L.A. STATE OF MIND: Spring London has become the latest European brand and communications agency to hear the siren call of the U.S., opening a Los Angeles outpost this week.
Phillip Bodenham, chief executive officer of Spring London, which was founded in 2009 and counts Chalayan, Alexis Mabille, A.F. Vandevorst and Edeline Lee among its clients, said he chose Los Angeles over New York for a variety of reasons.
In an interview, he said having full collections in London — as well as L.A. — means Spring “can move quickly both on celebrity and digital across the U.S., South America, Canada and the important Australian market. It seemed the most modern approach.”
He added that the teams in London and L.A. will both handle requests and opportunities from New York. Spring Los Angeles will open with 12 clients, including Vandevorst, Bora Aksu, Chalayan, Malene Oddershede Bach and Paula Knorr. Bodenham said the agency is in “late-stage discussions” with a handful more.
The L.A. hub, located in West Hollywood, will work on digital, public relations and editorial, events, collaborations, influencer and designer relations, and VIP placement.
“We’re very digitally focused and that brings about a new, exciting way to approach things,” he said, adding that Spring works like an in-house team for the brands, ensuring that all p.r. campaigns, communications and celebrity activities dovetail.
Bodenham believes the city’s vibe is hard to beat. Tom Ford, Jeremy Scott, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy would agree.
“The energy here is so great creatively, artistically and business-wise. So much is happening and the Californian entrepreneurial spirit has filtered down from Silicon Valley and shapes much of the modern world. I like that can-do attitude,” Bodenham said.
Spring has hired three staff for the L.A. office and Bodenham said that will soon grow to six. He plans to divide his time between Los Angeles and London.
Asked whether the move to L.A. was a hedge against Brexit, Bodenham said it was not.
“We’ve been working on this for three years now and the decision was really between opening in New York or L.A. It came down to the spirit there and the clients’ collections and resources.”
He added that opening an office in the U.S. means Spring can provide its clients with “a global network of coordinated campaigns.” Bodenham said plans for further offices are already in the works. He said there are two more opportunities that Spring is looking into, and additional plans to launch new divisions.