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Welcome to Art Comes First

Art Comes First is a collective comprised of nine distinctive enterprises focusing on independent creativity
A profile view of Sam and Shaka of ACF, both suited and wearing hats.
© The Kooples

This is a business course about YOU.

It does not matter what product or service you have in mind or are already working on, the competition is already overwhelming. Globalization has rendered much commercial wisdom obsolete. Conventional business models are struggling in the digital space. If there was “nothing new under the sun” since Biblical times, now there is increasingly nothing new online either. How to find motivation to create something that can sustain your life, work, and community?

Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh have spent over a decade perfecting the art of unique solutions for creative businesses. Turns out, what is necessary to succeed today is to unlearn as much as possible the industry practices of yesterday. This class will challenge you to do exactly that. There is no 10-easy-steps downloadable one-pager here. We will ask big questions, examine the Big Picture, share our biggest examples to inspire you to do the big work on your brand.

Our goal is to empower you to exercise creative brand development skills to build and communicate authentic identity and style to your audience. This is not a cookie-cutter business course.


Art Comes First is a collective comprised of nine distinctive enterprises (and/or principles) focusing on independent creatives, charitable organizations, networking events and consultancy:

Avec Ces Freres is a Genderfluid clothing brand without restrictions or requirements. Its humanwear ethos represents true freedom of expression.

Always Cut First works on sustainable development within the fashion industry keeping the vintage heritage alive through reuse and redesign.

Aperture Camera Flash aims to document life a moment at a time and share it through the gift of compelling imagery.

Another Creative Force is creative direction branch for film, television and video production, educational master classes and exclusive commercial assignments.

Anti-Capitalist Fashion advocates for slow fashion, lower carbon footprints, fair working conditions to ensure transparency in our business process.

Ancient Culture Footprint pays homage to historical and cultural traditions from around world as expressed in bygone styles ready for reinvention into a modern look.

Art Core Foundation is an upcoming physical place to host a variety of educational, vocational, and artistic activities for the next generation of art-comes-first creatives.

Africa Coming Forward is a non-profit organization bridging the opportunities and resources gap between the fifty-four countries of the continent and its global diaspora.

Associate Creative Friends is a program for our collaborators, partners, creative peers, and manufacturers.

ACF client list includes Ozwald Boateng, The Kooples, Spencer Hart, Austin Reed, Fred Perry, Harris Tweed, I-D, Sony Records, Liberty Fairs, Oasis Festival, PONY, Denham, Amsterdam Museum, MACAAL, Avery Dennison, Cross Jeans, GQ, and others.

Throughout the course, we will pull on the examples of unlearning from these ACF experiences.

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Art Comes First: Exploring the Intersection of Style and Identity

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