Art
The Artful Experience

Our hunger for the experience of art has never been stronger. Despite the energy and ingenuity that went into online alternatives, nothing can replace the living presence of art; virtual exhibitions, online viewing rooms and digital presentations will only ever be illusory, unsatisfying substitutes for the ‘real thing’. Art is a material and sensual activity that happens in real space and time and we have been starved of physical artworks and art experiences. When the galleries in Paris re-opened their doors after the deconfinement we couldn’t wait to go and explore the shows we missed and discover the new shows that were opening. Have a look through some of our favourites in the slideshow above, and let us tempt you to visit them IRL!

Story of the Month
Turn Your Trash into Treasure

3D mesh printed using a 3D printer using a mixture that incorporates 20% Ubiplast™ making the final printed product Climate Positive, in its neutral colour

American Supply has dedicated its path to seeking out and pushing innovative practices since 1948. Our continuing quest for innovation focusses on sustainable materials and durable technical solutions – those that strain the environment as little as possible during their production, use, transformation, or disposal – and our commitment to the tenets of sustainability and eco-innovation in the future is paramount.

After three months of lockdown, the deconfinement has us taking cautious yet affirmative steps back towards normality and getting ready to experience our city revitalized and the ‘new normal.’ We, like you, have been in an introspective frame of mind, with a desire to better our practices and our product offer and we want our vision to meet your future needs. Coming out of confinement, we have seen a convergence of focus on local products and local markets. Our office in central Paris is in the heart of Europe, which makes us perfectly placed to react to the needs of clients from all over the continent with rapid response times with efficient material and production solutions.

Sable, a new eco-innovative material composed of porjected mica and minerals on non-woven eco-backing.

With this in mind, we are proud to introduce a new thermoplastic raw material at American Supply – Ubiplast™. Ubiplast™ is produced from 100% domestic waste, using an innovative new process; therefore, it reduces potential harmful landfill and is an essential infinitely renewable resource for the planet and you.

Some examples of colors and forms generated in pellet form, all are climate positive. Colours can be generated for bespoke projects and the final carbon footprint will be determined by the mix needed and used.

Ubiplast™ comes in pellet form and can be used in manufacturing processes in injection, extrusion and compression moulding. It can be mixed in varying percentages with olefin, styrene and chlorine-based resins and additives, which all impact differently on the final carbon footprint. When used in as little as 10% of the final mix, it makes the final product Carbon Neutral, and if used in 20% the final product becomes Climate Positive. We are very proud to offer this innovative product, as it is truly a breakthrough for the plastic industry and the environment – we can now turn our trash into treasure!

We have produced several tests using natural coloured pellets in a 3D printer, using a mixture that incorporates 20% Ubiplast™ making the final printed product Climate Positive, in its neutral colour. We have experimented making sculptural forms and a flexible mesh, which can then be sanded and painted in eco-friendly paints. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities! With our 3D printing capabilities, we can produce sculptural elements for your projects up to 1.5 metres by 1.5 metres in size, making Ubiplast™ an eco-innovative choice for all luxury Merchandising and PLV.

Several forms printed using a 3D printer using a mixture that incorporates 20% Ubiplast™ making the final printed product Climate Positive, in its neutral color

We are also currently developing an exclusive range of ready-to-use sheet materials that can be applied to your fashion, design and merchandising projects that will be revealed soon. We can also accompany you to develop bespoke materials and applications that will make your material solutions climate positive and more environmentally friendly.

We look forward to working with you on your upcoming projects, incorporating this wonderful new eco-innovative material, making the Material World a more conscious, eco-friendly place!

Contact a material expert to learn more about how Ubiplast™ can enrich and benefit your creative projects.

News
Dancing Colors


Source: https://www.instagram.com/mltrparis/

The famous swimming pool at Hôtel Molitor was emptied, and once again accommodated dancing with this sensuous video – Liberté – conceived during confinement by Éric Marion and Sylvia Randazzo with the dancers Myriam Ould Braham and Mickael Lafon from Opera de Paris.

Amelie Lengrand’s beautiful sculptural installation Iris, made using our iconic Magic Mirror material, floats above the basin coloring the dancers’ movements. Like a moving painting, it refracts the light in spectacular ways, layering chromatic reflections over their bodies as they perform.

