• The Top 3 Art Collaboration Myths

    At Arts & Labour, we’ve been talking to brand managers and have uncovered a few obstacles that seem to come up time and again when making the decision whether or not to collaborate with an artist on their product. What we’ve discovered is not that Canadian brands have a different set of concerns than international brands who are more willing to embrace the approach – instead, we found their top concerns were often based on lack of exposure to art collaborations and even more often, out and out myths. Naturally, we’d to take the opportunity to discuss those. Here are the top three.

  • An Inspiring Product is Better than Inspiring Marketing

    The successes and abilities of these three brands, The Cambridge Satchel Company, Supreme and Artek, have been remarkable—inventing and reinventing their products through art and serving them up in a way the world simply can’t get enough of.

  • The Principles of Staying Relevant

    If established brands like Vitsoe want to remain relevant, they need to start addressing the desires of more recent generations. Unlike Baby Boomers and Generation X, who have been captivated by Vitsoe’s good design, Millennials seem to be neither familiar with nor interested in the brand’s affluent history or its design principles.

  • Two Brave Brands

    As we all know, brands must live and breathe innovation to stay relevant. But the practice is not as much about marketability or promoting allure as one might think; it is in reality, more about fostering authenticity. For innovation to ring true to consumers, it must come from the core of the brand, rooted in […]

  • Salone del Mobile: The Bottom Line

    Salone Milano and Milan Design week are exceptional design showcases, primarily thanks to their top-notch organizers. But each and every participating brand, small and large, national and international had something extraordinary to add.

  • Heavens, what’d you do with my boring city guide!

    On your next visit to Berlin or Portland (should you be so lucky to visit either amazing city once, never mind multiple times), you may, as we did, stumble upon each city’s less predictable and subsequently notable city guides. We discovered that a handful of forward-thinking businesses had decided to take tourism and recreation matters […]

  • Art fusion: Mistakes to Avoid

    Jun Takahashi, the founder and designer behind the Japanese avant-garde label Undercover and known for his rather original tagline “We Make Noise, Not Clothes”, has become wary of art collaborations.

  • The Death of a Gift Shop

    In recent years, museum gift shops’ artsy t-shirts, mugs and scarves have been greeted with a diminishing sense of enthusiasm. However, more progressive art organizations like the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis and the New Museum in New York have started to reinvent the role of their gift stores. At Arts & Labour, we say it’s about time.

  • So long store displays – Hello art installations

    Fashion, often the most forward-looking and savvy of retail marketers, offers many valuable lessons to the rest of the retail industry. Fashion’s latest tutorial in the art of drawing a crowd could yet again be of great service to retailers who are ready and willing to learn, regardless of category. What’s the lesson you wonder?