Arnold, No. 11 Form Alliance

NEW YORK Havas’ Arnold, looking to beef up its high-end fashion credentials, is partnering with New York’s No. 11, a fashion-focused agency, to form ArnoldEleven.

John Staffen, CCO of Arnold in New York, and Giovanni Russo, CEO of No. 11, will jointly run ArnoldEleven, said Lynn Power, evp, Arnold.

“Working together over the last year or so, our teams realized there is a true void in this space. Until now, some clients sacrificed strong creative excellence for full-service resources or vice versa. With ArnoldEleven, clients can now accomplish with one team what they would’ve had to accomplish with multiple partners,” said Staffen, in a statement.

ArnoldEleven’s first client is Red Envelope in San Francisco, the online gift retailer. The new venture also will be presenting Arnold’s defense of Talbots’ $20 million account, which went into review last week.

“It’s hard getting sexier fashion brands because we’re perceived as a traditional ad agency,” said Power. “In fashion it’s all about perception. Giovanni knows fashion, and we bring strategic abilities.”

No. 11’s work includes projects for Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret, among others. Arnold handles brands such as American Legacy, Fidelity Investments and Timberland.

The two companies will split the fees. Theoretically a client would have access to all 700 or so Arnold employees and their specialties that make up the company.

“Arnold is a terrific partner to provide us with business strategy expertise and integrated communications across all media,” said No. 11’s Russo, in a statement. “I look forward to this partnership as a way to grow both of our agencies’ capabilities and client rosters.”