Though the water is drained, this prismatic effect recalls its liquid light surface, bringing the sun itself to life. Enjoy the video above, courtesy of the Hôtel Molitor Instagram feed.

The infamous Heretik Sound System free party at Hôtel Molitor, Paris, 2001

See our previous story on Amelie Lengrand’s Iris sculpture here.

Materials
Marvellous Minerals

Introducing our new sustainable eco-innovative family composed of projected mica, vermiculite and recycled paper on non-woven supports. The mica brings a sparkling diamond-like metallic finish to a surface, and the vermiculite has a high heat-resistance enhancing the materials fire resistance. Both minerals are naturally occurring and mined ethically, making this family a truly eco-certified sustainable option for all your needs.

Mica has a rich cultural history, used as a luxury material by Japanese ukiyo-e artists such as Utamaro in the production of their woodblock prints in the late 1700s. His mica coated backgrounds suggest mirrors to convey a sense of seeing the self, a luxury at the time. These images were commonly oblong to mimic the form of mirrors, to project the viewer into the beauty of the image itself. The Japanese have been known to refer to mica as a ‘miracle stone’. Vermiculite has been used in technical applications since the 1800s such as the fireproofing of structural steel and the production of glassblowing for cooling the glass as you work, due to its extraordinary thermal resistance and light structural weight. 

Combined, they create unexpectedly complex and beautiful 3D surfaces which can be easily applied to enrich many a luxury project.

For more information about each material visit their individual pages here: Popcorn, Cleopatra, Roche, Neige & Sable.

Art
Art & Life


Walter Pfeiffer, Untitled, 1979
Courtesy Galerie Sultana, presented as part of not cancelled: Paris edition.

After last month’s focus on the luxury fashion industry and it’s response to the global pandemic, we focus this month on the response of another luxury industry close to our hearts, the contemporary art world. The already precarious economies of artists, galleries and museums that support contemporary art were thrown into disarray with the arrival of Covid-19. As galleries and museums were forced to close, the ever-adapting art world looked to new forms of exhibiting works and financing for artists and art spaces. Artists mobilized to support and reinvent themselves in innovative ways and new forms of expression were created and diffused.

To aid the young commercial gallery system, Treat Agency, an independent association from Austria, created the online solution not cancelled:

“not cancelled creates meaningful digital art events. It is an initiative that was born out of the necessity for viable digital options for art institutions that arose from the global closure of physical spaces.”

The platform highlights cities for one week, creating an online marketplace – like a mini-salon – federating young contemporary art galleries enabling them to supplement their reduced incomes and present their artists to global collectors. They have already hosted editions focussing on Berlin, Vienna, Warsaw, Paris, Dubai Netherlands and Chicago with more cities to come. It has become an essential platform for young galleries, that need to represent their artists having been forced to shutter their brick and mortar premises due to the situation.

Taken from Instagram.com/wolfgang_tillmans

Artist Wolfgang Tillmans launched one of the most altruist projects during the epidemic – the 2020Solidarity campaign; manifested under the banner of his Between Bridges association based in Berlin. He invited over 50 internationally renowned artists to design posters that are offered in fundraisers by cultural and music venues, community projects, independent spaces and publications that are existentially threatened by the crisis. The venues taking part to promote the posters for 4-6 weeks at 50€ each. All proceeds collected go to their programs and at the end of there fundraising periods Between Bridges print the posters offering them free of charge, sending them to distribute to their customers.

Several posters for the 2020Solidarity initiative by Jochen Lempert, Jeff Koons, Betty Tompkins and Anne Imhof, see them all on the Between Bridges site.

Another great artist-led initiative came from Matthew Burrows, a painter from London, who created the ‘Artists Support Pledge’ on Instagram. All artists are free to take part using the hashtag #artistssupportpledge with a simple hypothesis: 

“Artists post images of their work on Instagram which they are willing to sell for no more than £200 each (not including shipping). Anyone can buy the work. Every time an artist reaches £1000 of sales, they pledge to spend £200 on another artist/s work.”

