we chat to the CEO of ultra-innovative Dutch design company Moooi

Earlier this year, Weylandts became the official exclusive South African retailer of Dutch brand Moooi. On show at five Weylandts stores and available via its website, the offering includes never-seen-before lighting, furniture and carpets that are all about drama and luxury. ‘Moooi is an urban brand designing for a new world, delivering the coolest things together with a sense of surprise and expectation,’ says Moooi’s art director, the renowned Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. And Weylandts is the perfect stage on which Moooi can flourish. ‘Entering a retail environment should always be exciting for the customer, says Weylandts founder Chris Weylandt, ‘and Moooi certainly knows how to grab our attention...’ We chatted to Moooi’s CEO, Robin Bevers, about the brand in general – and discovered a few of his own favourite things along the way.

What sets the Moooi brand apart from other design companies?

When we started Moooi in 2001, we promised each other to become a legendary brand. No one can create a legendary brand by doing me-too products or branding, for that reason we have developed our own fresh approach to product and style. Exclusive, daring, playful, exquisite and based on the belief that design is a question of love. We don't tell designers what to do, we listen to what designers want to make, try to realise their dreams. Eclectic and always on the edge of commercial reality and cultural interest. To trigger, to create conversation pieces which make your environment more special. To create an extra ‘O’ in terms of value and beauty!

What is it about the Weylandts brand that makes it a good match for Moooi?

We are inspired by creating a well-curated life and Weylandts shares this for this as well as authenticity in what we create; it is a relationship that works naturally and symbiotically, whereby Moooi offers another layer to the Weylandts collection and Weylandts offers Moooi an exceptional platform in South Africa. Weylandts presents Moooi in the latter’s own exclusive settings as well as showing how Moooi can be interspersed amongst Weylandts collections.

What are the top design trends you see coming through in the next year or two?   

We try to stay away from trends, and in return aim to offer timeless design that people can love forever. If we are to see one trend, it is the trend for quality, for things that last, for understanding the story, for trusting that a brand is authentic and transparent. Personally, I hope the war on minimalism is a lasting trend: less is less and more is more, and we all should want to have more from our lives!    
Moooi’s ultra-lightweight Carbon chair was designed by Dutch designers Bertjan Pot and Marcel Wanders.

What’s your number-one favourite piece of design from Moooi?

The Heracleum Small Big O by Bertjan Pot is one of our best-selling pieces. People buy it because they love it, not because they need a lamp.

Which one place in the world should every serious design lover visit?

To me good design is about love, an empathy and attention to detail that creates an additional value and makes you want to be in that space. For me that place is the Andaz Hotel in Amsterdam. Marcel Wanders has created an environment that perfectly fits in the canal district of Amsterdam, but is completely different from anything else. The level of detail is fabulous – every time I go there I discover something new or another layer in the designs. And even if it has been around for a while, it feels as fresh as when I saw it for the first time. This, combined with the attentive service from the staff, and the great food and drinks, makes it my perfect destination.
The extremely appealing Perch standing lamp (designed by Umut Yamac for Moooi) works perfectly with the brand’s Bart Swivel chair in tan leather.

Already a Moooi classic: the Rabbit table lamp was created for the brand by Swedish design group Front in 2005.

One of Moooi’s bestselling pieces is the eye-catching Heracleum Small Big O light by Bertjan Pot. ‘People buy it because they love it, not because they need a lamp,’ says Moooi CEO Robin Bevers.