The Only Agency, one of the most powerful management teams in fashion, is getting a little bigger. The agency has recently opened an office in London in addition to their New York and Los Angeles posts. The Only Agency’s Kent Belden tells The Daily why he’s opening across the pond and where they might be headed next.
Why did you decide to open a new office in London?
The Only Agency has always had an international presence, working with so many top creatives around the world, thus it was a natural progression to take our brand internationally. Given London’s proximity, energy and accessibility to the crux of the European market, opening a London office made sense. In doing so, we will now not only be able to service creatives in Europe, but we will also be able to better service our current US clients that work internationally on a regular basis.
Where will the offices be located and how many people are opening the offices?
The office will be located in the King’s Cross Area of London. To start, we have a full-time agent, Ruby May Allcock, based in London, but she will be cohesively supported by both the NY & LA based teams. Despite the fact that we operate on various coasts and now continents, we still operate as one machine. It’s very important to me that we work organically, as a unit and which is just how we have always operated. Our London team will continue to expand as our London-based clientele grows.
How will the London office differentiate compared to the New York and LA offices?
The London office will be a jumping off point for not only a European market but also to increase The Only’s presence on a global scale. London is a fashion-hub in and of itself, an incubator of some of the most amazing talent in the world. I see this new office as just the beginning. Having an on-the-ground presence in London will allow us to access the European fashion culture that is more increasingly crossing over to the US and the world. Our aim is to expand internationally, rather than just regionally. We want to better serve the needs of our clients around the world, and this office will provide for us, not only an expansion of our roster of international talent, but the opportunity for cross-collaboration between our artists no matter where they call home.
How much time will you be spending in the London office?
I will continue to travel between Los Angeles and New York on a regular basis and incorporate London as needed. I have the perfect flow between cities. Fortunately, consistent travel allows me to continue to oversee all projects and take a hands-on approach with all of our clients.
Will your roster be new? Who are some of your new clients in London?
We will continue to serve our existing clientele in London, such as Laury Smith, Coline Bach, Michelle Sultan, etc., but are always looking to expand our community. We will certainly be bringing on new clients, creatives and tapping into new territories as well.
What other cities do you plan on opening an office?
In the near future, I foresee our sister company, VIP showroom, The Residency Experience, joining us in London. The Only Agency is unique in that our stylists have access to some of the most original designers through The Residency Experience, hence, we are eager to provide that access to our international clients as well. From there, I’d love to work with one of our designers at The Residency, Steferé, who is Hong Kong based, to develop some sort of agent outpost in Asia. The Asian fashion and beauty market is growing exponentially. Asia is so rich in culture and opportunity. It would be helpful to have a base in which we can be on the ground to reach untapped areas of the industry.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re in London?
I know East London is the hot spot, but I always stay at my favorite boutique hotel, The Laslett in Notting Hill. It has such a comfortable vibe, it feels like an extension of my own house. And I can’t take a trip to London without eating at Casa Cruz! The food is always amazing and the ambiance is so chic – definitely a must!