A new curated shop probes why we buy

Holly Hay’s concept sells photogenic design with alluringly artistic merchandising

Curated retail doesn’t get much more selective than Mag.a.sin, a new online design boutique founded by art buyer and photography aficionado Holly Hay. The small, unique gallery-shop features a handful of items photographed in a creative, conceptual or just plain beautiful manner. The motive behind it is to explore the role photography and presentation play in desire and consumption. It’s a question Hay has been pondering since she was a teen, working at a reputable concept shop in London.

For her first collection, Hay has chosen nine photogenic objects for sale, all in a neutral palette, all adhering to a theme she calls The Curve. Their shapely forms are exploited by the photographer – Hay’s husband George Harvey – who shows them in their best light. The pieces vary in budget from £38 to £4,000 (though all, it must be said, look like a million bucks).

Interested parties can enquire about items on the site through the website, learn more about their backstory, and then arrange a purchase. The Harvey print is available to purchase alongside each order; buyers can even arrange to meet with the designer of the product if they wish. Hay hopes all this will create a dialogue about packaging, consumption and the psychology behind why people buy.

‘People do seem to be interested in a tight edit of attractive but useful objects,’ she says. ‘We are so trained now in responding to imagery that we receive digitally, and its been very nice to see people appreciate objects presented through a photograph that is a beautiful piece of work in its own right.’

Photography: George Harvey
Photography: George Harvey

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