Treger is a trustee of London’s Design Museum and a committee member for the PAD and Nomad art and design fairs. The London-based South African is also involved in the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the V&A Museum, and, locally, the Norval Foundation.
Your design icon: Jean Michel Frank from the 20th century, for modernising and editing the past; currently, Dutch designer Joris Laarman, for taking design into the future.
Grooming tips and treatments: When travelling I use Asprey products, but also am a fan of the shampoo at the hotel Le Sirenuse.
Wonderful design: I love Porky Hefer’s works. But, ultimately, nature is the greatest designer — it could be the structure of a nautilus shell or a tree changing colour in autumn or the ripples in the azure sea off Corsica.
Must-see building: Too many to choose, but Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright, The Glass House by Philip Johnson, Tadao Ando’s work at Naoshima or his Church of the Light.
Tech: My iPhone, my umbilical cord to the world.
Drink of choice: Hendrick’s gin and Fever-Tree tonic water with a thin slice of cucumber.
Top eating spots: The world is such a huge place, and it could be anywhere from the Bennelong Restaurant inside the Sydney Opera House to the grill in the old Four Seasons restaurant space in New York for crab cakes, to chopped chicken salad at the Wolseley in London. Or venison puffs at Hakkasan anywhere, spicy tuna hand rolls at Nobu Milano, arancini at lunch at La Fontelina beach club in Capri, or sundried-tomato bruschetta at El Paradiso in St Moritz.
Beloved clothing item: A silver belt buckle designed by Elsa Peretti for Halston in the ’70s.
Watch brand: At the moment, for women: brutalist gold 1970s watches ranging from designs by Andrew Grima to Piaget. For men, classic IWC or A Lange & Söhne watches.
Furniture: Zaha Hadid was a great friend of mine and, while not always hugely comfortable, her furniture captured the spirit of the moment. I particularly love the Kloris sculptured seating that I commissioned from her.
Books: I just reread Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, which 30 years ago was so prescient about how American cultural values would change.
Music: Currently, I like Vote by Miguel from the Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack and Between the Lines by electropop sensation Robyn.
The book, song, and luxury item to take to a desert island: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Brancusi’s Bird in Space, and Roman Abramovich’s yacht, Eclipse, so I could sail off when I became bored.
Series: The adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s quartet, My Brilliant Friend, is brilliant!
WATCH | My Brilliant Friend trailer:
A collector of: Many things, from 20th- and 21st-century design and art to 1960s and ’70s Gucci, FontanaArte glass, and Lino Sabattini silverware. But my favourite collection is of fascinating people.
Dream dinner-party guests: Madiba, who would sit next to Cyril Ramaphosa to advise him on sorting out the ANC and this country; Winston Churchill to do the same with Theresa May; and Abraham Lincoln to advise Donald Trump. Our leaders need help.
Next must-have item: A new pair of BA pyjamas to lounge about in.
Fridge staples: Honey mustard from Maille and several bottles of good champagne.
A person to know about: Louis Norval and everything he is doing for art in this country.
Best spot in the world: Plettenberg Bay is my happy place.
One indulgence you’ll never forgo: Not travelling long-haul in economy.
– You’ll find his beautifully curated Instagram account at @juliantreger
– From the February edition of Wanted 2019.