We Built This City is on a mission to revolutionise London souvenirs. Alice Mayor founded We Built This City in 2014. She thought it was high time souvenirs reflected the true creativity of the capital so went about setting up a shop on Carnaby Street to provide a platform for London-based artists and designers to reach an otherwise untapped audience in Central London. Three times a year WBTC works with a new established or emerging London artist, commissioning them to design their storefront on Carnaby Street. On the advent of the release of their latest collaboration – with influential graphic designer Supermundane – we asked WBTC founder Alice to take us on a tour of their storefront artists to date…
Camille is a purveyor of powerfully positive print! A graduate in Textile Design from the University of Brighton, her namesake brand was established in East London in 2009 where she continues to live. Camille’s influences include the Memphis Movement, the Ndebele Tribe and Optical Art master Victor Vasarely alongside the simple desire to put a smile on people’s faces. Camille was We Built This City’s first ever mural artist commission and in Spring 2015 brought her customary combination of bright colours and bold shapes to Carnaby Street.
In the last year, Camille has been busier than ever – creating a must-see pedestrian crossing in conjunction with London Design Festival, has painted numerous houses, offices, walls and even a narrow boat by hand, as well as releasing collaborations with everyone from Harrods (Easter Eggs!) to Gorman clothing (Womenswear line) helping to ensure her distinctive designs are everywhere you look in London!
The City Works
The City Works are a design duo made up of Camberwell College of Arts graduates Sylvia Moritz and Rowan Ottesen. In Spring 2015, The City Works was formed to set out on a journey to illustrate the places they grew up, the places they lived and the places they visited – city by city, brick by brick.
The duo’s attention to detail is the cornerstone of everything they embark upon with an ethos of designing products that are made to stand the test of time – just like the landmarks they depict.
The result is extraordinarily intricate design work, which shifts the perspective of the urban landscape.
We Built This City commissioned Sylvia and Rowan to create a bespoke cityscape design for the interior and exterior of our Carnaby Street store for A/W 2015 and the outcome was nothing short of mesmerising.
Rugman is a London-based graphic artist with a successful career in the fashion industry – working with everyone from Vans to Calvin Klein.
Having recently hosted his solo show at The Saatchi Gallery and with a number of high profile fans (including everyone from Tim Minchin to Tom Hardy) his collection of limited edition prints of London cultural icons are some of our all time bestsellers.
To mark the 90th Birthday of HRH The Queen, Rugman created a show-stopping window display and mural for us – featuring a bespoke portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
Spray-painting the store’s exterior with a colourful geometric design in front of a packed street of onlookers at the height of the summer on Carnaby Street resulted in something of a social media frenzy.
Alice is a graduate of Bath School Of Art And Design, currently working and living in East London. We were bowled over by Alice’s bold and refreshing illustrations since first discovering her work at Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival and were lucky enough to work with her on our 4th storefront mural on Carnaby Street.
Her hand-painted monochrome mural featured cultural icons of London – including everyone from Grayson Perry and Amy Winehouse to David Bowie and HRH The Queen – as well as London iconic wildlife; pigeons, foxes and corgis!
Her beguiling illustrations encapsulated brilliantly the creative vibrancy of London and its many characters and icons.
Supermundane, AKA artist and Londoner Rob Lowe, is renowned for his hypnotic illustrations, developed over a career spanning twenty years. His use of pure line, colour and optical illusion instantly captured our imagination, and it’s no wonder that his distinctive design and typography work has been published and exhibited across the world.
Supermundane is We Built This City’s current Carnaby Street mural artist.
The striking storefront display features Supermundane’s signature symmetrical designs across a hand-painted mural, ‘LON-DON’ totems and two colourful pigeons – all tied together by the phrase ‘London Is For All’.
We’ve all been fans of Rob’s work for a long time now and are incredibly excited to be showcasing his captivating, colourful designs both in-store and outside on Carnaby Street.
His ‘London Is For All’ design brilliantly reflects WBTC’s mission to showcase the best of London’s creativity curated from a diverse range of artists who live and work in the capital.
An exclusive range of souvenirs developed in collaboration with Supermundane – including a magnet, badge, postcard and art print are also available to buy for a limited time only at We Built This City to celebrate the storefront residency.
You can watch the install process of the Supermundane x We Built This City collaboration here https://vimeo.com/205127448 – or better still – head down to Carnaby Street to see it for yourself!
Discover our selection of alternative spots in London with our city guide Indie Guides London.
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