Naked Communications is launching a new shop, Naked Luxury.
The new shop is backed by Naked, which is owned by the Australian-based Enero Group, and will be run by Anthony Bianco, a longtime Berlin Cameron executive; Paul Sevigny, New York DJ, nightclub mogul and brother of actor Chloe Sevigny; and Izzy DeBellis, group chief creative and strategy officer at Naked Communications. Mr. Debellis will remain at Naked while also working on Naked Luxury.
Naked Luxury will be focused on connecting celebrities and other influencers with luxury brands in a way that seeks to go beyond the same old product endorsement. But the agency won't just be a broker between the two parties, it will produce creative that will involve the input of the celebrities.
"Most relationships with brands and celebrities are just endorsements," said Mr. Sevigny. "It's a very common mistake a lot of people are making, and we want to be much more collaborative than people are used to."
Mr. DeBellis and Mr. Bianco give credit to Mr. Sevigny for much of the shop's ability to do that. Mr. Sevigny has long been involved with brands, from DJing to parties sponsored by brands to the planning of brand strategies. "We don't go through the traditional pathway to influencers," said Mr. Bianco. He added that Mr. Sevigny's rolodex will enable them to easily connect with influential types "without playing telephone through 10 different people. We're talking to them and the client together so it cuts down on a lot of clutter."
Mr. Bianco and Mr. Sevigny met in childhood, but first worked together during Mr. Bianco's days at Berlin Cameron, when the two were introduced through work on Belvedere vodka, a brand Mr. Sevigny had been working with. The two began working together more seriously about a year and a half ago, and once Mr. DeBellis, longtime friend of Mr. Bianco, got involved they decided to launch Naked Luxury.
The agency has just under 20 employees. Similar to Naked, Naked Luxury aims to bring together strategy, planning and creative together from the get-go. "We'll operate as a single department, rather than having to hand off strategy or execution to another department," said Mr. Debellis. "I came to Naked to marry strategy and creative together and Naked Luxury is really a manifestation of that."
Mr. Debellis added that the shop wants to be careful about the kinds of partnerships it chooses. "In this world of being disruptive, how can you bring brands and influencers together in a way that feels more authentic? That's what we want to bring."
Already the shop has work launching this week for Absolut's Elyx, a premium vodka, which is partnering with nonprofit Water for People to bring potable water to 100,000 people worldwide. The goal of the campaign is that for every bottle of Absolut Elyx bought, a week's worth of drinking water will be brought to people in need. Naked Luxury brought together a slew of celebrities, including Taylor Kitsch, George Wallace, Aimee Mann, Natasha Lyonne, Chloe Sevigny and Fred Armisen, who directs and also appears in the video promoting the partnership. (Ms. Lyonne is also producer.)
"We want to actually bring together influencers, rather than just buying their influence," said Mr. DeBellis. "We want to create an environment where both brands and influencers are happy. We feel like we're the hosts of really interesting parties."