Paper No 9
You may not think of paper as an important fashion material, but Paper No 9 has been working hard to change that concept since 2008. First coming to prominence through a collaboration with innovative fashion designer Sylvia Heisel in 2011, they collaborated to produce her Ready-to-Wear-Away dress, a sleek, simple sheath dress made from recycled paper, and distressed to look like leather. The sheath dress reacted to body heat and friction through wear, with the top layer breaking down and peeling off to reveal hand inscribed inspirational quotes from the likes of William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi. The goal of elevating humble brown paper to something highly valued and precious was the intent realized in collaboration with Sylvia Heisel through poetry, inspiration and fashion.
Paper No 9 takes its name from one of the key ingredients in their proprietary textile, where paper is transformed by hand into a luxurious textile with endless variety in effect. Plastic and complex polymer free, the innovative textile has a broad range of textures and appearances. The paper is also made without the use of any stripping agents such as bleach or any wastewater, and everything is crafted using minimal waste and zero toxins.
Paper No 9 was founded in 2012 by Pratt Industrial Design Masters graduate Rebecca Cole Marshall, and Stephanie Joy Benedetto, a law student from Emory University. In 2008 the duo developed a process to transform paper into durable, sewable textile, which has led them to create, consult and collaborate in exclusive bespoke sustainable textiles and limited edition goods. Inspired by kinkarakawakami, a 19th century Japanese wall covering designed to mimic gilded leather, and used in Buckingham Palace, Paper No 9 is custom produced in a myriad of colors, textures and effects for clients who’s products range from apparel to stationary, to bags and accessories.
Their latest product, the iconic 2am Clutch is a simple, clean elegant metal trimmed clutch bag that showcases the variety of paper textures, colors and designs that Paper No 9 is available in, to the best effect. From matt textured black to crackled gold through to marbled gem colors, Paper No 9 mimics a broad range of materials, including antique brass, Obsidian, and poured concrete. The limited edition collection of clutches, are produced in Paper No 9’s signature textiles. Each clutch bag is numbered and signed, and supplied with an optional chain cut to any desired length. Only 50 of each color combination were produced.
The innovative Brooklyn based design lab, was selected as a finalist for the 7th Annual Independent Handbag Design Awards, the 2am Clutch was selected as one of five designs competing for The Timberland Best Green Handbag award and is one of twenty-five designs in the running for InStyle.com’s Audience Fan Favorite. Paper No 9 have been featured in publications worldwide, including Vogue, InStyle, WWD, Surface Magazine and View, as well as represented at international textile and fashion shows and showrooms across the globe.