I worked outside corporate America for about eight years. After Saks I free-lanced for a number of clients but eventually set up shop as christensenHARDIN llc in NYC and Westport, CT. I felt a great sense of freedom but with that came a more solitary way of working. Ultimately I'm better with a crowd. Great clients like Bill Blass, Kinerase, Robert Allen, ELLE and Elle DECOR, Saks Fifth Avenue and Birger Christensen USA (BCI) allowed me to do some great work. Even a few things for Jann Wenner at Rolling Stone. Clients also came to expect a "dramatic reading" of whatever copy I'd crafted for their project and I endlessly seemed to be comping something. Decades after Vogue I still hold myself to that magazine's hardline of excellence in execution and zero tolerance for anything but the very best in presentation.
Thank you Robin Sweet-Wyatt and thank you Mrs. Mirabella.
A few of the wonderful brands I worked on were Dior Beauté, Kinerase Skincare and of course Bill Bless. In each case
I enlisted great photographers like Anders Overgaard, James White and Sandi Fellman along with fab faces including Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann--and Courteney Cox. It all works when you have
the best players.
National ad campaigns for Judith Leiber (image, design and copy), Birger Christensen Furs for Saks Fifth Avenue & Holt Renfrew and newcomer LilyB Cosmetics. For the final campaign I shot Colbie Caillat as their spokesmodel.
More brand campaigns for Birger Christensen Furs and a reimagine campaign for magazine, Traditional Home. They wanted to be seen as less traditional. So I made them less traditional.
Ballard Designs hired me to redesign their hard working direct mail program.
I went a little further and tried to also redesign the logo and convince them to call themselves, "BALLARD". They wanted to...but didn't. I did manage to convince the CEO of Calico Corners to change their logo and call themselves "Calico". Made a big difference in how people perceived them--less fussy and
more in this century.
Joan Vass was challenging but wildly creative & talented. She sort of tortured me--but it was OK. Beacon Hill asked me to create their launch campaign for their new line Meritage. Esquire gave me the $$ to start my own business.
A complete redesign of the Skin Cancer Foundation Journal top to bottom. For Saks (a brand I love) I'm lucky to do a little work for them now and then.
Concept work for a repositioning campaign for UK brand Farrow & Ball. Additional concepts for Roaman's mens and women's businesses.
I've done several consultancies with Avon Products after leaving the company a few years ago. They continue to be challenged by an aging business model--direct selling. It's a wonderful company and their heart is in the right place--but they have a hard time getting out of their own way. Too many opinions and too many "new" people always being brought in to fix a problem that demands experience and understanding of how the Avon Representative (AKA LADY) works in this decade.
Jane Green Home is the brainchild of uber talented British author Jane Green. A talented and gifted writer, marketer, chef and designer she has her eye on the prize--to be the next Martha Stewart--but a nicer and happier one.
I believe she will do it. I've worked on publication design, product design and press promotions for her like the ones below to begin to position her as a real business opportunity for home manufacturers and vendors.
Design concepts for Random House books and a movie poster for a "little" movie called "RAVING" starring Zoey Deschanel and produced through ELLE magazine, directed by Julia Stiles.
Work for Sandi Fellman/Vessels, a new couture ceramics source. Skincare concept w/ video by Grace Huang. For Lividini & Co. an online concept for a vendor of rubber accessories. Not what you think.
Russ Hardin© 2019