Culture + Commerce Adds New Names to Roster of International Designers and Brands

Ara Starck, Mark Cunningham and India Mahdavi are Newest Additions to Culture + Commerce Client List

Culture + Commerce (, the leading design management agency recognized for leveraging design as a strategic platform, is proud to announce the addition of three new names to the company’s roster of international talent and brands. Visual artist Ara Starck, interior designer Mark Cunningham and architect and designer India Mahdavi will be joining the Culture + Commerce client list as of July 2015, alongside such recognized names as Philippe Starck, Kravitz Design, Dror Benshetrit, Paola Navone, Marcel Wanders, Yves Behar, Piero Lissoni, Fred Segal, Federlegno Arredo Eventi, Lualdi and more.

Ara Starck, the daughter of Philippe Starck, a Culture + Commerce client since the company’s inception, is a New York-based visual artist who has created works for such prestigious properties, companies and personalities as the Hotel Meurice in Paris, the Palazzina Grassi Hotel in Venice, the SLS Hotel in Miami, fine crystal manufacturer Baccarat and fashion designer Pascal Humbert, among others.

Born in Paris in 1978, Ms. Starck was educated at the Ateliers de Sévres and then at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. She subsequently went on to Central Saint Martins College of Art and completed her studies at the Slade School of Fine Art. Inspired by the idea of transcendence, Starck works in the medium of large formats, employing traditional painting techniques such as oils, brushes and turpentine, to create a third material, an alchemy of the canvas unique to both artist and viewer.

“I have always felt like a storyteller, in constant search of the appropriate tools to support my narrative. In joining Culture + Commerce’s roster of designers, I feel like a new palette of possibilities has blossomed, where creativity has no boundaries. Guided by their uninterrupted curiosity, work ethic and passion for design, the Culture + Commerce family is a dream for me. I’m thrilled and excited to start this new adventure,” says Starck.

Mark Cunningham is an acclaimed designer who engages in multi-disciplinary projects, from residential and commercial design to product design and art direction. After 13 years as a Creative Executive at Ralph Lauren, he founded Mark Cunningham, Inc. in 2005. Leading the interiors team of the Ralph Lauren brand’s flagship boutiques worldwide, as well as national campaigns across various categories, Cunningham has made himself known by his refined and composed aesthetic, breathing new life into the classic American style.

Mr. Cunningham’s work has been included in numerous publications such as Architectural Digest and ELLE Decor. He is featured in the teNeuss book, Living in Style New York, and Rizzoli’s anticipated Interior Design Master Class. Cunningham has been honored as part of Architectural Digest’s prestigious annual “AD 100” list several times, and he has been selected as part of the esteemed ELLE Decor “A-List” multiple times as well.

“Culture + Commerce has been instrumental in the contribution of their experience and knowledge to many talented artists and designers, and I could not be more thrilled to collaborate and become part of their team,” says Cunningham.

Paris-based architect and designer India Mahdavi is most well known for her work in the architecture and design industry, having created hotels, restaurants, products, expositions, residences, boutiques and public buildings worldwide. Her studio, created in 1999, is known for the diversity of its international projects, which explore the fields of architecture and scenography, interior, furniture, and object design. Her first showroom opened in 2003, and focuses on high-end furniture; her second showroom, which opened in 2011, focuses on small objects.

Mahdavi is the author of Home Chic, a guidebook to interior style co-written with journalist Soline Delos and published in 2012. She was awarded Designer of the Year by famous fair “Scenes d’interieur / Maison et Objet” in 2004 and was recently named to the Architectural Digest 2014 AD100 list, as well as granted a special award for international creators by AD Spain. As of February 17th, 2015, and for a period of three years, Mahdavi has been appointed a member of the “Conseil artistique, scientifique et culturel de la Cité de la céramique (Sèvres et Limoges)”. This council will assist the institution in its strategy of development, artistic direction, production choices and more.

“Joining Culture + Commerce is like marrying into a large family; it brings you comfort, support, connections and knowledge,” says Mahdavi.

“At Culture + Commerce, we pride ourselves on leveraging design as a strategic platform to cultivate opportunities for our designers,” says Michele Caniato, President of Culture + Commerce. “To include these exciting new additions in our roster further cements the fact that we are truly adept at representing designers and artists of all disciplines, and adds a new level of sophistication and prestige to our already well-respected client list.”

For additional information on all of Culture + Commerce’s designers and services, visit

 About Culture + Commerce, Inc.

Culture + Commerce™ (, a SANDOW company, is a strategic design consultancy that develops high potential design opportunities for global brands and international designers. Built on the belief that “good design is good business”, Culture + Commerce helps companies leverage design as a critical strategic platform for launching products and services, differentiating brands, generating revenues and delivering profits. As the premier design management agency in the U.S., Culture + Commerce represents some of the world’s leading designers including Dror Benshetrit, Yves Behar, Milton Glaser, Sami Hayek, Piero Lissoni, Paola Navone, Matthew Rolston, Philippe Starck, Marcel Wanders, Kravitz Design, MIO, HOK Product Design, Lualdi and Molteni. The agency has developed profitable projects in a wide range of industries—from consumer products and housewares to furniture and hospitality—for companies such as Microsoft, PUMA, Target, MAC, Rosenthal, Alessi, Cappellini, Poltrona Frau, sbe Entertainment, and the Morgans Hotel Group, among others. The company also provides marketing and communications support for both the projects it develops and to individual clients.