We miss you Milan: it’s the start of a love letter – a two-minute video – sent by Moooi to the city of the Salone del Mobile and FuoriSalone, events that have been erased this year by Covid-19. An ironic, nostalgic story unfolds in a surreal atmosphere of retro graphics, fantasy animals, bewitched clocks, as in a book by Lewis Carroll, an image cherished by Marcel Wanders, the founder of the Dutch brand of uncommonly pop furnishings.
The ticking of a pocket watch sets the pace for the images: from a wardrobe a black and white photo appears showing an off-scale chair, one of the brand’s installations during Design Week. The narrative continues: “It all began in Milan, 19 years ago,” sealing the bond between Moooi and the design capital, a story of adventures, wagers, encounters, friendships and lots of work, as well as parties, toasts at Bar Basso, the famous hangout of designers and creative talents in Milan. Because ideas often get started just like that, in a lucky meeting during the fast-paced week that makes everyone dance to the tune of creativity, amidst presentations, interviews, events enlivened by rivers of champagne.
Nineteen years ago the whole world came to Milan to discover Moooi, the video continues, a new reality that broke with convention, celebrating the imagination and fantasy of designers to make special products for homes and singular personalities, furnishings for “an extraordinary life,” as per the company’s philosophy. A look back at the past, and plenty of hope for the future, mixed in 120 seconds that alternate ‘period’ photos of a very young Marcel Wanders, wild parties, hugs with designers and friends like Philippe Starck, presentations organized like theater performances, extreme installations with giant posters of insects, nude bodies and monstrous animals, colorful and irreverent settings, sculptural and playful furnishings, hybrid proposals between art and design, subversive creations like the Horse lamps, the Charleston chair sofa placed vertically for use as an armchair, the Pig tables and the Purr lights with rabbit ears. Objects that raise a smile, like this video, and keep you company, especially in gloomy times.