Natalie Shirinian, Founder & Elizabeth Baudouin, Partner
From shining a spotlight on unknown talents to creating more buzz around established brands, the duo behind NES Creative takes the same approach: rooted in authenticity and storytelling. Founder Natalie Shirinian and Partner Elizabeth Baudouin channel their creative backgrounds to give their clients a non-traditional approach to communications across all platforms. We spoke with them about their recent projects, plus the up-and-coming designers to know now.
What is NES Creative?
NES is a creative communications agency for the leading edge in style, design and culture. We take a unique approach to an otherwise traditional practice across all channels of communication. With NES, authenticity is key.
What were you both doing prior to starting the agency and how did things come together to start it?
Natalie: Before founding NES in 2010, I was working in the film industry, and writing about culture for various publications. After a while, I wanted something new so I began freelancing at various design PR agencies and noticed there wasn’t an agency that represented the more fresh and interesting designers - the cool kids, if you will. I also realized there was so much influence and crossover with fashion and design and there wasn't much representation covering both. I moved to New York from LA and started NES to represent this niche group. Elizabeth, who had a background in alternative marketing, music promotion and culture journalism joined me in December 2015 to open our New York office and pop up exhibition space.
How do you find being partners in work as well as life? Are there any specific things you do to make it work?
Elizabeth: It’s very natural for us in particular. We enjoy creating, strategizing and producing together - and spending all our time together. And as similar as we are, we are also complete opposites. It’s a unique situation making for the right mix to make it work.
Tell us about your other work passions: filmmaking and writing
Natalie: I’m currently in post-production on my debut film, Interior Motives,
a documentary on the connection between fashion and design. It features the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Michele Lamy, Rick Owens, Maria Cornejo, Ryan Korban, Mary McDonald and more. The film will be popping up around the film festival circuit in 2019.
Elizabeth: I just finished the first draft of my first book - a memoir as told through a series of essays based on this essay I wrote and recently published in Vogue.
Can you point to any exciting, up-and-coming designers we should know about?
Anna Karlin and Alex P. White are both on the rise right now.
What type of counsel do your clients come to you for? Have you found it changing in recent times?
Natalie: Our clients come to us for a different approach to elevating their brand presence and the way their business communicates across all platforms. Media, content, experiential, collaborations, etc. They want to stand out from the noise. Since we are both creatives ourselves and come from storytelling and production, they value our non-traditional approach that gives them visibility and creates awareness of what they are doing.
Elizabeth: There are unknown talents that want to break into the market, talent that has been in the shadows for years who are ready for the spotlight, established brands that want to hit the next level, brands that need need a spike in buzz, exhibitions that want to own the conversation and crossover brands that want an agency that can communicate in all worlds.
How do you aim to differentiate your consultancy from others in your field?
Natalie: Our approach is truly unique and rooted in authenticity and storytelling. We are also highly collaborative with our clients on all levels of their business including managerial and artistic direction.
What would be your advice for people starting out their careers, who want to get into your industry?
Natalie: Do the research and take the time to meet with the people you want to work with and educate yourself on what makes them stand out. Always make sure you enjoy the talent and clients you’re working with and don’t ever take on a client for the money - you have to love their work.