The Collective /SHARE
It was for a job as video editor at Rolling Stone magazine that first brought Australian-born Pete Maiden to New York. Then, a twenty-something living day-to-day, “I didn’t have a kitchen for the first four years I was here,” laughs Maiden. “Now, I cook at home four nights a week.” Eating habits aside, it is not surprising that over his 10-year stint in New York, a lot has changed. “I’ve got a really good opportunity to make the most of the relationships I’ve built and the experience I’ve gained over the years, and if I can apply that here productively and use the energy of the city, I can try and make a real career of it,” he says.
On a mild winter’s day in New York, RUSSH sat down with Maiden outside his Mulberry Street store for an afternoon of people watching, and to find out more about Convicts, the recently launched media brand that's rebellious at heart.
Tell us about Convicts.
Convicts is a media brand, first and foremost; it’s about the convict spirit – this rebellious spirit that as a brand can be an attitude. To me, the media is the most important element as that’s my background, and through different media platforms we tell stories about people we think embody the convict spirit. People are at the core of it. We worked on the brand for over a year on the media side shooting video, photo and interviewing people across lots of different industries – industry leaders, influencers and people with a strong audience.
How does the store fit into the brand?
The store is cool because it’s a bit of a home base. It’s nice to be able to invite people to touch and feel the idea and it gives us integrity with the brands we want to work with. What’s really important to us is finding new brands not available in the US and bringing them over. We’re going to start collaborating with brands and making products exclusive to Convicts. E-commerce is something we will really pursue this year with the aim to offer something different.
We’ve built a really strong creative team, so our next focus is to start working with brands to make really cool, interesting and authentic branded content. If we can establish our own audience who trusts us and likes our content, then hopefully brands will want to associate themselves with us and the people we’re profiling. We will also be focusing more on radio, a lot more events and a travel app developed from the aggregated travel advice from the people we’ve been profiling, telling us where to go and what to do. Then, L.A.