The Big Apple’s Big Egg Hunt

Huddling in the shadows of skyscrapers, sitting among shelves of candy and proudly gazing out of bookshop windows, some rather unique eggs are taking over the streets of New York for the city’s inaugural staging of the Faberge Big Egg Hunt.

Virgin Atlantic Frying Lady egg by Mark Jump
Virgin Atlantic Frying Lady egg by Mark Jump

The initiative debuted in London in 2012, offering Londoners a chance to ‘collect’ a series of egg-spottings by leading designers, artists and other creatives to win prizes.

INDIE184
INDIE184

The Big Egg Hunt was founded by Mark Shand to raise money for his Elephant Family charity, and it has since scooped two Guinness World records, for most entrants in an egg hunt and most expensive chocolate egg. It returned last year with designs by the likes of Hanna Melin, Hattie Stewart and James Joyce.

Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin

Its New York leg sees the event also raise money for the city’s   Studio in a School charity, which places professional artists into schools and community organisations.

Monica Pirovano of Fallon's design
Monica Pirovano of Fallon’s design

Among the 270-odd eggs on display in the Big Apple are creations from Fallon – which also designed the branding, website, catalogue and design toolkit for the event, as it did in previous years; Zaha Hadid; Echo Design; Pure Evil; Patti Smith; Tracey Emin and Virgin Atlantic graphic designer Mark Jump.

The Virgin Atlantic designers and their egg
The Virgin Atlantic designers and their egg

Jump won an internal competition at Virgin Atlantic’s design to create the egg with his piece based on the brand’s Flying Lady icon, which embellishes its planes’ noses.  His design process, he tells us, started off with mind maps, took in mock-ups using Cadbury’s Crème Egg wrappers, and culminated in CAD.

Nicole Monzon
Nicole Monzon

The egg – dubbed the Frying Lady – uses a seemingly gravity-defying design, appearing to boldly fly off its plinth, Union Jack-cape blazing behind.

Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid

‘The idea was to transform the egg into the Flying Lady’, says Jump. ‘There were no real limitations in the brief but it had to represent the brand without using the logo or anything like that’.

Echo Design
Echo Design

As such, the egg uses the iconic Virgin Atlantic red, with a distinctly patriotic panache in its Union Jack cape. ‘I guess [patriotism] was in the back of my mind’, Jump muses. ‘I wanted to include the red and we spent a lot of time creating a bespoke paint for it – I wanted one that shone like the satin of the Flying Lady’s dress – but I didn’t want it completely red, as it’s quite a shocking colour’.

Marc Quinn.
Marc Quinn.

Nik Lusardi, lead designer at Virgin Atlantic, helped Jump realise the design. He says, ‘The big idea was to create an egg that’s airborne, just like the flying lady. 

‘The challenge then was to develop aspects of this two dimensional icon into a fully self-supported object, creating the illusion of an egg in flight, with its flag cape fluttering behind.  It needed to appear elegant, light and elevated, yet be sturdy, weather-proof and robust.’

Isca Greenfield-Sanders
Isca Greenfield-Sanders

The eggs are on display throughout New York until 17 April, during which time keen egg hunters are encouraged to check in at every egg they find using the Big Egg Hunt app to try and win a Fabergé precious gem stone pendant.

Dot Zacharias.
Dot Zacharias.

On 18 April, the eggs will all be gathered together to go on show at the Rockefeller Centre. An auction will take place at Sotheby’s on 22 April, before the event’s closure three days later.

New York’s Big Egg Hunt runs until 25 April. For more information visit www.thebigegghunt.co.uk. With many thanks to Virgin Atlantic and The Standard Hotel

Virgin Atlantic cabin crew with the  Frying Lady
Virgin Atlantic cabin crew with the Frying Lady

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