Moooi designs and beautiful people photographed in nothing but their skin on white or black. Simple, yet gripping. Moooi and Erwin Olaf rattled the prim and pristine world of furniture and lighting with the Double Portraits.

Model with Paper Chandelier by Studio Job

Visual metaphors

Co-founder and creative director of Moooi Marcel Wanders created a concept that would rattle the industry. However, his idea didn’t start out that way. The idea was presenting a dialogue between people, lighting, and furniture. To create Double Portraits. Marcel sketched out his vision of a dance between human and design; lighting and furniture interacting with their human counterparts.

Marcel knew photographer Erwin Olaf’s unique vision and Moooi would be a match made in heaven, so he asked him to join the project. Immediately searched for the perfect people. Once they found them, together they completed the choreography between the models and designs and perfected the idea. From 2002 until 2006 they made multiple series.

Model with two Carbon Chairs by Bertjan Pot

Inspired by fashion

In the early noughties, when leafing through a fashion magazine like Vogue, you were blown away by beautiful and artistic photography. Sometimes, it was almost impossible to spot the item being marketed. The overall message was more important. The perception of a brand and the feeling they wanted to convey. In the fashion industry, it was the norm. In the furniture- and lighting industry? It would be a new philosophy. A new way of doing your marketing.

Model with Random Lights by Bertjan Pot

This is Moooi

People were shocked when they encountered the unexpected images. “Artistic”, “Racy”, and “Shocking” were the words the media used to describe the photography. But no matter what you thought of the campaign, it was precisely Moooi: Original, Unexpected, and Provocative. Utterly unafraid and committed to turning the boring furniture and lighting industry upside down.

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about Double Portraits is that it’s timeless. Many Moooi Originals in the campaign are still in our collection. The photographs are still relevant and striking today. They show the importance of humans versus design, to this day, a relevant topic. It was the start of many creative collaborations that ultimately helped shape and define the world of Moooi as it is today.