Following a short announcement in the New York Times yesterday, the news of the imminent closure of Moss has been ripping up and down the wires, resounding in a collective end-of-an-era sigh from designers, writers, and the people who fill out wedding registries at groundbreaking design emporiums. Murray Moss's eponymous shop opened in 1994 on Greene Street in Soho, and for 18 years it's led the pack in what constitutes cutting-edge interior design.
Mr. Moss explained in the Times that he and his partner Franklin Getchell had been running “a free museum” and that “the old paradigm wasn’t working." And while the shuttering seems sudden, let's not forget that Moss was in risk of closing in 2010, after a little problem with the tax man. It re-opened and continued business as usual, but that begs the question: in an era of post-post-conspicuous consumption, what is business as usual?
While Moss's spot in the canon of design history is solidified for introducing the likes of Maarten Baas and the Campana brothers to the masses of American and international shoppers in New York City, it was also a sign of the boom times, in which someone might drop $40,000 for a side table without pause. With plans to open a smaller, pop-up space and continue working as a design consultant, Murray Moss is adapting, as a savvy business executive tends to do.
What's detrimental about the closure is an issue of accessibility. Where do we go now to pet the arm of a Jongerius sofa, try on a Corian ring, or ogle a stainless steel kinetic sculpture? It's not just an institution; it's an interactive, in-your-face dreamworld populated by the most outlandish designers in our sphere. And I will not be alone in missing it.