As Salone del Mobile năm 2016 draws khổng lồ a close, Rolf and Mette tuyệt reflect on the success of their eponymous brand and how they deal with the heritage of Danish design

At this year’s Salone, tuyệt transformed a vast former sports hall into ten individually designed roomsHAY, the Danish design brand founded in 2002 by the husband & wife team Rolf and Mette Hay, has grown rapidly since they presented their first collection at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne. With the launch of the now well-established tốt Mini Market accessories line in 2005, and, more recently, establishing a co-brand, Wrong for HAY, xuất xắc has expanded khổng lồ produce a wide range of high-end furniture, textiles và smaller items, sold through over 30 stores around the world.

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Working with some of the most respected names in sản phẩm design, such as the French brothers Erwan và Ronan Bouroullec, HAY’s success can be partly attributed lớn its ability khổng lồ translate the enduring popularity of Danish design – a clean, minimal & functional aesthetic – into the 21st century. Although Rolf và Mette bởi vì not constrain themselves to producing recognisably Danish objects, their approach has done much khổng lồ reverse the dependence of the Scandinavian design industry on reissuing classic products from the heyday of the 1950s và 60s.

As is clear from the brand’s exhibition at the Salone de sản phẩm điện thoại in Milan this year – housed in La Pelota, a spacious former sports arena that tuyệt has divided into rooms – their collections are not restricted lớn a particular Danish vernacular of thiết kế but attempt khổng lồ reimagine Danish thiết kế in an international context. Here, on the last day of the Salone, Rolf and Mette reflect on how their brand has evolved over the past 14 years, the influence Danish thiết kế has played in their work & how they maintain the same approach despite producing such a wide range of products.


How has xuất xắc evolved since you began in 2002? 

Rolf: giỏi has certainly grown considerably since we started & the idea of evolving is important khổng lồ us; it is not our intention lớn have the same style in 10 years. We are very fortunate lớn work with many great & talented designers, like Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec & Stefan Diez, that are just as aware of the needs & wants of our times as we are.

Our world is constantly changing and with that our habits and lifestyles, as well as the thiết kế we choose lớn fit those needs. We continue lớn strive towards making products that are straightforward và functional with some of the world’s most talented designers.

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How bởi vì you choose the designers you work with?

Rolf: There is not one specific way we choose khổng lồ work with a designer but often we like to work with people we have a strong connection with, or those we admire. But more importantly for us, we have always focused on making a great products. We are not interested in where designers come from, we are interested in what they create.

How much does the heritage of Danish thiết kế inform your work? 

Rolf: giỏi is Danish because we are based in Denmark & it is what we both grew up with, but we work with designers from all over the world. We believe we create universal kiến thiết that is not specific to lớn a country. We truly believe kiến thiết is a global language.


What is exciting you most about your new collection?

Rolf: There are so many different things happening right now & we are extremely proud of all the products we have launched in Milan this year. The new CAN Sofa by Ronan và Erwan Bouroullec has been a great project to work on, though. At the moment, xuất xắc is in a great place khổng lồ move forward into new markets và continue to make strong products that can last a long time.

What is the idea behind the tốt Mini Market?

Mette: The idea was inspired by the small markets you find in India, Turkey, xứ sở của những nụ cười thân thiện and China… places where you can buy everything from toothpaste lớn kitchenware & chewing gum. I’ve always had a dream to lớn create my own market, filled with all products I would want to lớn buy.


You produce và sell such a wide variety of objects. Is there a guiding principle that runs through everything? 

Mette: We are extremely fortunate lớn be able lớn offer everything from sofas to toothbrushes. The creation of the hay Mini Market has allowed for us to offer all sorts of smaller items that ảo diệu a home, & having the right place to lớn sell the items is equally important. But, when it comes to lớn design, we have the same approach to lớn producing a toothbrush as we bởi vì for a sofa or a chair.