He started his career creating counter displays for Estée Lauder's Prescriptives line. But it wasn't until Allen, 43, began designing furniture that he worried about being pigeonholed. "When you do one thing well, they tend to just hire you to do that," says the New York City-based designer. "But I can bring a fresh eye to a project if I haven't done it before." Retailer Murray Moss thought so too and hired Allen to design his first SoHo shop. From his work at Moss, Allen picked up clients like Steuben Glass, Ikea, Target, Magis and Areaware, for which he brought his quirky sensibility to a line of housewares, including hooks cast from his own hands. His latest project, a first-aid kit for Johnson & Johnson, is sure to become a household icon.