Movie: Casper Vissers on Moooi's use of naked photography

Moooi's use of "shocking" naked photography was inspired by the fashion industry

Extra Moooi: today we're launching a new year-long collaboration with Dutch design company Moooi. In the first movie of our Extra Moooi series, Moooi co-founder Casper Vissers explains how the fashion industry shaped the brand's core philosophy.

Moooi co-founder Casper Vissers
Moooi co-founder Casper Vissers. Copyright: Dezeen

"Fourteen years ago, the furniture and lighting industry was pretty boring," claims Vissers. "But if you opened Vogue or any other beautiful fashion magazine, it was full of beautiful photographs."

"There was a huge gap for Moooi to approach the furniture industry with a fashionable approach."

Erwin Olaf's photo for Moooi featuring Paper Chandelier by Studio Job
Erwin Olaf's photograph featuring Studio Job's Paper Chandelier. Copyright: Moooi/Erwin Olaf

Vissers co-founded Moooi with designer Marcel Wanders in 2001.

From its early days, the brand worked with Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf, whose highly stylised photography combined Moooi's products with naked bodies in striking poses.

Erwin Olaf's photo for Moooi featuring Raimond light by Raimund Puts
Erwin Olaf's photograph for Moooi featuring Raimond light by Raimund Puts

"For some people they were shocking," Vissers says. "[The photographs signified] a new philosophy, a new way of doing your marketing."

Erwin Olaf's photo for Moooi featuring Gothic Chair by Studio Job
Erwin Olaf's photograph for Moooi featuring Gothic Chair by Studio Job

Vissers describes Moooi as an "eclectic brand" with products in "different styles, all mixed together". He says the guiding philosophy behind Moooi's collection of products is encapsulated by the company's slogan, "The Unexpected Welcome".

Monster Chair by Marcel Wanders for Moooi
Monster Chair by Marcel Wanders for Moooi

"'Unexpected' is about fresh ideas, new ideas, cutting edge," Vissers explains. "The 'welcome' aspect is about people buying it for their homes. If we did things that are only unexpected, we would probably end up in a museum and wouldn't bring [our products] to the public."

Random Light by Bertjan Pots
Random Light by Bertjan Pots for Moooi

Vissers believes that the company's unusual approach to furniture and lighting fits well with the current market.

Altdeutsche Cabinet by Studio Job for Moooi
Altdeutsche Cabinet by Studio Job for Moooi

"I think what happened in the fashion industry 10 or 15 years ago is [now] happening in the furniture industry," he says. "It's not one specific style with rules. Lots of things are possible and allowed. So the current market situation fits the Moooi concept."

Horse Lamp by Front for Moooi
Horse Lamp by Front for Moooi

This year we'll be working with Moooi in Milan, New York, London and Amsterdam, getting under the skin of the brand, its products and designers as part of our Extra Moooi collaboration. There'll be movies, interactive slideshows, competitions and more. All the content will be posted at www.dezeen.com/moooi.

Smoke Chair by Maarten Baas for Moooi
Smoke Chair by Maarten Baas for Moooi

We'll also be teaming up in May to launch the Dezeen New York office and Moooi's first showroom in the US.

Moooi's Amsterdam showroom
Moooi's Amsterdam showroom. Copyright: Dezeen

This movie was filmed at Moooi's showroom in Amsterdam. The music featured is a track called Aglow by US artist RyIm.