1951 - 2022
Maureen was born in London, and as a child loved most particularly a ceramic pot her father had given her from an archeological dig.
Maureen began her career finding Hans Metzen on a trip to Sweden, this led to the opening of the first Elle shop in Sloane Square, and through her twenties, brought designers such as Fiorucci, Valentino and Issey Miyake to prominence in London.
It is with Issey that Maureen found her voice, opening a first London store for Miyake, commissioning architect David Chipperfield for the space. Maureen went on to be Issey’s right hand, working on projects from ballet costumes to the Paris head office and significantly the concept and naming of L’eau D’Issey. Maureen also introduced Miyake to Lucie Rie. This led to ceramic buttons, an exhibition in Tokyo and a lifelong friendship between Lucie and Maureen, paving the way for many future exhibitions at egg.
After living and learning to make pots in France, Maureen returned to England and found the building to begin egg. With her then business partner Asha Sarabhai, whose family made for Miyake and Hermes in India, Maureen stripped back the shop in Kinnerton Street to reveal the beautiful blue tiles of an old dairy.
The simple love of shop keeping, dressing and talking to people, making, walking and laughing, with dogs not far behind, that was Maureen. A love of colour and shape, the way something is made, utility and freedom, makers.
This love continues to be explored in the egg studio, a step across from the shop, where work on evolving collections and special projects takes place.
"I met her in 1995. I walked in and she was reading a copy of Crafts magazine with an article on my work. She didn't skip a beat but asked me when I would exhibit with her. I turned up with pots and put them on the floor and we had a party on the street and she sold everything that night. And that was the start.
She made it happen for me. And so many many others - older makers she thought overlooked like the silversmith Bill Phipps, a maker of spoons. He made a vast silver ladle and she laid it tenderly in the middle of egg all by itself. And younger makers - textile artists and potters and wood turners all found a home alongside her clothes."
Edmund de Waal