8 Design PR Teams to Watch

Interior design has been front of mind for many of us this year, for obvious reasons. As we've become amateur decorators and re-arrangers, turning our homes into workspaces and classrooms, the pros in this space have been keeping us inspired and informed. Shout out to the publicists behind these brilliant brands – some storied and some new, some local and some global. Here are the design PR pros to keep up with for the latest in the shelter space, and make sure to follow them on social for daily design inspo.

THE CONSULTANCY PR

Armadillo Andes Parchment

Lauren Urband founded THE CONSULTANCY PR in 2015, the culmination of years spent working for some of the most highly regarded PR firms in NYC and LA (think: LaForce, Magrino, Starworks Group and HL Group). Amid her agency years, Lauren also worked as in-house Director of Public Relations and Marketing for legendary interior designer Kelly Wearstler. These experiences ultimately led her to hone her passion and expertise in interiors, home furnishings, fashion and the luxury lifestyle market. Today, THE CONSULTANCY PR merges the best of Lauren’s 20 years of work experience with her entrepreneurial spirit, offering clients big agency capabilities with the intimate, individualized approach of a boutique firm.

On the client roster:

Armadillo, Dacor, Design Within Reach, Dims., HAY, Herman Miller, Lalique, MoMA Design Store, Outer, reform, The Container Store Custom Closets

#1 design trend:

A bright spot in these troubling times is that there is a renewed focus on the home and a return to cozy interiors. Gone are the days when a home was solely designed to look good on Instagram and too precious to be lived in. While aesthetics remain important, now it’s all about merging comfort and style – think low-slung, deep sofas, plush materials (hello boucle) and gorgeous greenery that brings an element of the outdoors in.

 

Cordero Consulting

Grisoro Designs / Photo: Shade Degges

Byron Cordero refers to himself as a connector, a sure indicator of how Cordero Consulting has become a fast-growing firm to watch. More proof: in 2017, Byron was awarded the national PR News PR Rising Star 30 and Under Award in Washington D.C. With 10 years of experience in media – including work in advertising sales, editorial and PR – he’s sharpened a unique perspective to guide clients with. The company goes beyond media relations to ensure client messaging is symbiotic with the brands' ethos, something that’s more important today than ever.

On the client roster: 

Black Artists + Designers Guild, Right Meets Left Interior Design, Grisoro Designs, Mitchell Hill, Ratana, O.Henry House, Lucy Harris Studio

#1 design trend:

Authenticity. People are being way more cognizant of their buying decisions. If you are a brand that promotes sustainability, consumers will dissect all aspects of your business from how you manufacture, what materials are used, and how you upkeep your green status. They will not support phonies. Name of the game in 2021: Transparency. If you are a designer, make sure that you are making conscious choices about the brands that you choose to exemplify the residences and hospitality spaces because, again, consumers will notice if you are not being consistent with the message you are otherwise telling.

 

Nylon Consulting

Maiden Home

Nylon Consulting founder Laura Bindloss started her PR career when she moved from Seattle to London, working in fashion before moving into an in-house PR role for a luxury fabric brand. Four years later, Laura moved to NYC and launched her now-thriving PR and social media agency, which has brokered partnerships for their clients with The Met Gala, Bergdorf Goodman, Moda Operandi and Anthropologie. Nylon only just launched the social side at the end of 2019, and it has already grown to represent a third of the company in its first year.

On the client roster:

Though 2020 has been a tough year for all agencies, Nylon has won marquee clients like Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, The New York Design Center, Framebridge, media brand The Business of Home and furniture startup Maiden Home.

#1 design trend:

Warm modernism - curved silhouettes, elevated materials and muted hues. Also elevated performance fabrics - Maiden Home just launched a performance wool boucle and is launching performance velvet this fall - perfect for that guest that spills wine. Beautiful furniture no longer has to be sacrificed to a lifestyle that has children and dogs.

 

Stacy McLaughlin Communications

Achille Salvagni

Stacy McLaughlin first launched her boutique luxury PR and integrated marketing communications firm in 2001, going on her own after working PR for prestigious names including publisher Thames & Hudson and Harriet Weintraub Public Relations. Among many notable clients, Stacy worked closely with 1stdibs founder Michael Bruno to grow the ​breakthrough ​online luxury platform, briefly going inhouse as Communications Director. After a successful build out, Stacy relaunched her firm in 2013, which today serves a broad clientele from architects and interior designers, design galleries, artists, real estate, publishing and specialty retail.

