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Interview with Murray Moss


Interview with Murray Moss

by Ami Kealoha
on 09 August 2007

Freshly back from opening a version of his museum/store in L.A., we rang NYC-based proprietor Murray Moss to check in with him about his first-ever space outside of Manhattan. Mr. Moss filled us in on the renovation process, Donut shop architecture and "leaners." He also made the unavoidable reference to walking in L.A. and, thankfully, didn't bring up the whole burnt piano thing (not that we didn't love it).

Hi Murray, how are you?
I've been running around. It's so crazy. I've been in L.A. a solid three weeks opening the store and at the same time doing the first installation. Now I'm just going to breathe for a moment. HPIM1436.JPG

But you know L.A.'s perfect. That's what I've come away from this whole experience with. The first thing everyone wants to know is, how does it rank? It's a classic New York-L.A. thing. I was really happy to be there, but you can't make any comparisons. People kept saying to me, “Chill out.” First of all, I've never chilled out a day in my life. And I thought, “How can they say that. We have to get something done!”

I'm glad you brought that up. I wanted to ask you about how your experience has been different in L.A.
I never really thought about it, but I knew. My instinct was that I wasn't going to copy it. Look, our business is showing things because we don't make anything. We don't design. Really it's about how you show things. In New York it's about being on Greene street in Soho in a 1890s cast iron building with people living above you. When we started it was a gallery district—we were between Pace and Metro—and now it's something else. HPIM1428.JPG

In L.A. we first picked the space because we liked that it was in the fashion district. We almost signed a lease in a sofa district, but we decided to do a place where you're not pegged. So we decided to go Melrose. I liked that Marc Jacobs was there, Theory and Helmut Lang's coming—it's more like people with their eyes open. Also what I like about it is it hasn't happened yet. It's nicer to do your thing rather than crashing.

In New York, not to be presumptuous, but we created something. It just seemed more energetic on Melrose. Now we'll be part of L.A. history.

And the space in L.A.?
It's very beautiful to me because it's sort of raised a step up. Unlike New York where we had to make stages, you're automatically at the perfect viewing height and you see a perfect shot of it from the street. What was amusing to me was, how do you attract attention and make a window display when in L.A. really nobody's walking? When I was walking there the other day, I ran in to one other person and they were from New York!

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