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2009 March 18

Growing West

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(NEW YORK) Chic is most certainly going for Paul Wilmot. The power pub's empire is rapidly expanding following the September 2008 acquisiton of a majority stake in his brand by Fleishman-Hillard. First up? The opening of a Los Angeles branch of Paul Wilmot Communications, which will be managed by Alexandra Kimball and located in Hollywood.

"I would've done it a long time ago, but [Fleishman-Hillard] made it so attractive for us to open up there in terms of using their office space, back office operations, and showroom space," Wilmot said. "Attracting Alexandra to run the operation for us was key. I worked with her at Conde Nast, and she had a stint here at the agency. It was like a homecoming for us." Kimball often served as the vice president of public relations and communications for Oscar de la Renta, a post she left in 2006 to relocate to Los Angeles with her husband Billy Kimball, a prominent television writer. She is in the process of building a West Coast staff of account executives and assistants.

Wilmot and Kimball plan to announce several Los Angeles-based clients in the next several weeks. "We've decided to concentrate on our core practices--beauty, accessories, fashion, lifestyle and culture," explained Wilmot. "What we're not going to do is handle personalities. We feel the market is very well served by agencies out there already in terms of handling celebrities. Our Los Angeles operation will establish the core discipline of what we're about."

Paul Wilmot Communications currently represents brands like M.A.C, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, the Whitney Museum, American Ballet Theater, and Naeem Khan. "Our fashion and accessory clients here [in New York] would love to have more celebrity involvement--everything from wardrobing television shows and movies to getting an increased presence on the red carpet," Wilmot said. "It's a long commute back and forth, but in terms of this whole fashion scene, we're a two-coast country.I'll go [to Los Angeles] once a month and my partners will go once a month."
ASHLEY BAKER 




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