If you write about design in New York City, and have been for some time, there’s no way you haven’t encountered Murray Moss. I must have interviewed him a dozen times, the highlight being a 2005 feature in New York Magazine on his own home (not as minimal as you might think. And those wires!). So I was sad to see the news that the real home of Moss, his store on Greene Street, was closing. Where would I go to see in person the objects I had only read about? It’s hard not to see the store’s closing as the result of the digital free-for-all of images (we’ve gotten less suspicious about buying after a virtual look) and prices (why pay New York retail when you can get it direct from Europe).
The only time I was able to enter the world of Moss was when I was spending other people’s money, a.k.a. when I got married, and registered there. I dearly love my Jasper Morrison Moon china, which to me was the epitome of what Moss stood for: the perfect plain thing. After that experience, I encountered many, many other designers who also registered at Moss. It was a rite of passage, choosing your grown-up things from Murray’s select group. That led to one of my favorite pieces I’ve written, and one of the first times I personalized my take on design. Copied below in full, in honor of the dream that was Moss: “Married With Tchotchkes,” from the October 9, 2005 issue of T Magazine.