Vipp, a Danish company known throughout Europe for its high-end trash cans, has opened a U.S. division along with a showroom in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood.
Founded in 1939 by Holger Nielsen after his wife asked him to make a waste can for her hair salon, Vipp—which means “to tilt” in Danish, to describe the action of the lid when the foot petal is pressed—is now in 11 European countries as well as in Asia.
A limited number of U.S. retailers carry Vipp. Nielsen’s grandson, Kasper Egelund, moved to New York this year to launch the U.S. business and open the 2,000-square-foot showroom at 83 Murray St.
The product line is small—several sizes and colors stem from one basic shape—and the retail prices for the trash bins start at $225 for a Vipp 13 (one gallon).
People “don’t buy it because it’s a trash can, but because it’s a piece of furniture, a fashion statement,” said Egelund, president of Vipp Inc. “We have very few products but they are very good products.”
Besides trash cans, the company has branched out in recent years to bathroom accessories and towels and hampers, with additional kitchen products to be announced next year. Ninety-five percent of the line is still manufactured in Denmark and retail prices for the entire line range from $115 for a soap dispenser to $625 for the laundry hamper.
Vipp “wants to become local” in the United States, Egelund added, and will begin exhibiting at U.S. trade shows, such as the International Home & Housewares Show next March. The company also has a warehouse in New Jersey.
In some ways, its U.S. start-up has gone very smoothly, as there is only one currency and one language, along with other things, Egelund said. “So far it’s been quite easy,” he said. “Now we are focused on the U.S.”
The company has also held a number of charity auctions over the past few years, for which designers and celebrities such as Karim Rashid and Philippe Starck took the simple and clean Vipp design and crafted one-of-a-kind pieces.
“There’s a lot of humor to them,” Egelund says, and past bins have included Terence Conran’s Intestines, which pictures the body’s digestive system, and fashion designer Nicole Farhi’s trash can with a knitted covering. Vipp will hold its first U.S. auction Sept. 18, for which cans have been designed by 45 celebrities, including Bono, Mario Batali and Christy Turlington.
Prior to the auction, the bins will be on display at The Conran Shop in New York from Sept. 4 to 17. Anyone who pre-bids on the cans during that time will be invited to attend the auction. Hosted by Danish supermodel Helena Christensen, the auction will benefit the Food Bank for New York and Chernobyl Children’s Project International.