New York’s PR Prince Andrew Warren and the Launch of His Agency: CollXab
Get to know the New York powerhouse behind CollXab
Get to know the New York powerhouse behind CollXab
Text: Thomas Herd
For most people, it takes years to figure out what to dedicate their lives to. However, the quest for one’s calling may result in a lucky find and a lifetime harmony between a person’s aspiration and occupation. Andrew Warren, a 28-year-old New York City socialite, influencer, fashion designer, organizer of charity gala events, and—most recently—co-founder of the agency CollXab, may have hit the jackpot having transformed his lifetime aspiration for marketing into an occupation. He became a creative director of CollXab, essentially a talent management, product placement, and influencer engagement online platform. Andrew’s organic talent for PR comes as a critical asset for the new business he shares with a partner, Arleigh Banner.
CollXab represents brands and talent, something he has been doing for a long time by himself for his friends and—quite often—for himself. Treasuring friendship above all, Andrew has often done favors for his friends and their brands whether taking them around the NY social circle, organizing their press, or generously sharing his vast connections without expecting anything in return. By doing this, he helped people become self-confident and find a career path they may never have imagined for themselves, and he gained a reputation that he really cares.
Andrew’s personal negative experience with social media talent agencies that, according to him, “did not care about himself and most clients, in general, the way he did, as it was more about money” was another factor that pushed him towards creating his own talent platform. He eventually started to self-represent himself and realized he was doing a better job. He also understood he had lost some opportunities by not having the time to represent his personal social media while representing his brand at the time when he was involved in fashion. With CollXab, Andrew finally has a platform that will allow him to represent his friends and the talent that trust him. He mainly likes to work with people who have passions or jobs outside of social media, and by helping them he hopes they can focus more on those passions and jobs.
When asked about what qualities make influencers successful, Andrew's personal insights show he's steering his managed talents and brands down an effective path:
" I think authenticity is key, which a lot of people know already. I really didn’t take any partnerships until I was 25, and only worked with brands that were very authentic to me. Being selective at first is important, it helps build a niche that is true to yourself. You are never going to relate to every single person, and that’s ok. Personally, I only worked with luxury brands and on my clothing brand. Another tip is don’t just rely on Instagram as your only career, use that platform to grow what you are passionate about. Whether that be launching a clothing brand, writing for a publication, or creating your own products, the platform can help you get there so you’re not just relying on other brands for your income. This moves me to my most important tip. Now being in this industry and speaking with so many brands, most brands want an influencer with a backstory, someone who is doing something else. They like personality, storylines, and aspirations outside of social media. Caring about charitable organizations, sharing mental health tips, wellness, hobbies, and a lot like a career outside of Instagram. Charity work is really I would say a must, and to align with a cause you care about. I started throwing events for The Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research at just fourteen years old and currently still am. Think of it like when you apply to college, and how much your extra circular activities matter to the applications not just your grades."
Among over seventy influencers CollXab and Andrew are working with, is Emira D’Spain, Andrew’s best friend and a client. Formerly known as Ethan D’Spain, Emira, who recently changed her name, is the Beauty Director of PAPER magazine who doubles as a fashion/beauty influencer. Since Emira is an African-American trans woman with Spanish roots, Andrew always makes it a priority that she is able to work with every brand she wants to. Andrew has watched Emira grow so much in the past year and he is proud to lead her in the incredible direction she is going. Some of the brands that Andrew and his partner Arleigh secured partnerships include NARS, MAC, Klarna, Proactiv, BURST, Ritual, Kosas, Lucky Brand, Fossil, nate app, Savage X Fenty, Vh1, Mermade Hair, Almay, Beauty Bio, Lobos Tequila, and more. Her partnerships have turned from one-offs into long-term with most of these brands. Recently, Andrew threw a black-tie event at Penthouse 45 in New York to help Emira celebrate her 25th birthday as well as her official name change from Ethan to Emira. The event drew a lot of interest on the part of new brands. Every brand partnership Emira gets is another step forward for the LGBTQ+ community and is making a difference to someone out there watching and hopefully becoming inspired by her.
We will continue following Andrew’s career path. Meanwhile, you can learn more about Andrew, his latest projects, and CollXab on Instagram.