Having left the world of fashion for that of industrial design, Murray Moss decided to open a New York store offering the design objects that Europe coveted and most American retailers ignored. Working closely with the owner, Harry Allen designed a space to fit the merchant’s specific marketing objectives. Products were displayed by association, not category. In an effort to focus attention on the merchandise, the designer embraced the language of art galleries. The space was in fact an art gallery before Moss moved in.
The store supported the high-design merchandise in every way. The white environment and the varying display heights allowed products to be seen clearly and from the best vantage point. The glass cases implied value. The formula worked and from 1994 until its close in 2010, Moss was one of the preeminent design stores in the world.
Five years after the original store opened, Mr. Moss wanted to expand. If the original store referenced art galleries, the new store referenced Museums – from the dioramas, to the elevated platforms, to the guardrails. It also accommodated much larger merchandise.