On January 7, 2020, Farokh Hakim of Persian Gallery Company passed away. One of the founders of Persian Gallery, along with his brothers, Ike and Sam Hakim, Farokh, or “Frank”, was a veteran of the oriental rug trade for over forty years.
Born in Iran in 1934, Farokh spent his early years in Tehran, before spending two and a half years in the nascent IDF during a stint in Israel in the early 1950s. He returned to Iran after that, and joined his father, Soleiman Hakim, in the oriental rug business. The rug trade took him all around Iran, from Tehran to Mashad to Shiraz, and then later, to Europe, with stops in England, Switzerland, and beyond.
After several years of traveling Iran and Europe and learning the ins and outs of the rug trade, Farokh started his own family in Iran, marrying his wife Effat in 1964. They had their first daughter, Nancy shortly thereafter while still in Tehran, before traveling to Israel in 1969 and having their second daughter, Natalie. Farokh and the family returned briefly to Iran, where his wife and daughters stayed. Farokh ventured off to the United States to be reunited with his brothers, Ike and Sam, who had gone to the U.S. prior to that to pursue their college educations.
Once in the United States, Farokh, Ike and Sam agreed to carry on their father’s oriental rug business in New York. They created Persian Gallery Company in 1971, and started as a retail operation on Third Avenue. Over the next several years, the business underwent many changes, with the three brothers switching from retail to wholesale, and with the youngest brother, Sam ultimately leaving to start his own venture, Hakim Oriental Rugs.
Farokh and Ike continued with Persian Gallery, and followed the movements of the oriental rug trade around Midtown Manhattan, from Midtown on 28th Street and Fifth Avenue, to the West Side in the Potamkin Building, and later back to the East Side on 30th Street and Madison Avenue, and finally at their current location a couple of blocks away on 31st Street between Madison and Park Avenues.
Farokh’s nuclear and extended families from Iran and Israel rejoined the brothers in New York, after which Farokh and Effat had their third child, their son Rodney. The family and the business both grew throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and the extended Hakim clan were among the first members of their Persian Jewish Community to relocate from Queens to Long Island, setting down roots in and around Great Neck, New York.
Farokh continued to contribute his time and energy to expanding operations at Persian Gallery over the next two decades, crisscrossing the Northeastern U.S. in pursuit of the best carpets he could find. He was renowned throughout the rug industry for his good taste in rugs, his negotiating skills, his kindness, and for his penchant of walking around town with giant 200 pound rugs slung over his shoulder.
After his three children were all married, and Farokh and Ike’s sons, Rodney and Robert, were both added to the Persian Gallery team, Farokh retired from the rug trade in 2009. In the ensuing years, he battled Parkinson’s and other diseases, and after many years, finally succumbed to his ailments.
Farokh Hakim is survived by his wife, Effat Hakim, by his daughter, Nancy Dilamani and her husband Alfred, and by their children Steven (and wife and children) and Michael (and fiancee) Dilamani and families; by his daughter Natalie Hakimian and her husband Edmond, and by their children David and Daniel Hakimian (and wife Shannon); by his son Rodney Hakim and his wife Dorit and family; by his brother, Ike Hakim; by his sister Mehri Hakim; and by his late brother Sam Hakim’s wife Debora Hakim and children.
He will be missed by his family, the Persian Gallery team, rug industry peers, friends, family, and the by extended community.