MOIE’s creative director, Michelle Shang, chats with Prestige about the atelier’s journey, plans for expansion and upcoming challenges
As a one-stop luxury destination, MOIE has been home to some of the world’s most celebrated interior lifestyle brands for more than 25 years. Having started as a boutique concept store back in 1996 carrying locally-made products, MOIE now operates as one of the most reputable retailers in the region with plans to continue expanding its product selection while offering the best service in the industry.
The design force behind MOIE, Michelle Shang, believes that the atelier can fulfil the needs of every modern interior, contemporary, or even the modern classic space. “Our product range is very wide and I think it really depends on how we propose the product and we can be in many different styles,” she explains. “We’re always trying to give solutions to our clients, and realisation of visions to the designer projects. So, we do many different styles of design.” Prestige Indonesia sat down with the creative director to talk about the atelier, its latest venture with MOIEHAUS, and more.
First of all, how has the journey been so far for you with MOIE? Do you still remember how it all began?
When you do something that you love, then it doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been doing it. It feels like it was only yesterday. How did it start? Well, I’ve always been a designer. I have a background in design and I’ve always been working as a creative director. Looking back, I’ve been working in a branding company at that time for ten years. I love branding and I love creating design concepts. And that’s how I met Nick, who is my husband and also the operation director of MOIE. So, at that time, MOIE was a growing company. We develop our own designs, and we produce locally. But after I married Nick, we started to develop MOIE as an umbrella company for various luxury international furniture brands. That’s how it all began.
What is the meaning behind the company’s name: MOIE?
MOIE is actually a play on words. Our founders, which is my family and another partner at that time, decided that we should combine the words “mooi,” which means beautiful in Dutch, and “ie,” which is a house in Japanese. That’s how we came up with the word MOIE. It has a nice sound to it.
What are your main roles at MOIE at the moment? And what is your favourite part of the job?
I think, officially, I’m in charge of the overall design and frontline of MOIE in terms of marketing, display, buying, and sales as well. I wear many different hats. I think my favourite part of it is that all the different jobs I’m doing are all connected to one thing, which is good design. We always portray a good image of MOIE and also deliver good design to the market. I feel like as long as I’m connected to the core, which is design, and then it is a topic that I enjoy, I will never get tired of doing what I do.
In terms of products, what gives MOIE an advantage over similar services?
What gives MOIE an advantage is, of course, our reputation. This is what we’ve tried to maintain for the last 27 years. We’ve been doing our best to give the absolute best service to our clients. We always try to put ourselves in our client’s position. Our job is to make sure that our clients are entirely satisfied when they receive their goods.
Speaking of which, MOIE delivers a variety of products from brands like Promemoria, Minotti, Poliform, Rimadesio, Meridiani, Henge, and Tom Dixon. How do you curate or select which brands or products are brought to Indonesia?
It’s pretty simple. We only aim to sell the best brands in the world and then bring them to this market. In short, right now, I think we have the best combination and complimenting brands in our portfolio.
What are the characteristics that an object should have in order to be welcomed in MOIE?
For us, the objects or the products need to meet a certain standard. It needs to have a very strong design concept, a very developed designer, and a history behind it. And then we make sure it has structural integrity. We also always look for something that is timeless and designed to be very long-lasting. It also needs to have beautiful details that add to the décor or help add accents to our clients’ homes. And above all else, we only will carry something that is originally designed by a designer, not inspired or copied or mass-produced. In a way, a lot of our products are designed by very senior product designers who are the best of the best. And I believe that each item will be like an art piece in its own right.
Can you also introduce us to MOIEHAUS?
MOIEHAUS is actually our recent expansion and this is another sub-brand that we are developing. We call it a trendy destination for lifestyle products. Through MOIEHAUS, we see that there’s a need for the younger generation. They’re starting to appreciate art. They are educated overseas where they are exposed to modern art. And then they start collecting art. So, we want to bring in brands that fit into this generation. We started carrying brands that have a younger look to their products – very light, very trendy – along with many different kinds of accessories, as well as lighting that will inspire people.
Correct us if we’re wrong, but there are two main brands – Vitra and Vipp – in MOIEHAUS. Is there a central message that you want to communicate through your selection of products in MOIEHAUS?
True. Vitra is actually a brand with a very long history. There are a handful of very well-known designers behind its products, which has been developed since the fifties or sixties. They’ve won a lot of awards; they’re appreciated all over the world and I think they have a very wide range. At the same time, we carry VIPP which is Scandinavian brand from Denmark. Even though it’s a young brand, we see that they have a very strong design core. With VIPP and Vitra, we have a very established brand and an up-and-coming one. And I think the combination of the two makes for a very exciting dynamic in MOIEHAUS’ environment.
How does the MOIEHAUS showroom convey the MOIE quality and ethos?
MOIEHAUS is something completely new and different. It’s more exciting than anything we have ever done. We do not hold ourselves in when it comes to the design exploration of the showroom. I think it’s very experimental. It’s very out of the box. But at the same time, we do keep the core of MOIE standards when it comes to quality, the detailing of the showroom, and also the level of service that clients will get. I think that’s the core of MOIE that you can expect from MOIEHAUS.
If you can explain MOIE in one sentence, what would it be?
Our vision is to be a one-stop luxury destination. I think that really sums up what MOIE is. We want to be a destination for anyone who has a dream of what their home should be.
On the flip side, what kind of style did you choose for your own home?
I personally enjoy spending my time by the beach or going to Bali with my family. I grew up doing this. So, personally, I like the modern resort-style for my own home. I think it gives you a sense of relaxation when you come home and, even though you are in Jakarta when you come home, you feel really feel that you finally can rest. That’s what I like about resort-style.
Moving on, what challenges and opportunities do you see for MOIE right now?
I think the challenge we’re facing is to really manage the number of projects we’re working on because, it’s picking up as people start to realize that they need to complete their homes very quickly. We are trying our best to manage every single project so that everything arrives in a timely manner and everything is delivered in perfect condition. As such, I think the challenge right now is to make sure that our inventory and our operation are running back at speed after being quite relaxed for a while.
Last but not least, what’s next for MOIE?
Our hope for the future is that we can remain the best in the country in terms of catering luxury furniture brands. And I think to do that, you need to keep your distance; you need to really work hard to make sure that you set considerable distance between you and everyone else in the market. You’ve got to distinguish yourself. You’ve got to work hard to provide much better service, much better products, and faster lead times compared to everyone else. I think we already have the best in the market, so we want to continue to expand our brands so that they can be at their full potential.
Photographer Joe Sabarto
Stylist Bagoes Abyoso
Pacific Place, Level 1
Jl. Jenderal Sudirman No.Kav 52-53, Jakarta