On the client roster: 

Michael Bruno – Valley Rock Inn, TastemakersGuide.com, Maison Gerard, Dorothy Draper & Company – Carleton Varney, Achille Salvagni Atelier, A La Vieille Russie, Phillip Thomas Inc.,

#1 design trend:

In general, people are putting more thought into where, how and what they are spending their money on in the home. However, with so much time spent at home, our clients have seen an uptick in clients’ investments in home offices and transitional spaces. It’s important to have designated “work spaces” that are separate from the bedroom and living rooms. When you don’t it is much harder to find the time and space to unwind. We are in a time when people are truly committed to creating spaces that reflect their personality and filling them with items that bring them joy, a happy home equals a happy life.

 

Gotham PR

Karen Asprea Designs for Phoebe Robinson in Industry City, Brooklyn, NY

Courtney Lukitsch founded Gotham PR in 2002, which today caters to a global client roster in specialized practice areas: art, architecture, design, culture, tech, retail, real estate, planning, development & production; plus cultural advocacy. Now in its 18th year, the boutique consultancy has offices located in New York, Florida and London and represents clients in 20 US markets and 30 countries worldwide. Gotham PR is experiencing triple growth over the pandemic due to the essential nature of its roster of architects, designers, engineers, planners, developers, builders, showrooms and custom contractors. Likewise the arts, culture, entertainment and DTC online retail category is expanding, due to the extra 'found time in lockdown' – to innovate creatively, and to advocate on majorly pressing issues in society.

On the client roster:

Adam Hunter Inc, Karen Asprea Studio, Gramercy Design, GWWO Inc, Portman Architects,  Secretcape [UK]

#1 design trend:

Architects and designers are most comfortable speaking and working conceptually, although we bring a lot of best practices into the relationship on the business development and marketing side, at Gotham PR. It’s important to forecast ahead, and we are very much into planning Q2 2021 already, in terms of editorial, creative partnerships and working to create custom designs with major brands, client-side. The coming year will see us scaling up again from working with smaller studios to major enterprises, inclusive of design books, tv series, films -- new technology platforms and DTC retail in addition.

 

Head & Hand PR

Eva Society

Having lived and worked in Hamburg, London, Milan and Paris, Katharina Plath launched Head & Hand PR to connect people in the art and design field on an international level. Over the last 10 years, that vision has very much come to be; the NYC-based firm has successfully managed and launched luxury home brands and interior designers into the American market. The multilingual team is positioned to reach both a national and international audience, specializing in the luxury design, lifestyle, real estate and art industries.

On the client roster: 

Azimut Benetti Group, Dedar, Gaggenau, Lasvit, Modernist Cuisine Gallery, Roche Bobois, Tihany Design, Amy Lau, Robert Couturier

#1 design trend:

Biophilic interior design! We see an overwhelming effort to incorporate natural and highly personal elements in the home to promote healing and well-being. As our attitudes toward self-care have evolved, Eva Society brings that same sense of empowerment to design and architecture. Founder Fabrizia Zorzenon created a service that helps clients create spaces that reflect their true nature. It all begins with a one-on-one "reading" which guides clients by gaining insight into their inner self. “The Map of Opportunities,” as Zorzenon refers to it, is a highly personalized tool that reveals how color, light, shape, natural world elements, and layout create visceral connections with the power to awaken one’s true self and fulfill their highest potential. The map combining aspects of quantum physics, ancient wisdom, and tarot practice allows Fabrizia to instinctively pick the best design options for her clients that will result in a space that promotes a sense of growth, clarity, and intention. Our feedback after experiencing this magical session: you will never look at your home the same way again!

 

Wolf PR

Sabai

Nora Wolf launched her boutique public relations shop in 2011, and to this day still takes inspiration from her undergraduate degree in art and design. Wolf PR specializes in furniture, textiles, lighting and collectable design (always welcoming a diversity of clients, though, including a Fortune 300 multinational chemical company to DTC cat food start up!). Despite the pandemic, she recently decided to launch a second business with colleague Kirsten Larson, called Wolf Craft, to address PR needs outside of her first business. This PR strategy firm caters to companies and individuals whose budgets haven’t allowed them PR help in the past; they provide 1-1 consulting, audits and reporting, and digital courses centered around specific pain points in PR.

