BERLIN — The current Dr. Who, Matt Smith, would definitely love the idea: a bow tie with a patented folding technique, constructed of cardboard no less.
The creation of Berlin performance artist-turned-entrepreneur Cantemir Gheorghiu, the paper bow tie is the latest in his PappUp range of Papp or cardboard accessories. He started with cardboard eyeglasses two years ago, an art project originally intended to poke fun at arrogant trend-setters with their nerdy specs, but they quickly won a following among Berlin clubbers and funsters.
More than a local phenomenon, the glasses, which sell for 1.95 to 8.95 euros, or $2.55 to $11.75 at current exchange, are available on PappUp’s online store (papp-up.com), and also made it onto the shelves of 200 stores in Europe, including the Victoria and Albert Museum shop in London, the first year. They are also sold at Providence Optical in the U.S. and, Gheorghiu noted, “We are constantly growing and hope to reach the U.S. market soon on a wider scale.” In the meantime, Japan is PappUp’s largest market.
The clip-on bow ties, available in six solid colors and three prints, cost 4.95 euros, or $6.50.
His next project is paper sunglasses. They’ll be “something you can actually use,” he noted, as these will be made of a more durable mixture of wood and paper, and even incorporate lenses for UV protection. For those of a less utilitarian ilk, PappUp also offers cardboard watches, ties, bags and combs to “papp up your life.”