CULTUREEDIT / Tom of Finland Store
Swedish born and currently living in Los Angeles, Joakim Andreasson is the owner of CULTURE EDIT which is an umbrella company for a number of endeavors, and one of them being that they operate the Culture Edit and Tom of Finland Online Store and storefront that carries all things Tom of Finland and beyond in the sectors of fashion, design art, and adult goods. Sex is back and Joakim is here to share with us what his store offers, the empowerment it brings and more.
Share with us more about the store’s history and how it came to be.
My company manages all the licensing endeavors for the Tom of Finland Foundation, meaning anything that has Tom artwork goes through my hands and direction. Over the years, since 2013, we have done all kinds of collections from home decor and in the last few years we have been going into high fashion collaborations with brands that include JW Anderson, Honey Fucking Dijon and more.
Over the years, in what ways has it continued to go “to the next level”?
It has been a very organic process. When I started with the licensing program, it was very limited to calendars, t-shirts, there was a fragrance but we really took it to the next level proactively and with a lot of support from Finland, Tom of Finland’s home country as they finally recognized him as their cultural hero as opposed to that “guy who does sexy drawings that we can’t really speak of.” With their help and our efforts here in America and Europe, we have a much more solidified program whichcovers most categories.
At what point did “domination” become trendy? Do you know by chance what was one of the first pieces sold?
It’s also a trend to be dominated you know? So, I think it is a two way conversation and depends on who you ask. It’s like top or bottom. The store has been around for five years…We prepared everything throughout a few months and the first day was kind of nuts but the item that sold the most was a yellow t-shirt with a Tom drawing of a guy being pissed into his mouth.
PHOTOS COURTESY PLEASURE CHEST + WRITING ALEX BONNET
Who runs the store today?
Who runs the world? (laughs). I own it and I have an amazing team of guys that run the day-to-day operations and it’s a collab- oration, not a hierarchy. Everyone finds their pieces of the puzzle and supports each other.
What do you usually look for in clothing?
Artistic integrity, longevity, no trends, something that can withstand the test of time.
Tell us more about what the store means to you.
It’s more through the reaction of others. What I sense when people come in is that they get this kind of utopic feeling and that it is the place for them, it caters nurturing expressions that they may not tap into in the day-to-day “straight” world. Being able to nurture individuality and creativity in that sense.
In what ways is this store leading true change?
I mean I wouldn’t say we are a political store, it’;s much more organic in the sense that you connect with an item, it becomes yours and that is the tool we use for self-ex- pression.
Which work of art has had great success?
In the store context, we sell sex toys the most.
In what ways has this store motivated and empowered others to express themselves fully?
Everyone expresses themselves best when they are at their most unique, I think. If you are trying to belong to a tribe you are turn- ing into a more homogenous version of yourself but if you can tap into what makes you unique and shine like the start that you are, that is the best way to do it.
What makes the brand stand out and unique?
Depends where I am. I created a work cosmos where I just do whatever I want and I think that is unique.
When faced with adversity, what do you believe is the best way to handle the situation?
To have people fall flat on their faces, meaning if you sort of let them ramble on and go deeper into the situation, a lot of times they end up looking like idiots and I win!
What can people expect from Tom of Finland in the upcoming years?
More amazingness across the board. There are two different dimensions of Tom when it comes to this con- versation. I manage the commercial side (collaborations, products etc) and then the Foundation deals with exhibitions and cultural manifests. There are amazing ones coming up, one that just opened up in Venice and is sponsored by Diesel so in response,
there will be a Diesel fashion capsule and that exhibition will travel to Paris then Helsinki which will be the biggest one yet.
What is your favorite piece of artwork of Tom of Finland?
There is one drawing that has a very hot close up of a double penetration that is kind of sexy. I like it when he gets nitty gritty with certain erogenous subject matters andit’s not jsut about the full figure.
Do you think sexual practices, talking about sex and practicing it in a unique way has become a mainstream culture? Clearly not because we are still facing adversity, at least in terms of being a member of the LGBTQ community and there are a lot of adversities we are still overcoming. It really boils down to sex and the issue at hand…anythign that re–
lates them to the understanding of sex… that becomes the issue.
Any message to the Vulkaners?
Come check us out! This is a unique environment to find things in a very re- laxed way, it’s a unique shopping ex- perience and more about connecting with people and having an exchange. We hope you will find what truly suits you and not everyone else! Thank you so much and hope to see you soon!