Arnold N.Y. Earns Fashion Cred

After ramping up its beauty and fashion expertise with five hires in 2005, Arnold in New York this week reeled in two accounts: fashion company Lee Jeans and skincare line Lumene.

For the $30 million Lee account, Arnold beat out DDB and Lowe with the tagline, “Find your fit,” a reference to its new jean-fit system. (It’s still unclear whether that tag will be used.) The creative eschewed Buddy Lee’s sly young sell for a tone more suited to Lee’s mid-American department store shoppers, said ecd John Staffen, adding that the client asked only for print and TV work, but Arnold offered online, guerrilla and design components as well.

For Lumene, the agency will aim to inject personality—”Nordic nature,” he said—to a brand that in the U.S. resides among a host of competitors on shelves. Spending will initially range from $5 million to $10 million, said svp Ned Russell.

“One of those things that New York has to offer is the fashion and beauty world,” said Staffen. “From the very beginning, that was one of the things I said could distinguish us from the Boston office.”

Staffen filled the Lee pitch with staffers hired in part for their experience in those categories, including group account director Lynn Power, cd/designer Kate Begbie, svp/cd Thomas Mueller, group cd Kate Murphy and cd Ken Ferris.

Experienced staffing was important, Staffen said, because many fashion clients keep their marketing chores in-house. “They don’t want to get caught up in the ad agency bullshit, so you need to know how to speak that language.”