NEW LATITUDE: London may be jammed with fashion and luxury communications, marketing and public relations firms, but Adam Shapiro believes there’s ample opportunity for a startup to make its mark. On Feb. 8, the KCD and Burberry veteran is officially launching L52 Communications, which he describes as an international boutique agency.
Shapiro’s roster of clients includes rising stars such as New Yorker Michael Halpern, formerly of J. Mendel, Atelier Versace and Oscar de la Renta, who is showing his first collection in London with a presentation on Feb. 18. A graduate of Parsons School of Design and Central Saint Martins, Halpern is known for his languid eveningwear, couture hand and sequin-studded, disco aesthetic.
Shapiro’s books also include the Italian footwear designer Fabrizio Viti who, in addition to designing his own label, remains shoe director at Louis Vuitton, working with Nicolas Ghesquière on the French brand’s collections. Other clients include accessories brand Edie Parker, and Scandinavian Man Fashion Week, a new trade event that will showcase brands drawn from the Copenhagen and Stockholm shows. Shapiro has also been working with Swarovski in an advisory capacity.
The offices are on Maiden Lane in London’s Covent Garden, and the name of the business derives from the midway point between London and New York, in latitude terms, said Shapiro. The website is L52.world.
Shapiro spent more than a decade at KCD in New York and London (he was the first London employee, working with the managing director Nan Richards). In between KCD jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, he oversaw Burberry’s PR for continental Europe. As for his latest project, Shapiro said it was time to build a business of his own.
He believes there’s “a niche for a next-generation agency” that mixes the corporate with the creative, and said that being a New Yorker in London has its benefits. “You’re able to execute at a speed that’s unparalleled,” said Shapiro, adding that he’ll be able to “access the world” from the British capital.