Press Release

 

2012-05-24

Illy Launches First Ever Co-Curated Art Collection Cup With Le Meridien

ISTANBUL – May 24, 2012 – Le Méridien and illycaffè today announced the launch of the first ever co-curated illy art collection cup designed by :mentalKLINIK – the highly acclaimed, contemporary Turkish artist duo, Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir. The artists, selected by illycaffè Art Director Carlo Bach and Le Méridien Cultural Curator Jérôme Sans, have also recently joined the LM100 group.

“Le Méridien is proud to partner with illycaffè to launch the first ever illy art collection cup, designed by LM100 members :mentalKLINIK,” said Vincent Gillet, Global Brand Leader for Le Méridien and W Hotels.  “Coffee culture is a key part of Le Méridien DNA, and over the past five years, under the direction of Cultural Curator Jérôme Sans, LM100 artists continue to develop original and interactive programs that fit within our core values while simultaneously transforming the guest experience at our hotels around the globe.”

illycaffè and Le Méridien share a passion for art and believe that coffee has forever been linked to creativity, expression and discussion. The illy art collection cup is a true example of :mentalKLINIK’s playful pop vocabulary reflective of the duo’s minimalist aesthetic focusing on the modern habits of consumption and production. The limited-edition white porcelain cup and saucer feature a simple, yet stunning design of bright, gold geometric shapes, which create the perception of different design patterns when influenced by light and reflection.

“The new, special edition of the famous illy art collection cup is inspired by the passion for art shared by illycaffe and Le Méridien,” said Carlo Bach, Art Director of illycaffè. “There’s nothing better than sharing what you love with others, and we’re pleased to make the cup’s official debut at Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler”

Curated by Sans, LM100 is a group of cultural innovators of mixed generations and interdisciplinary artistic fields chosen from art, architecture, cuisine, and design who help Le Méridien reinvent various guest touch points throughout the hotel experience. The introduction of the new co-curated limited edition cup coincides with the opening of Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler, located in Istanbul’s most exclusive neighborhood, overlooking the Bosphorus. In addition, :mentalKLINIK has designed a custom installation to enhance the arrival experience at Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler and new keycards for Le Méridien UNLOCK Art program.

The illy art collection of coffee cups designed by contemporary artists and created by the  company  of Trieste since 1992 is one of the nicest and most tangible  expressions of the close link existing between illycaffè and contemporary art. Some of the most renowned, leading and appreciated international and emerging artists have thus transformed an everyday object such as the coffee cup – in this case reinvented by the architect and designer Matteo Thun – into a must have and cult object. Michelangelo Pistoletto and Marina Abramovic; Jeff Koons and Bob Rauschenberg; James Rosenquist and Julian Schnabel are only a few of the outstanding maestros who have contributed to this project.  illy always keeps in touch and close collaboration with the artists who have created more than sixty collections of cups so far, and their interaction results into real artistic and cultural projects. illy art collection, signed, limited, and numbered editions, are sold worldwide. Once they are out of stock, however, the cups are not reproduced anymore.

Starting today, the illy art collection cup designed by LM100 members :mentalKLINIK is available at select Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, online at illy.com and at select illy coffee bars and cafes across the globe.

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About illycaffe
Based in Trieste, Italy, illycaffé produces and markets a unique blend of espresso coffee under a single brand leader in quality. Over 6 million cups of illy espresso coffee are enjoyed every day. illy is sold in over 140 countries around the world and is available in more than 50,000 of the best restaurants and coffee bars. espressamente illy, the chain of franchised Italian-style coffee bars is now present in 30 countries and comprises more than 230 outlets. With the aim of spreading the coffee culture, illy has founded the Università del caffè, the center of excellence offering theoretical and practical training on every aspect of coffee for coffee growers, coffee shops staff and enthusiasts. On a global level illycaffè employs 796 people and has a consolidated turnover of €305 million. (2010 results)

About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by 100 properties in 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005.  With close to 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy. By appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique and interactive experiences to its guests. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts within the next five years, concentrating in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia-Pacific markets, including destinations such as India, Thailand and China. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Arlington (Virginia, USA), Istanbul, Coimbatore (India), Koh Samui (Thailand), and Taipei, and will open in the next 12 months in Bali, Zhengzhou (China), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), and Suvarnabhumi (Thailand).  For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com.

About :mentalKLINIK
:mentalKLINIK is an artist duo from Istanbul, founded in 1998.  Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir established their own space in 2000 to present their artistic and theoretical approach. Yasemin Baydar is a graduate of MSU Faculty of Fine Arts.  Together with the Kültür Group, she organized the “A Gender Project from Istanbul” exhibition in Zurich in 1996 and with it the book entitled, Kültür. After graduating from the Mimar Sinan University's Faculty of Fine Arts in 1990, Birol Demir continued his MA studies at the same faculty, and in 1990, he started working at the Avanos Municipality Artists' District and Ceramics Museum. He has held numerous solo and collective exhibitions since 1990. :mentalKLINIK’s work focuses on modern habits of consumption and production, transforming anything from our present time into material for their artworks. The artists push the boundaries of interdisciplinary methods, reflecting on contemporary reality through the means of sound, action, object, text and form.  Together the artists dislocate the materials already detached from everyday reality and create a new perspective which is awkward, alien and uncanny within the exhibition space.

(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)

Media Contacts
illycaffè
Anna Adriani /Christine Pascolo - Tel.: +39 040 3890111
Cohn & Wolfe Alessandra Bettelli, Giorgia Meretti - Tel. +39 02 20239.374/375 ;
alessandra.bettelli@cohnwolfe.com; giorgia.meretti@cohnwolfe.com

Le Méridien Trey Sarten/Ashley Chapman, Global Public Relations
Trey.Sarten@starwoodhotels.com / Ashley.Chapman@starwoodhotels.com