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Saturday, October 10, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Linda Gaunt, Strategic Marketer and Public Relations Legend

Linda Gaunt brings a unique combination of perspective, expertise and access to the firm that bears her name. Over the course of her career, she has earned a sterling reputation in the fashion/luxury industry for her keen strategic vision and meticulous and artful execution of programs that support business objectives and brand image.

At Linda Gaunt Communications, a New York based Strategic Communications, Marketing and PR agency, she adds to that record of success. 

Much of that record was built at Giorgio Armani. As Armani’s EVP Communications, Linda spearheaded marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns at the storied house, overseeing communications for all its brands - men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, beauty, home and the designer’s retail stores in the United States. She was also responsible for the brand’s overall image and positioning, including the creation and implementation of key strategic partnerships, sponsorships and special projects. In this capacity, she helped to establish the Guggenheim Museum’s historic Giorgio Armani Exhibition, one of the crowning achievements of her 12-year tenure at the brand. The exhibition continues to tour the globe. 

Since founding Linda Gaunt Communications 5 years ago, she has gone on to work with several more of the top fashion and luxury goods brands in the world, among them Versace, Bottega Veneta and Donna Karan’s Urban Zen, as well as companies from other sectors who want exposure in the lifestyle arena.

Linda is married and has two children, Lizzy and Andrew and an adored Irish Water Spaniel named Buddy.  We are pleased to present her as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Linda Gaunt for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan:  Where did you enjoy working most prior to starting your own firm, and why?
Linda Gaunt: Giorgio Armani was a dynamic company that understood and valued image.

What do you like most and least about having your own firm?
The ability to work with diverse clients and bring things to them that they did not even know they wanted. The thing I like least is not being able to leave the work at the office.

What do most people not know about the luxury market that they should know?
It is an essential part of the entire economy.

What is the key to success in the current market for Luxury Brands?
Luxury brands must understand that their customers have changed and they have to find new ways to speak to them.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
People I’ve worked with: Helen O’Hagan, Dawn Mello, Gabriella Forte, Giorgio Armani, Robert Isabell.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
Madison Avenue.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
Urban Zen.

What is your favorite drink?

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
At the moment, The Standard Grill.

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
MOMA’s Lucien Freud exhibit catalogue.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Watching the Knicks from floor seats.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Walk through Central Park.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
U2 at Madison Square Garden.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
New York Notes, covers a lot.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I prefer to promote my clients not myself, however,  people know me and my reputation and now I want them to know my agency.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?

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