Windows
Christmas Window Shopping

Every year, we take a leisurely walk around the shopping districts of Paris and marvel at the window installations that have been created to entice us. 

 

This year was slightly different for a few reasons; one, the shops have been intermittently closed due to lockdown, and, two, even when open a strict 8 pm curfew has been imposed. This restricted our leisurely pace, as the time we usually took had to be metered, impacting our geographical scope for reasons of efficiency. 

 

So, this year we focussed only on the Rue Saint Honoré district, which houses many flagship stores and branches off to Place Vendôme, Place de la Madeleine, Palais Royale, Le Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens and terminates at the President’s residence, Le Palais de L’Élysée.

 

The windows this year also reflected the unique situation, with many luxury houses reflecting our home interior back at us including Vivienne Westwood, Longchamp, JM Weston, and Fendi. Interpretations of the Christmas tree – a symbol that infiltrates our homes – and its accouterments: baubles, garlands, and lights, were seen at Guerlain, Moschino, Chanel, Dior, Christian Louboutin, Prada, Vuitton, and Tory Burch. 

 

Dior, Cartier, and Chanel decorated the exterior of the stores fabulously, a trend that we picked up on last year, highlighting the ongoing importance of the exterior versus the interior in the visual merchandising world in Covid times.

Design
Not So disposable


How many disposable masks does it take to make a stool?

According to Kim Ha-neul, it takes 1,500.

 

It may sound like a lot, but when you take into consideration the WHO directive to change a disposable mask every four hours, the number of masks you use quickly adds up. 

 

The South Korean furniture design student was saddened by the waste that we are currently producing with disposable masks and wanted to find a solution. As most masks are made from polypropylene he decided to melt them down to their base material, and create an eco-friendly stool. 

 

“Plastic is recyclable, so why don’t we recycle face masks, which are made of plastic?”

 

In June he set up a mask collection box outside of his school and by September he had collected 10,000 used masks. Using a strict four day quarantine method for the masks – to avoid possible contamination – they are then stripped of metal and elastic before being melted down using a heat gun.

 

His ‘Stack and Stack’ stools come in various colours, dictated by the colours of the masks he collects and the design piles up easily due to their functional design.

Story of the Month
Into
the Fold

We are renowned for our expertise in the creation, sourcing, and supply of materials, but also for our understanding of their potential application and transformation. The transformation of a material can be as simple or as complicated as our creative desire, and this month we focus on a very simple, yet elegant transformation, the basic fold. Working with a few materials in our library that can easily be hand folded, we tried some simple folds to illustrate how their aspect changed! 
MAGIC MIRROR TPU
Our iconic Magic Mirror TPU is a thicker transparent variant of Magic Mirror, composed of the polyester film on a TPU support. Here, the folds, layers and dark and light backgrounds emphasise that the shifting colours and the transmitted colors are different from the reflective colors. 

 

Learn more about this material HERE

LENTICULAIRE PC MOIRÉ
Lenticulaire PC Moire has to be seen to be believed, the lenticular surface gives the impression of depth and, once folded, belies its two-dimensionality giving the impression of a solid object. Here, in the clear color it resembles a block of sculpted ice.

 

Learn more about this material HERE

CRUMPLED
Crumpled has a cracked metallic surface, like a beautifully aged leather. When folded it becomes fuller, and takes on the appearance of upholstered furniture. It is much less fragile than it looks and can be sewn easily through the fold lines to create upholstered objects.

 

Learn more about this material HERE

BILLY MÉTALLISÉ
Our Billy Métallisé in 100% polyester comes in 21 different metallic colors. When folded its mirrored surface is multiplied and its color is reflected in multiple directions on the surfaces around it, creating a jewel-like glow.

 

Learn more about this material HERE

PVC MIRROR
Our lightweight PVC Mirror has a clean surface that can be stretched on a frame easily to create a beautiful mirror. When creased and folded it undulates without support, giving crisp, clear images.

 

CONTACT US for more information.

HOLO-SPARKLE ADHESIVE
Holo-Sparkle Adhesive is a shimmering holographic glitter adhesive vinyl with a paper backing. We left the paper backing on it before folding to give it structure, and a new profundity to its sparkling surface. Like a futuristic pointillist painting, we’re sure you’ll agree that the facetted result is fascinating! 

 

CONTACT US for more information.

STORY OF THE MONTH
The World is Beautiful

 

 

“Le Monde est Beau”

Kenzo Takada

 

 

It was with sadness that we learnt the passing of Kenzo Takada due to Covid-19 complications in Paris on October 4th at the age of 81. He leaves behind him a beautiful legacy of positivity, color, and joy, bolstered by the mantra of his 1988 perfume: ‘Le Monde est Beau’ (The World is Beautiful). In current times, with the global political situation in disarray, the ongoing epidemic, and uncertainty for all, we need positive spirits like the celebrated designer more than ever.

 

Takado, later known simply as Kenzo, came to Paris in 1964 and was one of the first Japanese designers to achieve success in the capital. With his love of mismatched print, bold color, and jungle imagery, he opened his first jungle-themed store in 1970 taking inspiration from the Henri Rousseau painting; ‘The Dream’ (1910).

