There are thousands of PR firms in New York City, but there are only 50 slots on our annual PR Power List. To salute even more of the great work we’ve seen this year, here’s our honor roll of the most influential firms in the architecture and design industry. Agencies on previous honor rolls have graduated to the PR Power 50, so watch this space.
Life would be good if Christine Abbate’s clients outfitted our pad—think Poltrona Frau, Fisher & Paykel, LATOxLATO and Ameico, which all joined the Novita roster in 2019. Now a 21-person certified Women Business Enterprise, the firm also handled projects like the Architecture & Design Film Festival in Toronto, Brooklyn Designs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the launch of Room & Board’s Business Interiors division and more.
Never heard of UpSpring? Sarah Terzic and Tiffany Rafii’s 10-year-old firm has been too busy talking up an expansive list of architecture, design and real estate clients to blab about themselves. On the roster: Ethan Allen, Perkins and Will, Pininfarina, DIFFA, AERIN and PaintZen. Headcount doubled this year; revenue is expected to climb an insane 75% in 2019 over last year.
Growth for this tiny firm doesn’t mean more hires or a flood of clients; as founders Elizabeth Kubany and Rachel Judlowe make clear, they’d rather do the work than upsell or manage payrolls. A refined client list appreciates the attention: Brooklyn lighting maker Roll & Hill, the Rothko Chapel, landscape architect Thomas Woltz, design celebration Exhibit Columbus and more.
Workhouse’s wheelhouse extends all over the place—talent, music, spirits—but some of its most intriguing work happens for design-forward clients like Assouline, Porsche, Jeremy Scott, Wantful and Rizzoli. Bonus: Workhouse promoted Vanishing New York creator Jeremiah Moss’ “Cash Mob” event to save legendary NYC corner store Gem Spa this summer.
It’s been a year of high-low coups for this “fashion services” giant. KCD helped open New Jersey’s insane $5 billion American Dream mall; it also ran front-of-house for Tom Ford’s spring 2020 show inside an abandoned NYC subway platform, complete with real MTA workers. And then there’s the heavyweight roster of clients like Alexander Wang, Maison Margiela, Louis Vuitton, Rick Owens, Farfetch, Hudson Yards and—yes!—H&M.