13761 Fri, 02/08/2008 - 5:52pm
By Barbara Thau
NEW YORK–Spring has sprung for trend-setting, modernist retailers The Conran Shop and the Museum of Modern Art Design Store as the merchants unveiled their new collections for the season.
Both lines play up humor, color and contemporary design.
The highlights of MoMA’s spring mix are its exclusive Destination Alessi and Destination Japan programs, Bonnie McKay, director of merchandising, creative and marketing, told HFN.
Destination Japan was born from MoMA’s sojourns to the country and its collaboration with manufacturers and designers from the region on a collection.
Destination Alessi, which launches this month, is a limited-edition selection of products from the second half of the 20th century, reintroduced from the Alessi archive exclusively for MoMA.
If there is a unifying look among the pieces from the iconic Italian home vendor it’s that they’re “architectural,” McKay said. They also feature bold colors. These include trays and bowls in bright yellow and orange.
“Color is very important to the museum. It’s not even a trend,” she said. And the Alessi products “celebrate” color, she added.
Destination Japan features exclusive lifestyle products from the country and launches in May.
“It’s our view of Japan,” McKay said, as well as imparting the Japanese take on western culture.
The resulting collection has edge and wit, McKay said.
The products in the line include dinner-bell plates in the shape of quotation marks; products inspired by the fish market; and bowls made of recycled clay.
Beyond the Destination programs, MoMA’s spring assortment also includes a garland table lamp from hot designer Tord Boontje; black-ringed Orbit bowls from Catharina Kippel; and hand-printed silk screen placemats from Sandy Chilewich in a bold line pattern.
Meanwhile, The Conran Shop’s new Outdoor Living collection, which rolls out in March, brings a whimsical, colorful edge to home design.
The collection ranges from furniture to housewares and tabletop.
Although many of the products in the collection are intended for indoor use, “It’s more about the feel of the outdoors. It reminds you of the freshness of spring,” said Emmanuel Plat, vice president of The Conran Shop in the U.S.
Furniture in the collection comes in bright orange, grass green and citrus yellow.
Tongue-in-cheek items include a cloth table designed by Gerard De Kinderen in which the cloth has a flexible but fixed shape and is part of the table itself.
Massive backdrops featuring the work of Brazilian artist Paula Juchem will theme the collection.
These colorful, childlike beach and garden scenes will be used in window displays and marketing materials for the line.