Bin There, Toss That
In the June 2010 issue of H&H, there’s a great roundup of trash bins that deliver everything from farmhouse charm to Venetian glamour. When we work so hard to get a room just so, we want the perfect place to put our garbage. Which brings me to Vipp.
Is it weird to covet a trash can?
Like most great designs, the Vipp pedal bin has changed little since its inception in 1939. Its story is surprisingly romantic: Danish metal craftsman Holger Nielsen made the first one for his wife’s hair salon. She loved it, her customers loved it, and orders soon started to roll in. And, how fun is this: the name Vipp is onomatopoeic, taken from the Danish word for the lid’s movement as it opens and closes.
Here’s Holger and his wife, Marie, looking oh so chic in 1960. And Holger with their daughter, Jette, in 1957.
This is Marie’s hair salon, with Vipp bin, in 1939.
Today, the pedal bin is in the New York Museum of Modern Art’s design collection. It has also been showcased at the Louvre and customized by such bold-type names as Ron Arad, Simon Doonan and Bono. Indeed, the bin is now so revered that in 2000, the original 1939 model was stolen from an exhibition in Copenhagen.
Here are two custom designs by supermodel Christy Turlington (left) and designer Todd Oldham.
But it wasn’t until Holger and Marie’s daughter, Jette, took the company over after her father’s death in 1992 that the bin became a darling of the design world. Until then, it was a staple in hospitals, not haute hotels. As the story goes, Jette, looking to keep her father’s business in, well, business, was given a two-minute audience with the buyer for the Terence Conran shop in the U.K. Shortly after, they placed an order and an icon was born.
This is the limited edition series for 2010, a fashionable collection of three ocean-inspired shades of blue. Like the original, it’s fingerprint proof, opens easily with the push of the pedal, and closes tightly (and quietly) to contain odors. Their price reflects their designer status: at a whopping $250 and up, they’re not cheap. But when it’s time to do your dirty work, these tools get the job done in style.