states and how do you begin once again?

You have a whole artisan system in iran, here you have big, mass-produced, multiple competitors.

What were some of the steps that led you to where you -- what you are doing now?

We did have a factory where they were producing product.

It was a different collection, it was not contemporary, it was traditional.

When we came here i think the interesting part about our family is the old-school mentality is useful and the hybrid is what created what ddc is today.

It is a relative new -- relatively new company.

Ddc was born of that hybrid of the old and new coming together and bringing new ideas to the table.

I think that is where our strength was.

And mentioned luxury but luxury can mean many things.

It can mean the kind of craftsmanship or price and how many times you're going to buy a sofa in your life.

I want you to give us examples of the furniture they are making and tell us how expensive is it but what does it offer?

We carry over 15,000 products in our collection.

We have over 100 products that are in museums around the world.

I designed a piece recently which won a design award called the barcode table which concentrates on ecological design.

What was the table?

What was the actual table, what does it look like?

Is pieces of marble that are normally waste or thrown away.

The edges of tables that we cut.

We use that material to produce something new.

I called it the barcode -- the barcode table because it looks like a barcode.

It is strips of stone.

What do you say to people who come to you and say that looks like a wonderful chair and it is comfortable but i am not going to spend $15,000 for a chair.

It is funny you say that.

I describe our furniture as being next to the future.

What you buy today you will keep and it becomes an heirloom.

Our selection is based on that fact and it is based on that philosophy.

Everything we produce that is handcrafted and handmade by artisans mostly from italy and different european nations have that quality.

They are very exclusive and handmade and made in workshops.

We like to work with other families.

All of our suppliers and other families that produce furniture, like other companies.

We have been around.

You have got some showrooms.

Where are they and what is the next step?

Our sure rooms -- showrooms are based in new york.

You can see design post and [inaudible] and another in l.a. which creates a great synergy for our brand.

We will be showing in miami.

Will ha -- we will have miami and 68 months.

You have attracted a lot of celebrities.

Do you want to name a couple to make people feel what company they would be keeping?

Felix bennett is a very big publisher in london.

Beyonce is one of our clients.

We have so many.

Probably i should not say other ones.

Do you have a favorite piece, if there was one piece that you had to select, what would it be?

It is designed in 1976 by carlos scarpa who is a very famous italian legend.

It is a library.

How much does it cost, do you think?

He can range from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the option and the wood that is available.

We will have to look up where we put our books.

People do not read that many books but today can look at the

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