Story of the Month
Surface Reflections

The eagerly awaited Luma Arles, housing Maja Hoffmann’s Luma Foundation initiative, opened its doors in Arles on June 26th, solidifying the city’s reputation as an important French cultural destination. 

 

The site is dominated by a twisting multifaceted behemoth of a tower designed by starchitect Frank Gehry, clad in over 11,000 metal panels, which has already caused controversy among the local people! Luma Arles is situated in an industrial railway yard, replete with several renovated 19th-century warehouses that previously belonged to SNCF and over 6000m2 of sprawling landscaped gardens by Bas Smets to explore and reflect in.

The scintillating surface of the tower was informed by Van Gogh’s painting, ‘Starry Night’ (1889), and the rocky Alpine faces that can be seen from the commune. The light strikes the faces and facets of the tower’s metal panels, in different ways throughout the day, reflecting in multiple directions at once, mimicking the impasto brushstrokes of the painting’s surface, imitating the cypress tree that dominates its composition, and illuminating the Arles skyline. 

 

The new multifaceted metallic surface created by the irregular placement of the plaques together explores the visual potential of the material’s reflective possibilities with natural light and awakens the three-dimensional possibilities of the tower under sunlight.

For our Recreation Carpet event in 2019 we created a sculptural POS shelf element using layers of our material Alucore. Alucore is a 100% aluminium honeycomb composite sheet material, usually exploited in architecture and the aeronautical industry as a clean metallic surface due to its flatness, lighter weight and tensile strength. We preferred working with the profile of the sheet, favouring the uneven broken honeycomb, which gave us a new material once layered and cut to form. 

 

The resulting sculptural element is a wonder under light, and this technique can be applied to any type of sculpture or 3D backdrop, with endless layering possibilities.

 

If you are interested to learn more about Alucore, look at the material page here, or  contact us for more information.

Fashion
Couture
Up Close

All photographs copyright and courtesy, Vogue Runway & Nowfashion

The couture fashion shows are always a highlight for us with their artisanal applications and fastidious attention to detail and material experimentation. Traditionally, they allow the designer to explore their creative fantasies and try things out that need not be commercial, freeing them from the constraints of series-type production. Each piece of couture is hand-finished and the invention and dedication to craft and material advances are breathtaking. 

Art
Art Materials


After another arduous moment without art galleries and museums in our daily lives, they have finally reopened here in Paris! We took a walk around to see the latest shows in town and selected some of our favourites that are guaranteed to stimulate your creative material desires…

#ASLOVES
The Memory
of Waste

This month #aslovesLink’ the latest recycling project by WE+ that deals with the problem of commercial building waste in Japan. Their research was born from a real problem – commercial buildings in Japan have an extremely short lifespan of only 5 to 10 years…
Using discarded building materials that come exclusively from the demolition of commercial buildings (including wood, brick, and metals), WE+ first crush the various elements into pellets before separating them into rough and fine grains. The rough grains will later become the surface patterns and the finer grains pigments, once the material is solidified.

 

These grains are then mixed, molded, compacted, and assembled into a new hybrid material that is used to create furniture objects and wall elements imbibed with the memories of their previous commercial applications. With beautiful surface textures, material ingenuity, and a timeless industrial aesthetic, ‘Link’ is one of our favourite creative eco-projects of the month!

 

WE+ is a contemporary design studio, based in Tokyo, that gives form to new perspectives and values through unique production methods and means of expression, developed on the basis of research and experimentation.

Story of the Month
Concrete
Crush

Concrete is an endlessly versatile, beautifully simple material with timeless appeal. This month, we take a look at two big concrete news stories and highlight some of our innovative concrete materials.

 

After several delays due to the pandemic, the Pinault Collection has finally opened its doors in the iconic Bourse de Commerce building in central Paris. Since building work began in 2017, we were eager to see how one of our favourite architects, Tadao Ando, would re-imagine the space whilst keeping the building’s historical details and highlighting the impressive Pinault art collection.

Ando, known for his poetic use of concrete, took his signature material and built a twenty-nine metre wide, nine-metre tall open-top concrete cylinder in the space,  letting the light from the original glass dome flood in, exposing the 19th-century fresco on the ceiling. The cylinder has a walkway at its height to give spectacular views of the fresco and the architecture of the space and the matt faces of the concrete slabs are the perfect material choice to juxtapose against the historical majesty of La Bourse.

 

Another big Concrete story in the news this month was the completion and inhabitation of the first 3D printed concrete house in Europe. With its whimsical sausagey appearance and soft lines, it feels at once both futuristic and prehistoric. Composed of various parts that were 3D printed off-site before being assembled together on-site, it is the first in five houses that are planned in the city of Eindhoven (The Netherlands) as part of ‘Project Milestone’.

“’Project Milestone’ can rightly be seen as a milestone for many reasons. Not only when it comes to the technology and the builders, but also with respect to design, the municipality, the future occupant, and the landlord. When the first occupant receives the key, they have a home that meets the latest needs for comfort. Made sustainably and energy-efficient, but also comfortable, light and quiet, in fantastic wooded natural surroundings.

From Project Milestone’s Website 

 

In 3D printing, the concrete used is optimized as it is able to be applied and layered where it is specifically needed for form and construction, unlike poured concrete which must be solid and uses a lot more primary material. The more concrete that is used, the more CO2 emissions are released, as greenhouse gasses are released when concrete is produced, so this new method is both energy-efficient and more environmentally friendly.

