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Moooi: An Unexpected Welcome
Moooi, the Dutch brand known internationally for their daring design, has launched a brand new collection that both surprises and inspires in equal measures.
The collection, which was first unveiled at this year’s Milan furniture fair amongst large-scale photographs from Erwin Olaf and real-size mannequins by Hans Boodt, is as flamboyant as previous lines, but in a more refined way.
Take the Cloud Sofa designed by Marcel Wanders for example, a wonderful dream-like design in the shape of a fluffy white cloud. Whilst this item has a dramatic shape, its main aim is comfort and practicality. It has been released in a collection of colours too, to suit the needs of the user. We love the Rainbow Bouclé – a zingy design that won’t fail to make a statement!
Then there’s the Juuyo Pendant from Lorenza Bozzoli – a truly stunning piece that features either delicate peach flowers or floating dream-like Koi carp. These graceful images sit below a simple bulbous white pendant, allowing the beautiful images to provide just the right amount of magical decoration.
Next up is the Urbanhike Table designed by Marcel Wanders. This table is a ‘symbol of Moooi's journey to reach the highest peaks of quality, innovation and style by spreading its designs to the most significant, beautiful cities in the world’, according to Moooi. It is a small side table with a tall handle representing a walking stick, that comes with a collection of badges from different cities of the world. It is a playful yet exceptionally useful design as the table’s handle can be used to move it around.
The last item of the new collection we will look at is the Paper Patchwork Floor Lamp – a striking floor lamp designed by Studio Job that is made from tightly-woven paper and cardboard. A beautiful piece that belies its unconventional materials.
What do you think to the new range? We hope you like it as much as we do!
A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to interview the Moooi co-founder and CEO, Casper Vissers, on the new collection, as well as what the future held for the vibrant Dutch brand. See below for the full interview – it’s a fascinating insight into one of the most creative design minds of our age.
Moooi are known for their distinctive, flamboyant style – was this a conscious design decision, or did it develop naturally?
I guess naturally. Marcel and I wanted to create a new brand - a brand which creates value for customers, employees and partners. The value is all about making an environment more beautiful. Mooi in Dutch with two o's means beautiful, Moooi with three o's expresses our core value, making an environment extra beautiful and unique.
We wanted to create a brand which would be a legendary brand, to do this we knew we should design products which are different to others. Moooi stands for a unique approach to the world of interiors. Our audience is unexpectedly surprised by what we do, and also see the product in their own surroundings integrated, our product is welcome and for that reason we sell and make turnover. So, essentially it was a conscious design decision that had a natural flow.
How does the partnership with Marcel and yourself work? We know Marcel to be a passionate and creative designer and you to have a strong business head with a flair for marketing, but are your roles as separate as that or do you work very closely with one another?
Marcel is a designer with a business skill, I am a business man with an eye for design and product. This is the basis for our success, we have an overlap towards each others skills. For the first 8 years I have been driving all areas in the company; product development, the marketing, the sales, the logistics, the financials and the selection of new products. Regarding the last task, Marcel and myself, have an agreement, both of us need to like a product before we take it on board. Marcel has always been driving the real art direction of the company, the selection of photographers, the ideas of how to shoot the photographs, the graphics to be used etc, the whole corporate identity is created by Marcel. Since year 4 of the business we have had a general manager who takes care of the management which gave more time for me to create new marketing and business ideas - like expanding to the USA with our own branch and licensing the name Moooi to other businesses. Obviously over the last 12 years we’ve had the most fantastic team behind the curtains who’ve helped create this success with us, we could never have done this without this team - the real asset and secret of Moooi.
How do you decide which designers you work with? Do you have designers in mind or do they approach you?
We get 2500 PDF files per year from designers, we do see them all, we do answer them all. However, we can only do a maximum of 12 new product lines per year, which tells you how many people we have to disappoint. The product might not be OK for Moooi, but could be OK for another design company. Besides splitting through all those PDF files, we also approach designers we want to work with because their creativity matches Moooi. We would like to continue scouting/finding the young new talents in combination with the famous designers who’ve already designed for Moooi.
How has the Moooi brand changed through the years?
Moooi has always presented designers and products for 11 years. However, April last year saw a change to how we do it - we have added one extra layer. After 11 years Moooi now has enough assortment to show our products in a home setting - Moooi has erected an atmosphere of how a person or family could be in one with their interiors.
The Moooi Smoke Chair has proved very popular with our customers for its unusual manufacturing process. Do you have a personal favourite from your collection?
I am proud of all the products we have created, though I do have a personal love for the paper series from Studio Job.
What’s next for Moooi? Are there any up-coming collaborations that we should keep an eye out for?
Moooi is a great enthusiast for eclectic interiors. You must be able to create your own identity with an interior. Our product mix gives people some help to realise this. I guess after 12 years we have a certain perception generated from our audience. For sure we are perceived as a brand with guts, with cutting edge products and communication. If architects and/or consumers look for products to make an environment more beautiful and unique, they’ll hopefully keep knocking on our door. This is what we have done and will keep doing in the future.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere we look and walk - let's say not the office!
Does Moooi have a motto?
Make an environment more beautiful or unique.
Portrait credit: Casper Vissers, Moooi Founder and CEO, photography by Rob Overmeer.