American Psycho, by Brett Easton Ellis, is a diabolical story of a businessman gone mad in the big apple. Despite the book’s graphic depiction of excessive drug use, polyamory, and psychopathy, it also serves as an archive of New York City’s biggest brands circa 1991. The narrator Patrick Bateman’s obsession with elegance stems from fashion, constantly noticing and name dropping mega-designers like Ralph Lauren, Versace, and Calvin Klein. However, other industries also pass Bateman’s luxury taste-test, including interior bathroom products distributor (and DRS and Associates’ client) Hastings Tile & Bath.
“Afterwords I stand in front of a chrome acrylic Washmobile bathroom sink – with soap dish, cup holder, and railings that serve as towel bars, which I bought at Hastings Tile to use while the marble sinks I ordered from Finland are being sanded.”
Ellis’s use of “Hastings Tile” exemplifies Bateman’s obsession with luxury brands, while at the same time, depicting Hastings’ relevance in New York City culture.
Inclusion in the novel reveals Hastings Tile and Bath’s integral role in New York City’s architectural history. The companies relationship with the City started in 1857, when Central Park architects, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, employed Hastings to install its tiles around the now-famous green oasis. After Central Park, Hastings went on providing its services to other iconic NYC projects like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and JFK Airport. In the early 1970s, Hastings opened its first showroom, later moving into the Architects & Designers building which it occupies today. Hastings is also featured in the famous W Hotel and its exclusively distributed VOLA faucet is honored at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). While its physical presence in the cities architectural legacy is unquestionable, inclusion in Ellis’s New York-centric masterpiece shows how “Hastings Tile” is securely embedded in NYC’s cultural identity.
Even though the book is ‘dark’, we were amused and pleased to see our client mentioned!