Tuleste’s Celeste Greenberg On Minnetonka Collab, Passion Projects, And The NYC Fashion World In The 2000s
Celeste Greenberg, along with her sister Satu, is one of those enviable and effortlessly cool creatives who seems to have a finger in every pie—without ever making it look like work. Having cut their teeth in the New York City fashion industry since 2000, the duo launched accessories line Tuleste (saTU and ceLESTE: clever!) in 2008. Known and admired for their own playful and chic personal style, collaborating with long-established, celebrity-favorite moccasin brand Minnetonka was a no-brainer. Celeste told The Daily about the influences and inspiration behind the styles, as well as what else she’s working on at the moment. (Spoiler: her upcoming projects are as fun as you’re imagining!)
Tell us about the collaboration with Minnetonka!
Erin Hawker from Agentry [PR] is an old friend of ours and we have worked together in a number of dimensions. When Agentry started working with Minnetonka we had a few conversations about how much we love the brand and would love to work with them someday. They were already set with collaborations for that year and the following, but reached out this past year. Of course we were thrilled and it was a hard YES! We went crazy with an extensive design deck, but worked together to narrow it down into a super tight and cohesive collection. In the end, we decided that this capsule would incorporate our signature star hardware. On top of their signature styles, we really wanted to add a new design using materials they already had in their repertoire. This resulted in the Falling Star Belt Bag. We also brought back a super cool suede hat, adding star embellishments.
Was Minnetonka’s brand history something that appealed to you?
Minnetonka is one of these signature brands that stays so true to their DNA and has always been our go-to—from bohemian lace-up fringe boots to cozy moccasins! We grew up in the mountains in Northern California and I think it’s so amazing that they have brand recognition worldwide and celebrity fans such as Sienna Miller and Brad Pitt (as well as longtime clients in remote towns.)
What kind of imagery was on the moodboard for this collaboration?
We pulled a lot of pictures from their current and past collections, celebrity shots of some of their signature styles, and, of course, Tuleste signature styles that we’ve developed during our own 10+ years in business.
If you had to pick just one piece that you’re obsessed with, what would it be, and how are you wearing it?
Satu and I will be living in our Starry Night Juniper Boots with shearling lining this winter. It’s the chicest, coziest boot—and so comfortable.
Tell us about why you decided to launch Tuleste with your sister Satu back in 2008, did you always want to start a business together or did you used to clash heads growing up?
We have always been super close. We didn’t have much of a choice growing up in the tiny town we did! We did clash as small children, but once Satu went to college and I started high school we were pretty synchronized. But in all honesty, we are very close and I think our style, personality, and sensibility complement each other 100%. We have always collected and worn a lot of vintage—finding cool pieces that we would re-work and tailor—and that caught the attention of a variety of top New York designers. Satu and I got to a point where we were getting serious about wanting to go into business together, going back and forth a lot on where to start and drawing knowledge from the designers we had the pleasure of working with while producing shows. Finally we settled on accessories being be a great place to start.
What do you remember about your time moving to NYC in 2000 and working in the fashion industry?
It was such a great time, as fashion was very exciting and booming. It was before social media culture, and things had a longer shelf life. The work that was put into each show was very special as it wasn’t accessible to everyone: no live streaming! It was a more intimate time. Oh, and we got lost a lot!
How did your experience working in editorial and at fashion brands shape your vision for Tuleste?
It was such an instrumental part of shaping how we approached and built Tuleste. You really get to see the ins and outs of how brands operate. And the editorial experience really shifts your way of thinking, to not just how you feel about a specific design, but how will it fit into different worlds, different stories, and will it still work in five-ten years.
How does your own personal style (and Satu’s!) influence Tuleste?
Our personal style can be very similar, but is very different at the same time. I am a bit more eccentric and Satu leans more towards classic silhouettes. We are both obsessed with the chic, timeless style of ’60s cinema, including films by Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini, and Michelengelo Antonioni. The fashion was fun, but always chic and it still holds up in today’s world. This was a substantial influence for us, as we wanted to create collections that you can pick up in five, ten, 15 years and still rock it.
Tell us about Tuleste Factory. It looks amazing! Can anyone come visit?
Tuleste Factory was an organic evolution from our years spent in the creative world of New York City. Our love of art, design, style, and music: to us, it is all one entity. We have been consulting with artists on the sales side for the last seven years and officially launched our own “gallery” world named Tuleste Factory. We have a great mix of collectible design and fine art and a great range of price points. We are by appointment only.
If you had to describe Tuleste Factory in one sentence, how would you sum it up?
Tuleste Factory is a unique art gallery and creative space; upon entering you are transported into an eclectic world and expansive mindset.
Do my eyes mislead me or….do you also DJ?
I do! What started as a passion project—I’ve always been obsessed with music—turned into another professional creative outlet. I have created sounds for Bottega Venetta, Bvlgari, and top clubs such as Boom Boom Room, Paradise Club, Soho Grand, and more.
Cool! Is there any area you haven’t yet explored that you would like to?
I think both Satu and I will step into creating more of our own art and eventually larger interior design projects.
Any upcoming fun projects you can fill us in on?
We are on the board of an exciting new members club in NYC, which I am not at liberty to announce yet…but very soon! Also, Tuleste Factory is partnering with Artsy and 1st Dibbs, we will be live next month.