Troels Holch Povlsen and husband and wife Rolf and Mette Hay founded Hay in 2002 with the idea of making well-designed products available and accessible at affordable price points. Since then, the Danish design firm, which offers everything from glassware to stationery, has attracted a global following. A year-and-a-half ago, they launched the first Hay Mini Market in Milan, garnering the attention of retailers like Le Bon Marché in Paris and Selfridges in London – which both hosted subsequent Hay Mini Markets of their own – before the platform went to Tokyo.
The pop-up caught the eye of Museum of Modern Art merchandising director Emmanuel Plat, who invited Hay to hold a Mini Market at the MoMA Design Store when he visited Copenhagen last February. 'I said, "Yeah let's do it right now!",' recalls Mette. 'And now we are here.'
The MoMA Design Store x Hay Mini Market, which launches this week, doubles as Hay's introduction to the American commercial scene, offering aisles filled with more than 230 items, 42 of which are totally new. 'Most of the products are new here in New York, but there's a new clock in our collection, which is in retail for the first time here,' says Mette. 'We have some bedspreads, and a pinboard by Inga Sempé, and then there's a lot of the small things which are new.'
Other items at the store include bright graphic tote bags that Hay collaborated on with Memphis Group member Nathalie Du Pasquier, illustrator Jody Barton and fashion designer Bernhard Willhelm; the angular Volet Hook by Dimitri Bähler; a deck of cards; and paper fans, perfect for cooling off in the unbearable New York summer heat.
'To be here at the MoMA Design Store is very special because it's the best place that we could open here in New York,' concludes Mette. 'It's a very good beginning.'