On the client roster:

Graf Lantz, Sabai, Pair, Haand

#1 design tip:

I've been noticing a bigger and more meaningful push towards ethical choices. I see a movement away from language that says "We source responsible materials whenever we can," which isn't really a commitment at all, it's just a nice idea that makes people feel good, and move more towards actual commitments and recognized certifications. Brands are committing to gender parity at every level of their company, stores are stocking a minimum of 15% black owned brands, manufacturers are looking to reduce emissions, packaging, and source responsible materials.

 

Novità Communications

Duravit

Chris Abbate is the founder behind Novità Communications, the 25-year-old PR, marketing and social media firm focused on the A&D, building and real estate spaces. Prior to starting her company, Chris was the director of marketing for the Italian Tile Center of the Italian Trade Commission. Her industry dedication goes beyond her client work: she is focused on sustainability and recently co-created the US Pavilion Rekonstruct at the Triennale Museum in Milan. She also co-founded the DesignStandsTogether platform, represents the American Society of Interior Designers, is a board trustee for DIFFA and is an Advisory Committee member for NYCxDESIGN. Novità, which means ‘The News’ in Italian, has HQs in NYC and Milan. The firm has been on the Observer Top 50 US PR Agency list for two years and took the first spot in the Observer List of Design PR Agencies in 2019. 

On the client roster:

Ceramics of Italy, Duravit, Humanscale, Fisher & Paykel, True Residential, NeoCon, Salone del Mobile, ASID, DIFFA, Architecture and Design Film Festival, Room & Board, Architectural Digest Design Show, Oppenheim Architecture, Poltrona Frau

#1 design trend:

These are uncertain times as we look ahead at the end of the year, but we can’t help feeling a positive force as some clients are reporting encouraging recent sales due to the incredible growth in home purchases and renovations. Affluent consumers that were not able to travel this summer, poured money into homes and are continuing to do so.

 


Dressing for a New Normal: WFH, Zoom Calls & Socially-Distanced Date Night

As we all navigate a new normal, we find ourselves being more intentional with our everyday practices and routines. Getting dressed to go into a physical office every day or putting on those sky-high stilettos for date night just might not be feasible right now. So, we tapped the luxury personal styling team at BREE JACOBY to get their take on four fashion and shopping trends, plus how to get the look – whether it’s for a virtual meeting or a now-precious in-person affair. 

1. Shop Sustainably

Retail trend forecasting shows that consumers are holding brands accountable for sustainable and ethical fashion practices. We are so lucky to have a plethora of resources to do our own research on sustainable clothing options at all different options. As we move towards a “less is more” approach to our closets, we want to feel good about investing in pieces that are good for ourselves and the environment. 

2. Fashion is NOT Pain

No longer are we sacrificing comfort for the sake of fashion. We’re seeing our clients gravitating towards pieces that balance comfort with style. The last thing we want to do is look and feel uncomfortable in a stiff blazer or stilettos. The key to looking effortless for your next Zoom call or socially-distanced date is making sure nothing looks too “perfect.” When you already have the foundation of good basics in your closet, it’s easy to put together outfits you’re already comfortable in. 

3. Choose Multi-Use Pieces

We love a versatile piece that can go from day to night or lounging to date night. An essential this season is a super cozy cardigan that can be paired with a slip dress, turtleneck, jeans, or even worn as a top itself! 

See which pieces you’re constantly gravitating towards and notice the trend-forward items that you’re not utilizing as much. That’s why we always schedule closet edits with our clients a minimum of twice a year. “Out with the old and in with the new” is a mantra that stays true within our closets and our inner beings!

4. Athleisure is Here to Stay!

No one can deny the comfort and ease of a good athleisure set. Whether you’re staying in or going on a walk, the right athleisure sets combine comfort with style. Our tips for elevated sets: stick with a neutral color palette and invest in a quality set that won’t tarnish after one wash. Elevate your athleisure sets with a statement outerwear piece like a blazer, leather jacket or trench to feel effortlessly cool and comfortable. 

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