The initiative has taken off, providing artists who are struggling with an income directly from their work. Each time you click the hashtag on Instagram it shows you all of the artist’s works for sale taking part in the scheme.

Screenshot from 2 Lizards: Episode 3, courtesy Meriem Bennani’s Instagram page.

In parallel to the money-making initiatives, many artists have also produced digital works that are not for sale in reaction to the lockdowns in place in most countries. None have touched the international art world and viewers quite like the episodic ‘2 Lizards’. The brainchild of artists Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki, dubbed by the New York Times as the ‘Coronavirus Art Stars’.

““We decided to go for moods,” Ms. Bennani said in a recent interview, “because there was so much factual information from the news that it’s our way of abstracting it into a feeling that can fuel story.””
New York Times, April 22nd

The ongoing saga of the lizards is an authentic account of two friends going through the lockdown together in New York; we can all see a little of ourselves in the lizards and the various characters that populate the series, which is why it has been such a huge success – take a look below at ‘2 Lizards’ and see for yourself!

2 Lizards: Episode 2, 2020
Orian Barki and Meriem Bennani, courtesy the artists and Artforum

Story of the Month
Chromatic Christmas & Festive Feelings

“Green for the ivy that grows by the wall

White for the mistletoe that hangs in the hall

Red for the berries that shine in the snow”

The Colors of Christmas, John Rutter, 2011

The material identity of the festive season defines our holiday experience as much as the recognized colour codes of Christmas. A traditional holiday home is evoked by trees replete with baubles, garlands of tinsel, twinkling lights, satin bows and varied ornaments. Candles line our tabletops and cards from friends and relatives punctuate our mantelpieces. Even those that do not celebrate Christmas in their own homes, feel its material identity on the streets as trees appear in public places, and garlands of lights are strung above our heads in commercial shopping districts. The spectacle of the lights is so important, it is often turned into a public event, with a celebrity or beloved public personality chosen to ‘flick the switch’. We immediately regress to our childhood selves marvelling upon the windows of department stores and boutiques, full of evocative textures and nostalgic scenes of winter, homeliness and family.

 

American Supply is renowned for its unrivalled choice of unique Christmas materials for luxury merchandising, high-end windows and in-store POS. We work with industry leaders in luxury to make their Christmas dreams come true, from material consultations to bespoke material creation, to full-circle manufacturing for larger productions across networks of stores. 

 

This month we break down the codified colours of Christmas and extricate their material ingredients, reimagining them with a small selection of materials that we have here to give you a feeling of Christmas, our way!

“Red for the berries that shine in the snow”

 

Red is personified by the beloved festive berries that grow prolifically on the holly trees in winter months against all odds. Glitter evokes the morning dew on the holly berries with a touch of luxurious sparkle, complemented by gold. Famously, in 1863, Thomas Nast, an American political cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly, created the defining images of Santa Claus wearing his red and white outfit that have become iconic, reinforcing our chromatic Christmas.

“White for the mistletoe that hangs in the hall

 

White evokes the snow and frost that cover the earth in the coldest moments, the fur that lines the extremities of Santa Claus’ suit, the berries in the lover’s mistletoe and the purity of the clothes that cover our holiday tables. Lest we forget the reflection of light on a surface, a glinting, shimmering, scintillating whiteness and the metallic luxury of silver.

“Green for the ivy that grows by the wall”

 

The evergreen tree is an enduring symbol of the festive household, sprouting even in the coldest winter months, enriching us with enduring life. Deep green Ivy compliments our holly with its contrasting berries and viridescent satin ribbons adorn our boxes under the tree. Green also represents the importance of eco-innovative solutions for the festive season – a time of giving and receiving – the best gift we can give is to the planet itself, with sustainable and beautiful options.

All of the materials shown here can be ordered, and some are in stock at our studio. Please contact us for any material requests, material advice or if you would like to come in for a consultation with one of our experts.

Story of the Month
FASHION FIGHTS BACK


As we navigate our way collectively through this difficult time, in varying states of confinement and lockdown across the globe, we shed some light on some of the beautiful responses from one of the local luxury industries that we hold close to our hearts – fashion.

