Founded in Los Angeles in 1985, by Adrian Olabuenaga and his wife, Lesley Bailey. Their first product collection was a limited edition series of jewelry designed 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.
In recent years, ACME has consistently created new collections and focused its attention on the development of new technologies and using a new design philosophy to produce writing tools, (ACME was the first company to do printed pens, starting a revolution in the pen industry), resulting in endless new possibilities for designs in this area. This focus into writing tools has fundamentally changed the company and helped to make it into an international brand. ACME is now available in 46 countries.