 

 

 

 

As an energetic young designer, he was instrumental in the creation of the ready-to-wear and modern runway, liberating the models from the staid number based presentations that were dominant before him. Kenzo made no secret of his love for nightlife and was one of the first to bring the party to the runway!

 

 

 

 

Selling his namesake brand to LVMH in 1999, and leaving the helm 6 years later, he remained a quintessential figure in contemporary fashion inspiring many young designers, with both his attitude and his style.

 

 

Our in-house creative team has chosen a few materials from our selection to honor Kenzo Takada, with colors and transformations that we think he would have enjoyed: ‘Le monde est beau’ indeed!

 

 

 

 

Please contact us if you are interested in a particular material.

 

 

 

Design
Designing the Future

After the cancellation of all the physical tradeshows and design salons in Paris since March, we were delighted that Paris Design Week went ahead as planned in various satellite spaces in the city. We took a tour and found inspiration in unexpected material applications and surfaces!

Art
Breath of Fresh ‘Art’!

Since the explosion of the Covid-19 pandemic in March all subsequent global contemporary art fairs have been cancelled. Art Paris 2020, last month, went against the trend and opened to the public in its regular Grand Palais location. The decision to go ahead was helped by the fact that the Grand Palais has a ceiling height of 45 metres, which certainly doesn’t count as a confined space! To see all of the galleries together with such a large selection of works to look at was a breath of fresh air indeed, take a look at some of our favourites above.

STORY OF THE MONTH
Back to Life,
Back to Reality

 

 

As the days shorten and the temperatures cool down, summer is drawing to a close with flurries of rain showers as the people trickle back into their hometowns. We are preparing for la rentrée, the period that marks the end of the official summer holidays: back to school, back to work and essentially, back to reality.

 

After a uniquely distanced holiday season with the added unreality of masks; we are ready to dive into the ‘new normal’ and embrace reality. Here at American Supply we are focussing our material research into eco-innovative materials: materials that are both innovative and eco-friendly, and better for the world. Last month we talked of the benefits of Cork and explained why it was one of the greenest materials around, from conception to farming through to final production.

 

 

 

This month we present a brand new material in our library, that we are affectionately referring to as Air Noodles! Its synthetic fibers are 100% recyclable, assuring its virtuous end life, whilst it is hypo-allergenic, dust-free, contaminant-free, extraordinarily durable and non-toxic. The material has a tremendous form memory, and elasticity, with the ability to sustain weights of up to 140 kilograms repeatedly and still bounce back to shape. With its unique visual form and noodley structure created via an extrusion of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), it has advantages reserved for both rubbery and plastic materials.

 

 

 

 

Air Noodles are used in the bedding industry due to there durability, resilience, elasticity, and form memory, though we imagine them in all manner of set-design, window backdrops, and POS applications due to there fantastically unusual form and qualities. The hand is soft and non-sticky making them also ideal for packaging or innovative, luxury soft furnishings.

 

 

Contact us to make an appointment to see our labyrinthine Air Noodles in all their noodly glory!

 

 

FASHION
Fashion
Manifesto!

 

I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.
Gabrielle Chanel

 

 

 

On July 16th 2018 The Palais Galliera fashion museum in Paris closed for major refurbishment, including the renovation of its previously innaccesible vaulted basement, which once opened will double the size of the exhibition space possible. The work was generously supported by an exclusive sponsorship form the House of Chanel, so it is fitting that the grand re-opening this October 1st will see the first retrospective exhibition dedicated to Gabrielle Chanel herself, titled Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto !

 

 

When Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel opened her first boutique in Deauville in 1912, she set out to revolutionize the fashion world with her own vision, which was truly radical marking the beginning of her manifesto. Her first womenswear, incorporated the famous marinière (sailor’s top), using a mix of affordable jersey and tricot, which had only been used for men’s underwear. It was to become a recurring theme in her work, with a desire to liberate the female body from constriction and voyeurism. Aside from reappropriating menswear into her collections, she deconstructed her skirt suits by removing the shoulder pads and strictness, with darts for the bust, and worked with her couture clients to enable them to manoeuvre in their jackets with ease and without exposing their bodies. The Chanel Skirt Suit became, and still is, an iconic staple for the brand.

 

 

 

 

 

Two of her most famous creations, the 2.55 shoulder bag, and Chanel No.5 perfume, will be represented in the show, with No.5 given a whole room. The 2.55 is a must-have item for women the world over which when released revolutionised the way that women carried bags. By taking inspiration from army bags, Gabrielle introduced the shoulder strap to high society, giving women back their arms and hands!

 

 

 

 

She was a force to be reckoned with, and before inventing the LBD – the Little Black Dress – in 1920, Chanel vowed, while observing an audience at the opera, that she would dress all women in black. The LBD is now a staple in all wardrobes, and we couldn’t imagine life without it!

 

 

With such a rich legacy and an impact on the fashion industry that continues to this day, Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto promises to be an exhibition not to be missed!