 

American Supply works together with the global leaders in the luxury fashion industry providing materials, giving expert advice, and carrying out complex productions; helping them to realise and achieve their creative dreams. With the Fédération de la Couture et de la Mode’s announcement that both the Spring/Summer 2021 Menswear and Haute-Couture Autumn/Winter 2020 shows in Paris were cancelled, you would be forgiven for thinking that fashion houses might be retreating, but – fashion is fighting back!

Louis Vuitton announces the production of thousands of hospital gowns to be donated to frontline medical staff within the Parisian hospital network AP-HP. These gowns will be created by volunteers at the Maison’s headquarters for six Parisian hospitals in urgent need of protective gear. Thank you to everyone who is doing their part to fight this global pandemic.” courtesy Instagram/louisvuitton, posted April 11th
An early response to the COVID-19 pandemic came from one of the biggest luxury conglomerates in the world, our partner, LVMH. On March 15th they announced that all of their perfume and make-up production facilities would cease regular production and shift all of their focus to producing large quantities of hydroalcoholic gel and pledged to donate 40 million medical-grade masks to the French health authorities.

 

Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the coronavirus 

LVMH press statement, March 15th 2020.

LVMH hand sanitiser rushed out amid the pandemic & Christian Dior’s factory in Saint-Jean de Braye © LVMH, Images taken from Financial Times (www.ft.com)
The Kering Group, after making early donations to the Italian health authorities and hospitals, including the production of medical-grade masks and medical gowns in their Gucci ateliers, announced on March 22nd that they would be reconfiguring their Balenciaga and Saint Laurent fashion ateliers in France to start manufacturing medical-grade masks and gowns to donate to the French health authorities. They are also donating financially to vaccine research in France:

 

With a view to providing a lasting response to the current pandemic, Kering has made a financial donation to the Institut Pasteur to support its research into COVID-19” 

Kering Group press statement, March 22nd 2020.

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Illustrations created by Soledad Bravi for Kering #keringforyou taken from Kering website (https://www.kering.com/)
On March 29th, Chanel posted an image of Gabrielle Chanel looking out of the window of her apartment, in solidarity with the French population who are all locked down, confined in their own homes:

 

BY THE WINDOW. From our House to yours, CHANEL wishes to express its solidarity with everyone staying at home or affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are grateful to those supporting others during these unprecedented times.

Chanel press statement, March 29th 2020.

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Gabrielle Chanel Photographed by Alexander Liberman taken from Chanel’s Instagram post on March 29th, 2020 (@chanelofficial)
They reference the now daily French ritual, during the pandemic, of the population standing by their windows at 20h00 applauding and giving thanks to the doctors, nurses and caregivers who work tirelessly to get us through this. Chanel has also turned its French ateliers into production facilities for medical-grade face masks and gowns, and are donating heavily to the French emergency services.
We will return more creative than ever to continue making you dream. But for the time being our petites mains have voluntarily undertaken to produce masks for those invaluable people working selflessly on the front lines. We proudly salute this gesture which once again shows the generosity of our ateliers and laboratories, more committed than ever to ensuring your protection. Take care of yourself, we are by your side. #DiorStandsWithYou” Dior Instagram post on March 31st, 2020 (@diorofficial)
Here at American Supply, we are dedicated to facilitating your dreams and realising your creative demands. Our materials are known for their uniqueness, and our creative team is known for their material expertise. We continue to work through this difficult period with a view to the future, and a promise to be there for you throughout and after. Our CEO and founder, Albert Benguigui released his statement in our last newsletter and we would like to reiterate his words:

 

With our unique physical material library in Paris that holds more than 10,000 individual references, our in-house material expertise, partner factories and transformation capabilities: we are able to help you with your projects and demands, big or small. During this difficult period, we have people on-site to aid you in any way you need.” 

Albert Benguigui, The Material Journal, March 2020

Fashion
SHE’S IN FASHION!


 

As the womenswear FW2020 season draws to a close in our hometown, we take a look over the last month of fashion shows in the fashion capitals. The womenswear ready-to-wear shows are as renowned for material innovation as they are for trend, here are some of our favourites in all senses.

London

 

Milan

 

New York

Paris