December 14, 2017

Design-Meets-Fantasyland at Marcel Wanders' Moooi Store in NoMad

Moooi, which joins a slew of ultra-chic stores in Manhattan's burgeoning NoMad design district, is all about extraordinary design.

by Nicole Haddad

Moooi’s sensual NoMad showroom.


Canal Chair
Luca Nichetto’s Canal Chair, made to resemble the bow of a boat,
comes in various tone-on-tone hues or bold color-play combinations
and is slated to hit stores in January.

When it comes to Marcel Wanders, the only thing to expect is the unexpected. The Dutch interiors and product designer, art director, and influencer first gained international recognition for his cutting-edge Knotted Chair in 1996. Today, Wanders continues his exploration of innovation in design with Moooi, the design label and store he co-founded in 2001.

Moooi, which joins a slew of ultra-chic stores in Manhattan's burgeoning NoMad design district, has only four other locations, in concept-savvy cities such as Tokyo, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and London. Entering the store feels more like migrating into the functional realm of a design lover's wonderland rather than the classic, put-together showroom. Provocative art adorns the walls, cabinets are a work of art, a sofa sits on a platform, and dangling lights appear on the verge of dancing. And that is as it should be, says Jan-Willem Poels, Moooi's Country Manager in the USA. "When Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers founded Moooi, the idea that drove Wanders was to have a collection of his own projects while also inviting young designers to become a part of the collection. In essence, Moooi was created as a platform for designers to realize their dreams, and to realize them in product form."

Common Comrades, Moooi
Neri & Hu’s Common Comrades table family.

And true to form, the original goal remains. Moooi now carries the work of over 60 designers, many of who have more than one design with the brand. The genius behind Wanders' approach is his belief in promoting creativity. "He often gives designers a chance at a very early stage in their career," says Poels. For example, Bertjan Pot's Random Light, introduced into the collection in 2002, propelled the design into an on-demand orbit. Similarly, Maarten Baas' Smoke Armchair (it truly is furniture finished with fire), has become an iconic fixture at Moooi. And most recently, Umut Yamac's captivating Perch Light design, which Wanders' spotted at the London Design Festival, has joined the family of intriguing wares.

Left and right: Marcel Wanders’ Farooo floor lamp draws the eye in one of the store’s moody vignettes; Each
area showcases provocative photography and eye-catching designs.

While Wanders still designs products for the brand, the biggest difference in recent years is the growing realm of the showroom's possibilities. While previoulsy one could sprinkle individual pieces throughout different settings, today, designers can beautifully outfit entire projects through Moooi. And why not? The very definition of Moooi in Dutch is beautiful—with an extra o added in to make a point. Point taken!

Left and right: Altdeutsche Cabinet by Studio Job; Perch Light Branch by Umut Yamac is one of six versions the designer created—each is made of folded paper and brass and swings when touched.

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