We hope that you’re ready to embrace the unexpected and the marvellous! From Moooi, we’d expect no less; in fact, the company’s motto is “The Unexpected Welcome”. Their name should already be enough to prepare us for a world of wonders: “Moooi” comes from the Dutch word for “beautiful”, with an extra “o”, though. Why? Well, the idea is to convey a sense of added beauty and uniqueness. And what can we say? Mission accomplished! One look at just any of their creations is enough to prove their exuberant, off-the-charts personality.
First things first: how old is Moooi? It’s quite a young company: founded in 2001 by Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers. As the concepts of beauty, originality and uniqueness are what drives this brand, the crowd of designers that work with Moooi are absolutely welcome to give free rein to their creativity! According to co-founder Marcel Wanders, now at the lead of the art direction, they do not tell designers what to do: rather, the designers come up with ideas that the company’s direction help shape into real, concrete creations. But what do they create, exactly? The brand focuses on lighting, furniture and accessories; it is not easy to pinpoint their style though, and for a series of reasons.
The main reason, however, is that there is not one style, but many! Moooi does not rely on a single team of designers, but often collaborates with designers from all over the world. The result is that some creations, although still being original, are fit for a classy, minimal apartment. Some others, however, require an environment with a strong personality! A bold design needs a bold context, a room that can hold its ground. An excellent example of these headstrong, flamboyant designs is the Horse Lamp shown below, for instance. Faithful to the true dimensions of a real-life animal, the Horse Lamp brings the natural world with the artificial soul of our contemporary lives together. We can’t imagine a matte black, natural sized horse lamp inside a dull, boring room.
The Horse Lamp, for instance, is not a creation by one of the company’s designers; the idea was conceived and carried out by Sweden team Front Design. As it normally happens with Moooi, whenever the creative directors appreciate a certain designer’s work, they’ll start a collaboration. However, this is still not always the case though! One example is the Love Sofa, which was designed by Marcel Wanders himself, just like many other Moooi designs we can admire. The idea behind it is that, in general, interior design is a matter of beauty and love; what can be more beautiful and satisfying than spending an evening cuddling up with your partner on the Love Sofa?
Moooi’s headquarters are located in Breda, in the Netherlands, but, despite being a comparatively young company in furniture brands’ years, it's already opened flagship stores both in London and in New York, and the company’s products are being sold in over 70 countries all over the world. One of the strengths of Moooi is in their having being open from the beginning to the collaboration with other designers: this is how the brand was able to take part in the Milan Furniture Fair and present their new collections every year since their foundation. Most furniture brands need years of experience and baby steps to be able to take part in top-level international exhibitions, but all the doors were already open for Moooi.
Not all of Moooi’s creations are larger than life and extravagant as the majestic Horse Lamp. Still, all of them always manage to have a very distinct personality. One of the designs that attracted the most attention was the Paper Desk, designed by the duo Studio Job. The main structure is clearly based on a classic-looking desk; however, what makes it so special is its playfulness. What makes it look so playful though, almost like a children’s desk? First of all, the sturdy frame, especially when combined with the reassuringly large hinges. Then, the color: a bright, pure shade of light and light brown; exactly the shades we’d expect to see on a children’s wooden toy.
A feature that seems to be common to most Moooi creations is their versatility. They do need to be surrounded by a strong, well-defined context, but provided that they are, they’ll easily fit into any sort of interior design. Take Coppélia, the stunning contemporary interpretation of a classic chandelier by Japanese designer Arihiro Miyake. It’s a stunning piece of design that could work its way into an elegant dining room, as well as into a minimal loft...or into a new-Gothic room! And in fact, that’s kind of the context where it was uncovered for the first time.
Another remarkable feature of Moooi, is that you do need color to create an unforgettable design, but you don’t necessarily need to mix bright and neon shades to achieve it! For instance, the Chess Table is a sturdy, black and white table that manages to look impressive simply because of the black-and-white chess pattern. The surface can also be employed to play games, which reinforces the idea that design is not -- necessarily -- an abstract, alien concept, but rather, as Marcel Wanders would remark, it is rooted in love and playfulness.
In conclusion, to this day we still have to find a single home décor piece by Moooi that we don’t appreciate. Be it an eye-catching origami-inspired chandelier, or a cute, minimal floor lamp, we know we must be ready to expect something definitely out of the ordinary from this unique Dutch brand.
Would you still like to learn more about Moooi? Then click here!