Some of you may already know CultureLabel as the go-to place for buying some of the best art and design-led products from artists and designers? No?
Well, if you didn’t, you’re in luck as we’ve caught up with Pete Tullin, the CEO and Cofounder of the company to talk more about what’s instore their relaunch at the beginning of August.
UKSA: Hi Pete, could you introduce yourself to our readers; what’s your role at CultureLabel, what’s your background?
P: I’m the co-founder of CultureLabel.com, a curated ecommerce platform that unearths the very best arts and design-led products from galleries, artists and designers in London and now New York. Before we created the website I worked in the arts world for a number of years and had a chance to work on projects with some of the most iconic cultural brands such as Tate and the Royal Academy.
CultureLabel was born out of my passion to see more people access quality art and creative products from these institutions all in one destination, as well as from the best of the London’s galleries, artists, designer-makers, boutiques and collectives.
UKSA: What does CultureLabel mean for you?
P: CultureLabel is about a lot of things for me – it’s about championing the true creatives that drive the most culturally iconic cities in the world, nurturing artist and design communities by driving new audiences to their work and in the process offering consumers the chance to live with art and design that holds true artistic integrity, authenticity and that has a real story to tell. It’s a really virtuous circle for everyone involved and that gives me a huge amount of satisfaction on a daily basis.
UKSA: What does London mean to you, how does the city inspire you?
P: It’s been said a thousand times but I’m always amazed at the way London continually re-invents itself in a way no other city can and I am truly inspired by the creative entrepreneurs and artists who make that happen.
As a result, we live in one of the most exciting destinations in the world that continues to push boundaries, whether it’s transforming old architecture into cathedrals of culture like the Tate Modern, turning an undesirable car park in Peckham into the coolest gallery bar, transforming cinema lovers into Shawshank prisoners in Bethnal Green or letting people sleep for the night under dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum.
It’s the greatest city on earth even though I’m from Newcastle originally so will get hammered for saying that by my friends up North!
UKSA: What’s your favourite place to relax in London?
P: The Southbank never fails for me especially on the weekend – I love reading the Sunday papers with a coffee in the RFH foyer or walking along the river up to Tate Modern. Although it can be busy, there’s always an air of creative calm across the place. I also highly recommend walking along Regents Canal to Victoria Park where you can pick up ice cream or cocktails from barges along the way.
UKSA: What’s your favourite eating spot in London?
P: I’m a big fan of the Rochelle School just across the road from CultureLabel HQ. It’s an amazing green space in a former Victorian School complex where the Frieze offices are based. The high walls make it a beautiful oasis in the madness of London. I’m also a huge fan of the food markets at Brixton Village just down the road from where I live. You can take your pick as pretty much all the cafes are amazing and if you can get in Honest Burgers is worth the wait and the pizza at Agile Rabbit is right up there.
UKSA: Finest memory that involves London?
P: I’m a massive theatre fan and remember going to a derelict warehouse in Wapping to see Faust, by a then little known immersive theatre company called Punchdrunk in 2006. As an audience member you were immersed into their world as you wandered through spaces as varied as cornfield, a hotel and a magician’s lair, but there was an energy that night that made you certain they were going all the way and you were in on a secret that was about to explode.
I have been to New York a lot recently with the preparations for CultureLabel.com NYC and got a chance to go to an opening night at the new Heath venue at the St McKittricks Hotel (the venue for their NYC show) and experienced one of the best live music experiences I can recall.
I remember chatting to Felix Barrett, the Artistic Director a few years ago and saying Punchdrunk could probably curate the best bar on the planet so I’m glad they finally have!
UKSA: How is CultureLabel evolving in its new incarnation?
P: We are moving now to an immersive shopping platform that blends ecommerce and editorial to offer consumers the chance to shop the best of creative cities around the world.
Starting in London and NYC, our product collections of art and design-led products will be curated by a set of cultural influencers, as well as our own curatorial team. We have some more exciting developments this year which I can’t reveal currently but will bring a whole new dimension and opportunity to the creative community of each city we work with.
UKSA: Please explain the ideas behind #DisruptLDN and #DisruptNYC?
P: Starting with London and NYC, our Disrupt campaign aims to champion the creative underbelly lying under the glossy surfaces of both cities, disrupting the stereotypes and shaking up the status quo of online shopping. The campaign encourages people to share their ‘real’ London and NYC with us, joining in the conversation to explore the inspiring underworld of artists, designers and creative entrepreneurs and what they bring to our cities before our relaunch of CultureLabel this week.
UKSA: What’s instore for the future, both in your own creative life, and for CultureLabel?
P: On a personal level I’ve always been really interested in learning from other creative entrepreneurs. So I’ve decided to do something to celebrate the individuals that make cities like London and New York the creative capitals of the world. Working with partners like Google and Bloomberg, we have developed REMIX, a series of international events taking place in London, New York and Sydney to bring the creators who disrupt our cities to centre stage so people can get closer to them and understand their insights and motivations.
It’s a sort of TED for creative entrepreneurs. On the CultureLabel.com front we are rolling out the website to a number of global cultural hotspots over the next couple of years so we will be racking up the air miles scouting the best creative talent for our community.