Agent J is One of Greek America’s 40 Under 40

Julie Karatzis, photo by Carla Choy

By day, she pitches.  By night, she letterpresses.  Agent J, like any true secret agent, has many identities. And this week, she’s being recognized for the one of the most important ones.  Congratulations are in big order for Julie who’s flying to New York this week to attend Greek America’s Forty under 40 Awards Reception.  Her fellow honorees in the Class of 2012 include a motley crew of accomplished Hellenic professionals ranging from a State Assembly member to a geneticist, with a smattering of lawyers and philanthropists, and one of the Three Stooges.

Συγχαρητήρια!

(Photo: Carla Choy)


Spotted: Limited Edition Hirokazu Kosaka Prints

We’ve already talked quite a bit about LA Bloom, but here’s the one part of the festival that is not fleeting.  A few lucky people (ourselves counted among them hopefully) will go home with a limited edition print of Hirokazu Kosaka’s Mare Imbrium or Sea of Rain.  JACCC will be taking orders for 100 numbered prints.  An unframed print runs a cool $100.  Order a fully matted and framed wall-ready version for $200.


Go: LA Bloom Festival

April showers mean May flowers…LA Blooms, to be exact.  This spring, don’t miss the first-ever LA Bloom Festival, a nine-day celebration of transformation and Japanese arts and culture, hosted by the Japanese American Cultural Community Center in Little Tokyo.  Co-curators – acclaimed international artist and modern zen master Hirokazu Kosaka and landscape architect and artist Calvin Abe – have transformed the iconic Noguchi plaza in Little Tokyo into a temporary ecoartspace, replete with one of the world’s largest zen gardens, a colorful metaphorical rainbow (more on that later!), and exhibitions on contemporary and traditional ikebana.  Add to that performances, workshops, and a three-time world champion of sumo wrestling and you have a veritable LA Bloom bouquet of activities.  With so much programming packed into nine days, we thought we’d give you the how to’s and what’s whats.

Opening Night Performance: Mare Nubium – Friday, April 27th – 8pm

Mare Nubium is the abbreviated performance of the much-lauded kalpa, which was performed at the kick-off of Pacific Standard Time at the Getty. In Sanskrit, kalpa means eons, or a long period of time. It’s said that once every hundred years, an angel comes down from heavens and swipes the surface of a stone with her silk sleeves until the rock disappears. Hiro Kosaka creates a symbolic parallel between the kalpa and the inevitable passage of time that slowly transforms our lives and the memories that we hold onto. Performers include Butoh (Japanese dancer) master Oguri, who leads a small company of dancers.  It’s deep, and beautiful, seriously.  Buy tickets here now.  Listen for an upcoming interview with Hiro by Lisa Napoli on All Things Considered.

de LaB Tour with Hiro and Little Tokyo Happy Hour – Wednesday, May 2nd – 6pm to 10 pm

If you miss the opening night performance, catch de LaB‘s special tour with Hiro next week to get an explanation of LA Bloom from the modern day zen master himself.  End the evening with a much-deserved cocktail at Little Tokyo Happy Hour in the zen garden.  RSVP here.  Admission is free otherwise and the ecoartspace and exhibitions will be open to all.

Jazz Night with Mia Doi Todd and Motoko Honda – Thursday, May 3rd – 8pm

Jazz and Japanese culture collide harmoniously when gorgeous songstress Mia Doi Todd and experimental avant-garde jazz pianist Motoko Honda take the stage on the plaza.  Buy tickets here now.

Sumo Workshop with Three-Time World Champion Byamba – Saturday, May 5th – 2pm

Even if you don’t have kids, this is something you won’t want to miss.  World champ Byamba brings an often misunderstood Japanese cultural tradition to life for all as he demonstrates the basic sumo stretches and teaches a workshop for little ones.  Basically, a heavyweight workshop for lightweights. Admission is free.


Yearly Dose of Narcissism with a Smidge of Socrates

secret agent pr, design PR, haily zaki, julie karatzis, christine kim

I believe it was Socrates that said that 99.9% of PR is appearance.  Alright, that may not be an exact quote, but it’s an accepted assumption in the industry.  We agree to a certain extent but like to think there is a lot of substance behind what we do.  So, as part of our 2012 overhaul, we realized that it was high time to focus a bit of time and effort on putting forth an image that complements the high caliber of our design clients.  We hired amazing photographer Carla Choy and squeezed a day-long shoot in between phone calls, e-mails, and a regular day at the office.  Talk about multi-tasking!  The result: some head shots for our new website and a fun secret agent team building exercise.

Joking aside, it actually was Socrates who said “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”  And in this case, we desire to appear like we enjoy what we do, there’s substance behind appearance, and we look damned good in trench coats.

So without further adieu, we’re going to be unabashedly narcissistic and share a few pics from behind the scenes of our super fun photo shoot.  It’s weird actually being in front of the cameras for a change.  (And having eye lashes for four hours.)  Don’t worry, we won’t subject anyone to this again for a while.

Big thanks to Sherilyn Yi, songstress and make up artist for being patient with us!

This is our “cop” look.

Our “Inspector Clousseau” look

Tools of the trade

Lovely lashes

It takes A LOT to get pretty.

Agent C – Before

Agent J – In transformation

That’s right folks.  Behind the scenes ain’t pretty.

We keep telling Christine this should be her new perm-look.  Hawt.


Spotted: BNIB

Even though I have yet to meet many of our neighbors at the the Lacy Studio Lofts, that doesn’t prevent me from eyeballing their spaces whenever I rush by or let Brutus take a pee break.  I’ve often wondered what the big food truck-looking van outside was all about since it definitely has not been serving up snacks.  And now I know.

For my hipster, biking friends of the dude variety, BNIB is a must-see.  Part magazine, part retail gallery, BNIB stands for “brand new in box” and this upstart brand peddles only the best and hippest in accessories, shoes, and other little goodies for the Calif-urban man (who I imagine must have stubble, no collar ever, a coffee obsession and a bike).  Among the most conversation-worthy finds at BNIB (besides the sweet man shoes): the Equilibryum bracelet which the guys at BNIB swear works way better than its less attractive QVC cousin (we’re skeptical, prove it!), the hot ass man technology like these Oma Monarch speakers, the undeniably manly Insight candles, and the Mister SF Bracelets (wait, are these seriously manly?)

So while the BNIB food truck won’t be dolling out any snacks any time soon, it will be making the short trip down Lacy Street to park out side the Secret Agent PR – Attack! Marketing party tonight where it will be serving up hot shoes and delicious accessories for the dudes.  So if you’re planning on stopping by our office-warming sumo-meets-secret-agent shin dig this evening, be sure to check out the BNIB shop and grab some nosh from the real food trucks outside, rain and windstorms not withstanding.

And if you can’t make it, then make sure to stop by BNIB’s first brick and mortar space, fondly known as the BOX, to get your shop on, boys. (We won’t make fun of you if you by the Mr. Beads Bracelet.  Promise.)