(Pictured above, from left to right, Vipp trash bins customized by William Sofield, Francisco Costa, Karim Rashid, Celerie Kemble, and Leon Ransmeier)
How do you improve upon a sturdy, gallant, handmade-in-Denmark Vipp trash bin? Bedazzle it. Paint it a minimalist black. Wrap it in a photo of clouds. Add bunny ears. These are just a few of the tactics employed by the designers, artists, rock stars, actors, stylists, and chefs that Danish-born model Helena Christensen recruited to customize Vipp trash bins for her upcoming design auction, the proceeds of which will benefit The Food Bank for New York City and Chernobyl Children’s Project International. The bins are now on display at The Conran Shop in New York City, where visitors can place pre-bids on them until the September 18 auction at the Winston Wächter Fine Art Gallery.
Among the celebrities who were up to Christensen’s design task: Bono, Dale Chihuly, Mario Batali, Michael Stipe, and Todd Oldham, who covered his bin in a cheeky weave of wood-grain patterns. Calvin Klein collection designer Francisco Costa created a chic Ad Reinhardt-esque black-on-black bin, while Barneys creative director Simon Doonan got out his Sharpie and covered his bin in eccentrically glamorous doodles. Meanwhile, artist Mattia Biaggi went with his signature medium—black tar—soaking a stuffed piglet in the black goo and letting it drip down the white Vipp bin (pictured at right), a practice he has described as evoking “suffocation, maternal cocoon, and childish feelings,” as well as a “fantastical nightmare.”