 

Here at American Supply, we have many different concrete-effect materials in our collection that give you the look and feel of concrete without the weight, environmental impact, and complications of their application, making them perfect for forward-thinking merchandising and POS solutions. These materials allow you to achieve the beautiful aspect of concrete without using massive amounts of raw materials and can be used for temporary or permanent applications depending on your needs.

If you are interested in any of these materials do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to advise you technically and creatively for their availability and application methods. 

Materials
Recycled and Renewed

Our new 2021 Eco-Collection segments a curated selection of our eco material offer into four key categories: Recycled, Recyclable, Eco-Concept, and Natural.

 

This month, we look at Recycled materials, focusing on the textile potential of Recycled PET. 

The recycling process for PET is circular, as once the new PET items have served their purpose or come to the end of a reasonable lifespan, they can enter back into the recycling system.

 

In our library we have many textiles composed of 100% Recycled PET, here are some of our favorites:

MATERIALS_MegaFeutre
MEGA FEUTRE A high density (1020 gr/m2) felted textile, with a sculptural rigidity.
MATERIALS_Poly-Pop
POLY-POP A lightweight fine weave brut canvas, with a strong color palette.
MATERIALS_Toilux
TOILUX A heavy (380 gr/m2) double-faced canvas.  The front face has a larger weave than the reverse.
MATERIALS_Denimlike
DENIMLIKE A lightweight washed woven denim-like twill, with a soft touch.
MATERIALS_Duchesse
DUCHESSE A heavy single-faced satin-twill on twill support, with a soft touch and a pleasing shine.
MATERIALS_Charente
CHARENTE A mid-weight (180 gr/m2) mottled felted textile, with a supple hand and a variable surface.

Contact us if you are interested in any of these new materials.

#ASLOVES
Wood Grain Foam!


This month #asloves the wood grain effect foam furniture collection ‘seam of skin’ by Japanese designer, Chiaki Yoshihara. Using a unique artisanal handmade process, she transforms blocks of polystyrene insulating foam into one-off design objects! Enjoy the slideshow below to see the whole process, and discover her technique!

Story of the Month
Luxury Fashion Cafés on the Rise …

The luxury fashion café is not a new phenomenon, the original, « Le Café Blanc » was established by Marie Courregès, daughter of Coqueline Courregès next to their Paris boutique on François 1er, in 1996. And, like everything the Courregès dynasty created, it was revolutionary! 

 

It should come as no surprise, after the year we’ve had, that the idea is returning at a time when people want to feel a stronger physical connection to their preferred brand – the luxury fashion café environment is, after all, one of ultimate fandom. One need only to look at the role branding plays in the napkins, swizzle sticks, cups, glasses, plates… The possibilities are endless for the fashion fan in our social media savvy world.

The first Saint Laurent Café opened during Paris fashion week in 2019. A perfect exercise in top-to-toe branding, with minute attention to detail. The interior mirrors the Saint Laurent retail concept perfectly, with black surfaces, black and white marble, neons, and black logo branded cups and bottle openers, plus, the promise of a new playlist weekly from creative director Anthony Vaccarello for free via a QR code download! Its location, just behind their store on Faubourg Honoré, promises foot traffic from the shoppers heading to the Jardin des Tuileries for a well-deserved coffee break…
After the phenomenal Insta-success of the Fendi pop-up café on the fifth floor of Harrods, a collaboration with Guatemalan-American artist Joshua Vides, also in 2019, Harrods welcomed the first Tiffany’s Blue Box Café pop-up in Europe in 2020. The original Blue Box Café opened in 2018 in New York, followed by the first Blue Box Café in Asia in Hong Kong in 2019 and The Tiffany Café in Tokyo. After the acquisition of Tiffany’s by LVMH was finalized earlier this year, it is surely only a matter of time before a more permanent Tiffany’s Café opens up in Europe!
One of the newest luxury fashion cafés comes from LVMH who opened its first Louis Vuitton café – Café V – in February this year, in their new Osaka flagship store designed by Jun Aoki. A remarkable building that references the city’s historical shipping trade, by cladding the exterior in symbolic ship sails. The café is invite-only for customers of the brand, giving it, even more, fashion-fan-FOMO, and sits on the top of the building with a magnificent terrace. Above the bar are fluttering sheets of dichroic material that bring to mind our iconic Magic Mirror film, whilst referencing Aoki’s new Tokyo flagship for Vuitton, which is clad in undulating dichroic water-shaped glass tiles.
Exclusivity is something that will always appeal to lovers of luxury – if something is difficult to get, we couldn’t desire it more! The idyllic Café V environment is sure to appeal to the Tokyo-ite as a perfect luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of the city below.
Browns London is the latest luxury brand to launch a café, having just opened their brand new concept store in London’s Brook Street, entrusting the café to Native, to house the Native at Browns. Native are renowned for their wild approach to food, with a propensity to forage for ingredients and a forward-thinking zero-waste policy. This goes to the core of fashion’s important sustainable discourse, serving nose-to-tail in a space decorated with sustainable practice in mind. We can’t wait to visit and see what’s on the wild menu!

 

The luxury fashion café interior is the perfect place to instill the material identity of the brand and embodies this concept via the food, the packaging, the furniture and the architecture. In our increasingly image driven world, especially after a drought of real lived-experiences, the luxury fashion café could be the perfect environment for loyal fans of brands to experience the unique luxury vision of their preferred luxury fashion house.

Here is a small selection of materials that we offer for this kind of environment, tailored towards hospitality applications, eco-conception, and the constraints required for this kind of business – note the individual images can be clicked on for more information – Do not hesitate to contact us for your material identity research, we will be happy to help you translate and materialize your creative vision.