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Licensees Focus

THE ART OF DRAG AND RYMAN ARE SLAYING IT FOR PRIDE 24 THIS JUNE!

19 Jun - 2024

Tags from the story: Art of Drag, Ryman, The London Studio.

Art of Drag, created by The London Studio and now a standalone business in its own right, is planning to slay it for Pride 2024 throughout June – August with a wide range of specially designed stationery, giftware and cards in collaboration with Ryman.

Art of Drag, which takes famous artworks featuring cultural female icons and replaces them with drag artists, is collaborating with both Ryman and its new, design-led concept stores, Ryman Design, for this exclusive Pride 2024 collection.

Launching during the Pride month of June will be a new Art of Drag Pride Collection of giftware and stationery, along with a specially designed range of nine Art of Drag greeting cards. Both ranges will be in-store exclusives to Ryman Design and selected Ryman stores and also available on the Ryman website during Pride 2024.

The Art of Drag Pride Collection of giftware and stationery includes notebooks with gold-edged pages, mugs with gold handles, coasters, tote bags, water bottles, magnets and more. There’s also a range of boxed pens with positive sentiments engraved on the pens, such as: “YOU ARE LOVED” and the fun and cheeky engraving: “DON’T F*CK IT UP”, which lovers of drag may recognise.

This new Pridegiftware and stationery collection was created by Art of Drag’s lead LGBTQ+ artist, who has combined bold, ‘sticker-like’ graphics with geometric grids and the colours of the Progress Pride Flag. The collection celebrates diversity and calls for a more inclusive society, values which are at the heart of Art of Drag.

The 2024 Art of Drag Pride card collection works with the classic style that made the brand famous – bringing drag artists to famous artworks – for a brand-new selection. The cards have been created by LGBTQ+ artists and allies. Each card sold helps support these independent artists and the small businesses they manage.

And that’s not all. As well as supporting independent small businesses, Ryman and Art of Drag also care deeply about the environment and are showing their eco-credentials and support of local economy by opting to manufacture locally, using responsibly sourced materials and plastic-free packaging.

Ryman and Art of Drag have assigned production to a British family-owned manufacturer which is printing the entire Pride 2024 giftware and stationery collection in the UK. Art of Drag creator The London Studio is working with a local, family-owned printer to produce the greetings cards being supplied to Ryman. The cards are printed on FSC-certified board and both the cards and gifts are completely plastic-free.

Impressive growth throughout 2023 – in the UK and abroad – led to a strategic decision by Art of Drag brand owner The London Studio to found a standalone company, Art of Drag Limited, to build on the opportunities opening up for a brand that has really struck a chord with licensees and the public, already inspiring calendars, jigsaws, fashion collaborations, wall art and more. Further UK deals are imminent – and now Art of Drag is sashaying into new markets thanks to a recent agreement that sees respected agency Firefly Brand Management bring Art of Drag to the vast US and Canada markets.

The new company has its own dedicated staff, strategy and budget but remains closely aligned with The London Studio through its founder, multi award-winning designer and retail consultant, Soula Zavacopoulos, who is director of both companies.

In fact parent company The London Studio is also supplying Ryman Design with an exclusive range of greetings cards for Pride 2024 which have been designed by independent artists from The London Studio’s Artists Collective, a diverse group of individual artists and designers from around the world, hand-picked by Soula and her team.

Soula Zavacopoulos and Theo Paphitis

Chris Wall, Trading Director, Ryman, says: “Soula has been supplying Ryman and Ryman Design with greetings cards that have been consistent top-sellers for us, so we have been keen to expand into more categories. We commissioned Soula for a diverse range of cards, giftware and stationery for Pride 2024, and we had high hopes for a memorable range. Those hopes have definitely been exceeded. The Art of Drag designs are both impactful and highly original. We couldn’t be happier with this unique collection – and we think our customers will feel the same way!

Theo Paphitis, Owner and Chairman of Ryman, says: “We’ve greatly enjoyed working with Soula on this fantastic project. Her talent for thinking both creatively and commercially means she develops products that our customers can’t get enough of. And this superb new collection doesn’t disappoint – it truly stands out for quality, style and originality – perfect for Ryman Design customers!

Soula Zavacopoulos, Director of Art of Drag Limited and The London Studio says: “I’m delighted to be working with one of the UK’s biggest names in cards and stationery. Theo Paphitis’ dedication to supporting small business is something I have always admired, and I love that these values are reflected in the team at Ryman Design, who have been passionate about supporting our independent artists. I am thrilled to be collaborating with Ryman and looking forward to seeing our new Art of Drag Pride Collection in stores soon. Together we aim to bring this fun brand and the superb artists that support it to a bigger audience than ever, whilst celebrating diversity and inclusivity.


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