Industry Insiders: Dan Barton, No Such Thing

Brit Dan Barton is President of No Such Agency, a bi-coastal boutique branding and communications agency that specializes in fashion, music, media, art and lifestyle. Some of his clients include British artist Alan Aldridge, urban designer Marc Ecko, musician Danny Saber, and music label Wall Of Sound Records. Barton was also a founding member of the Cool Council, which was a government-endorsed authority on ‘cool’ in the UK. Plus, he serves as the Vice President of Marketing for Flaunt Magazine. More on multitasking with all things abuzz in the cool stratosphere after the jump.

On getting from Point A to Point B: After my degree, I started out in the nightclub business in the UK, and then I was hired by Diesel, working my way up to being the Head of Marketing for the Diesel Group—including Diesel, Martin Margiela, DSquared2 and 55DSL. I moved to the US in early ’05 as Vice President of Marketing for Diesel. I left in late ’07 after 12 years. I realized that I was living off, not working up to, my best work there, and went to Rock & Republic for about five seconds. I then set up NSA as the marketing extension of The Flaunt Group. I’ve been out of the picture for a year or so due to personal circumstances, but this year I’ve returned to set up offices in both Los Angeles and New York, along with our sister agency Erin Hawker’s Agentry PR. I’ve grown the business from no money to a little under $1 million in just a few months. I’ve busted my ass doing so, but all things considered, it all seems to be going rather well. Inspiring folks: Marc Ecko. He’s totally uncompromising, super smart, a brilliant artist, exceptionally likable, and someone who never fails to surprise. He made me eat this giant shrimp once—head, shell and all. It was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever tasted, once I got over the fact that I was chewing on tiny eyeballs, and probably a bit of shrimp crap. Also, Jamison Earnest of Yellow Fever. He’ll hustle his way to heaven, and he’ll do it sponsored by Redbull and with a supermodel on his arm. He’s matured over the last few years, into a creative powerhouse across multiple disciplines—fashion, music and art, and he remains one of most well-connected guys in the city. I admire both these guys so much because they can divide opinion. You either love them or hate them, and only people that are 100% true to themselves can do that. Biggest things happening in the biz: Specialists rule. Ben Sherman has been spending the ‘downtime’ of the recession creating what might well be the best button-down shirt collection in the world. They’re focusing on their craft. Companies that take this approach are smart, as when the upswing gains momentum, they’ll have built more integrity, and consequently will take a stronger position than they were in before the recession. I’ve also seen many clients return to PR as their primary focus for their communications activities, which is also smart, particularly if you hire us! Worst things: Jealous people—usually bloggers—declaring everything lame just because they don’t have the gumption or the talent to go out and do it themselves. Secrets that no one knows: I’m the heir presumptive to the title of Lord of the Manor of Denstone, and I have the freedom of the city of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (UK). Also, I don’t think many people know that I maintain carbon neutrality, thanks to carbon offsetting, energy conservation and recycling. People don’t realize how inexpensive and easy it is to do. On the horizon for the rest of 2010: We’re working with Falcon Motorcycles, which is an unusual client for a lifestyle company like ours, but they’re so ridiculously cool that they fit in with our media, fashion and music clients perfectly. They make the coolest custom motorcycles from derelict old British bikes. You’ll see them on a very big international advertising campaign later this year. We’ve also been doing a bit of philanthropic work for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We threw a fundraiser at the Roosevelt Hotel’s Tropicana Bar last month and raised a five figure sum, thanks to generous support from brands such as Tom Ford, DSquared2, Diesel, Ben Sherman and Thomas Wylde. We want to continue down this path as well. Plans for tonight: I just got back from my meeting with Brit photographer Rankin at Chateau Marmont to discuss his forthcoming show in Mexico City that we’re working on with him. Too tired to go out tonight. Guilty pleasure: Vegan food. The poor chickpeas. Go-to spots: I really do love Soho House in Los Angeles. It’s Nick Jones’ best yet. In New York, I love La Esquina for the relentlessly cool crowd, the tequila menu and the best corn on the cob in the city. In London, I love Les Trois Garcons, despite the rather off-putting stuffed giraffe.