Former Pitchfork Execs Launch 'Creative Studio' Varyer in Chicago

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The Chicago skyline. 

Former Pitchfork president Chris Kaskie and creative director Mike Renaud have formed Chicago-based creative studio Varyer. The move comes a year after the duo left Pitchfork Media, where they had spent 14 years helping build the indie music publication into a trusted music brand that includes festivals in Chicago and Paris.

"In creating Varyer, it was essential that we forge our own path, one that directly follows our own passions," Kaskie said in a statement. "We are and always have been artists ourselves and want to influence culture in Chicago and beyond by working with meaningful individuals, brands and organizations, sharing our unique point of view."

The duo, who will serve as co-CEOs, are proud of their Windy City ties. The Chicago Blackhawks already have signed with Varyer as their agency of record, and native son Danny Wirtz, whose family owns the team, is a partner in Varyer. Later this year, the company will partner with Asrai Garden to open a hybrid studio and retail store in the Ace Hotel Chicago. Varyer already operates the florist/jewelry store/apothecary's flagship location in Wicker Park.

"The concept of variety is what informs our namesake, and working with good people is our goal," Renaud said in a statement. "Our experiences, both individual and shared, have always been tethered to a range of brands with specific voices, led first and foremost by instinct over data."

A version of this article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.