By the time Izabela Depczyk became the CEO of Paddle8 last year, the online auction site—founded in 2011 as a traditional-auction disruptor—had already evolved into what it now calls “the leading cultural e-commerce platform.”
“Our future is in cultivating a new generation of younger collectors who have more and more wealth and who consume a lot of culture but who would never think of themselves as collectors,” she says. “We use their language and the things that resonate with them.”
Since Depczyk assumed the company’s helm, Paddle8’s benefit auctions have ventured into unexplored areas, like gaming, and the company has joined forces with the new-media platform Highsnobiety for online sales of curated street art, artist’s collectibles, and street wear. The new Paddle8 Artist Program commissions talents, like Madrid-based Nuria Mora and Australian-Singaporean duo Yok & Sheryo, to create site-specific murals at the company’s New York headquarters. And last year, P8Pass became the art market’s first blockchain authentication service. “It’s helpful to be able to trace a piece from its creation,” Depczyk says. “We’re all about making the market as transparent as possible.”
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Fall issue under the headline “Women Changing the Art World” Subscribe to the magazine.