JEWELRY

ACME+STUDIO

ACME STUDIO
ACME STUDIO
HAWAII

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ACME Studio is an international product design company, which produces and markets writing instruments, stationery accessories, watches, men’s silk ties, men’s accessories, and other design objects. Its products are the result of cooperation with the world’s leading architects, designers, artists, foundations, estates and institutions. ACME’s attitude has also had results on architecture; On the ACME grounds, Italian master designer/architect Ettore Sottsass has designed and created a house, and will soon be adding two more buildings.

ACME Studios was started in 1985 by Adrian Olabuenaga and his wife Lesley Bailey. The first project, which, as Adrian says, "set the ball rolling," was a collection of twelve brooches by California artist and Memphis designer Peter Shire. Then, with the help of writer Barbara Radice and designer Ettore Sottsass, ACME Studios organized "Memphis Designers for ACME," a collection of over 100 designs by 14 designers and architects, including Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Marco Zanini, Michele De Lucchi and others.

“Architects For ACME" followed, and with this collection "we explored Postmodernism, Neomodernism and Pluralism - to name a few" - mostly with American architects (Richard Meier, Robert A.M. Stern and others) organized under the guidance of noted architect Phillip Johnson.

"At this point," continues Adrian, "we felt in addition to being involved with important design and architecture movements, we were neglecting the fine art world." As a result, "Artists for ACME" was formed with the assistance of artist Billy Al Bengston. Represented in this collection are Ann Thornycroft, Billy Al Bengston, Chuck Arnoldi, Kenneth Price, Laddie John Dill and Ronnie Cutrone.

Subsequently, "Alchimia For ACME" was organized with the collaboration of Milanese architect Alessandro Mendini. Other collections have included the "ACME Collection" done by leading graphic artists, mostly from California, including Rod Dyer, Jim Heimann, April Greiman, Mick Haggerty and others.

In 1989-90, "Hispanic Artists for ACME," was organized, which included Carlos Almaraz, Frank Romero, and others. "New Pop Series", featuring artists such as Robert Williams, Georgeanne Deen, Neon Park and others. Also "ACME Classics," ACME's first collection of sterling silver.

"By virtue of the small size of items we work with, we are able to work with more designers, artists and architects than any company in the world," said Adrian. "Historically, when there has been any significant movement in design, architecture or art, there has always been jewelry and other objects reflecting those styles. What we have done is invited the actual people behind all the current movements that are happening now, to design for ACME."

Since then, there have been many new developments, collections, and projects happening at ACME. We have since branched out into various new products, ties, watches, clocks, men's accessories, home accessories, and even trading cards. All still done with our original approach and design philosophy of using artists, architects, designers, and the works in Museum collections.

ACME STUDIO has just finished its largest undertaking to date, CASA MAUI, a house designed for Adrian and Lesley by Ettore Sottsass, this house which is just one part of the one acre ACME compound, in Maui, Hawaii.

In 1996, we began to organize a new category to explore; WRITING INSTRUMENTS. The first collection, which featured designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, Piet Mondrian, Michael Graves, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and others, was released in 1997 at the New York Stationery Show, to an overwhelming response. We have since released our first Limited Edition collection of pens and many new releases are already scheduled.

During the following few months, we released many new items based from our new relationships with the Salvador Dali Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation as well as a new direction, "the Americana Collection" which includes a collection of American icons such as Monopoly, Roy Rogers, Pez and others.

Starting in 2000, we started a new direction in writing instruments, we have developed several new pen making techniques, which allows the designer to create new shapes, and new pen technology, using a variety of materials, such acid etched brass, lathe spun celluloid, lacquers and various other metals and materials. For this collection, "Collezione Materiali" (which means "Materials Collection") we have invited Ettore Sottsass, Michael Graves, the Campana brothers, Andrée Putman and just a few others.