My friend Max recently relocated from Manhattan to Brooklyn and was in the market for some new pieces for his new apt. He emailed me over the weekend:
"any idea who reproduced the classic hellerware melamine stacking plates (in colors) recently? lali and i are frantically searching the internet trying to find them. i'm obsessed. i remember our grandmother had it in orange."
I hadn't the foggiest that the classic Massimo Vignelli melamine dinnerware for Heller (designed in the 60s, but looks like a defining piece of the early 70s) had been reissued.
I saw throuh the NYT style archives that it had been reissued in 2007 (and carried by Conran we think) in black, white and grey. It's easy to find the reissued Hellerware in white (here, here, and here $30 for a four piece set), but other colors were impossible to find new. The best I could direct him to were etsy and eBay vendors selling the stuff used.
Max updated me throughout the long weekend of his transactions on eBay, and it seems like he did pretty well.
"$50 for a 13 piece set of yellow including: bowls, mugs, dessert plates AND tray..not bad at all."
"won the yellow heller on ebay. don't fret, they'll be some left for you...one day. when i'm dead."
What really interested me was his final question:
"But, can I feed guests on plastic, at dinner parties?"
Any thoughts on that?