Rolf Hay | In Conversation
Early in April 2019, SCP were delighted to host the launch of the new hot galvanised version of the Palissade collection by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Hay. On the evening of the launch, we were pleased to welcome company founder Rolf Hay for a Q&A session with our editor Duncan Riches. He spoke about why he started the company, about innovating at a time of crisis, about the talents of the Bouroullec brothers and what we can expect from Hay in the near future. Here we present some highlights of the discussion.
DR: Welcome back to SCP.
RH: We actually launched Hay at the Cologne fair in 2003, and I met both Richard and Sheridan there. SCP was the first Hay dealer in the world. I am very thankful for that as the first collection was actually quite poor.
DR: What were the aspirations when you started Hay?
RH: I grew up in the industry, and before we started Hay I was working at Gubi in Denmark. We were representing the company Cappellini and I was extremely impressed and fascinated by the way they were running the business. Back in 2002, Cappellini were doing things differently from the rest of the Italian furniture industry, most of the Italian industry were loyal to their local Italian designers. But Cappellini did it in a different way. They were working with designers from all around the world. They discovered the Bouroullec brothers, they discovered Barber Osgerby, they were doing great things with Jasper Morrison. They invited young designers from everywhere in the world for adventures in the Italian furniture industry. This was extremely inspiring to me. When I was working for Gubi, I realised that the people who understood the concept of Cappellini couldn’t actually afford it. So I thought, what if we started a great design company working with designers from our own generation, from all around the world? What if we invited them to Denmark and gave them the opportunity to produce quality design products in a democratic context? That was Hay, and that’s still Hay. My wife and I met a man, who was the founder of the biggest high street fashion company in Denmark and who actually gave us the opportunity to do this.