Acme Studios Inc. was founded in Los Angeles by Adrian Olabuenaga and his wife, Lesley Bailey. The company made its debut in 1985 with a stunning jewelry collection. The collection was a limited edition series, by Peter Shire, a member of the famous Memphis Group. Soon after, with the help of writer Barbara Radice and architect/designer/photographer Ettore Sottsass, ACME's new collection (MEMPHIS DESIGNERS for ACME), was a huge collection of jewelry with over a hundred works, with 14 designers and architects involved, including Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Michele De Lucchi, Ettore Sottsass, Matteo Thun, etc. This collection debuted at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in 1986, along with the last stop for the MEMPHIS touring show, before returning to Italy. Many of these pieces are now in the permanent collections of many museums around the world, such as the Denver Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Frankfurt Museum of Decorative Arts and others, and the entire series is in the collection of the Groninger Museum in Holland.
This was followed by many collections; such as "Architects for ACME" (curated by Phillip Johnson), "Artists for ACME" (curated by Billy Al Bengston), "Alchimia for ACME" (curated by Alessandro Mendini), "ACME Collection" (curated by Rod Dyer), "Hispanic Artists for ACME" (curated by Carlos Almaraz), working with many designers from different backgrounds, mediums and specializations, achieving success and gaining new status in the design industry.
After relocating to Maui, Hawaii in 1988, ACME developed different products like wrist watches, personal accessories, leather goods, etc. ACME also completed an architectural work; Ettore Sottsass designed CASA MAUI for Adrian and Lesley in Maui, Hawaii. More recently ACME's warehouse was completed, also a design by Mr. Sottsass. Soon, two more structures by Mr. Sottsass will begin construction: An addition to the house and the renovation of the ACME offices.
ACME has continued their revolutionary efforts to partner with renowned highly talented designers, who are on the cutting edge of the design industry. ACME was recognized for their innovative development of new technologies, leading with a new design philosophy to produce writing tools. ACME was the first company to start printing on writing tools. This has fundamentally changed the company and created international branding for ACME, thus sparking a new revolution.
ACME has once again proven to the design industry its tremendous efforts of creative partnerships in the design world. ACME was nominated in 2009 for a National Design Award in corporate achievement by the Cooper-Hewitt.