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If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit. This month’s thrift shopping mantra: Plastic is fantastic … well, at least some plastic. In a sea of old Tupperware lids, melted spatulas and stained sippy cups, one type of plastic stands out — Hellerware. In 1971, Heller Inc., a consumer products manufacturer in the United States, launched a line of stackable plastic dinnerware designed by Italian-born architect Massimo Vignelli. The modern, bright-colored pieces, originally designed in Milan in 1964, were already a hit in Vignelli’s home country. In the U.S., Vignelli’s dinnerware collection, which came to be known as “Hellerware,” quickly became an icon of innovative design. It’s even part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, among other museums. Luckily for you and me, Vignelli’s masterwork can still be found in the wild. Most thrift stores group all plastic in the same mental category — cheap and disposable. That means these prized pieces are often overlooked and sold for pennies.
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