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October 18, 2005


It's October -- and just 12 months ago we started PURE CONTEMPORARY. Back then we had the notion that this would be an American resource for consumers who loved contemporary. We (correctly) thought we would entice Canadian readers but we were shocked by the amount of readers from 119 other countries that regularly turn to PURE CONTEMPORARY for news and ideas.

Oh we weren't surpised by the UK, the EU and all of Scandinavia. But Libya, Iraq and Niger? In fact the rest of the monied world loves contemporary -- and as a mass, the US is just taking notice of the art of design. The Scandinavians and the Italians have long lamented that the US market is a tough sell. Our need for immediate gratification (custom orders from Italy can take 6 months -- and oops, they have forgotten to ship a part); our lack of understanding of nuance (it's just a plain table isn't it?); and, our failure to understand why bookmatched veneers are so much more valuable than paper, has, well, frustrated European makers who scratch their heads at why so many Americans will buy Chinese (inferior) knock-offs.

Culturally, Americans tend to view the traditional styles of their ethnic roots as the epitome of status. But as technology takes a firm hold on our lives, as the iPod is as successful for its business model as its sleek and brilliant design, as individuals blend and borrow from other ethnic groups, American sense of contemporary is growing in appreciation.


At the Kitchen & Bath show in Vegas this year, I spoke with a rep from Porcher -- the highend line of American Standard -- and asked him if his territory was the US. He looked at me as if I had spit on him and retorted: "I cover Northern Africa." Handling the US, it seems, has been drawing the short straw in contemporary circles.

As such, many of the wonderful designs that we are privvy to as editors are rare finds indeed in this country. Firms long ago abandoned the idea of opening a US market because of its costliness and low return on investment. You, the discerning customers, are cheated. Which is why we started PURE CONTEMPORARY as a web-only magazine. We wanted a periodical where readers could find new resources, and being only available on the web, we were creating an affordable marketing channel that reduced the risk for contemporary makers.

After one short year, PURE CONTEMPORARY has become an international publication that opens a window to the world of contemporary. Thank you for allowing us to be your venue.

"Siento"glass and stainless hood by Gutmann is not available yet in North America.

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