PARIS — KCD, the New York-based public relations and production agency, is eyeing further European expansion and has tapped a high-profile media executive to spearhead the effort.
Nan Richards, former president of Turner Broadcasting System Europe, parent of CNN Europe, has been named KCD’s European strategic growth consultant and charged with finding innovative ways to serve the firm’s clients and the press in Europe and the U.K. She will be based in London and report to KCD’s co-presidents Ed Filipowski and Julie Mannion.
Digital initiatives, content development and partnerships are among growth avenues Richards is to explore. At CNN from 1997 to 2007, she created and managed the company’s joint ventures across television and new media, taking a technology-driven, mutliplatform approach. She holds numerous board positions and advises entertainment and media companies.
Detecting fashion’s increasingly global nature, privately held KCD opened a Paris branch in 2000, and continues to chart double-digit growth in Europe. Its client roster includes Chloé, Alexander McQueen, Isabel Marant and Balmain, plus it represents a number of American designers and brands on the continent, including Alexander Wang and Gap.
According to sources, establishing operations in London, a key media and fashion capital, is among Richard’s initial priorities.
Filipowski noted that about 60 percent of the work KCD does in the U.S. is digitally based, including for trafficking collections and managing show invitations and RSVPs. In general, the digital landscape in Europe is not as developed, he noted. “Our goal is to stay ahead of the curve and bring new ideas,” he said.
The agency established a digital arm a year ago and has since created tailor-made programs for clients including Mugler and Balmain.
In terms of content development, KCD plans to leverage its access to designers to exalt the “art and craft that goes into our industry,” Filipowski noted.
Founded in 1984, KCD counts 47 employees across five divisions: p.r., production, casting, consulting and digital.