NYC Insider with James LaForce | Walpole’s 2019 US Trade and Press Delegation

With Walpole once again taking a delegation of British luxury brands to the USA this October, we are profiling the US experts who are helping to curate our three-day programme of activities in New York City. This week, we meet James LaForce, founder and president of LaFORCE, our PR and Communications agency ‘on the ground’ in NYC, who discusses why the city is such an important market for luxury.


James is the founder and president of LaFORCE, a New York-based independent marketing communications agency. As a highly regarded media and communications executive, James directs the range of campaigns across the agency’s diverse client roster. He combines business savvy with an insatiable enthusiasm for the trends and temperaments of the ever-changing media landscape and has managed breakthrough campaigns for top brands such as Swarovski, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, OMEGA, Hunter, Tiffany and Co., Banana Republic. In 12 years of work with US retailer Target, LaForce has been instrumental in promoting ground-breaking design partnerships with Missoni, Liberty of London, Victoria Beckham, Phillip Lim, Marimekko, among others.

How will you be supporting the Walpole Trade Delegation to the US?

We are excited to once again partner with Walpole and help make their experience in New York a success. Leading up to the Walpole trade mission, we are building connections and creating visibility for Walpole and its incredible member brands [on the ground in NYC] to ensure they have a meaningful week. The October trip will consist of a series of events, with a focus on supporting the brands as they build awareness and develop new and existing relationships with US media, influencers and buyers. Through our support, Walpole will distribute two research reports to further engage with trade, business and hospitality media while working with editors to craft stories regarding the luxury market and the mission of the trade delegation.

I personally am looking forward to speaking again at the insights afternoon briefing session at JP Morgan and sharing insights on the ever-changing retail and media landscapes as well as highlighting how brands can effectively work with US media.

Why is the US, and NYC in particular, such an important market for luxury?

Due to the vast size of the US market and cultural similarities between the US and UK, the US and especially New York, is seen as a top priority for UK luxury brands. Accounting for almost 1/3 of the total US luxury market, New York is a melting pot that has the energy and environment to nurture great design and the culture to influence consumers discovery of luxury goods.

 What do you see as the future for luxury brands in the US?

Knowing that 75% of British luxury brands have identified the US as a priority growth market, we anticipate that the special relationship between the UK and US will continue to grow and evolve in these interesting times.

What bars or restaurants would you recommend to those visiting New York this year?

I always recommend the classic places that people forget about as they chase the new and trendy: The Odeon, Il Cantinori, Indochine, Balthazar, Café Luxembourg, The Waverly Inn, and I like all the locations of Cipriani and Sant Ambroeus.

Walpole brands are invited to join us in New York – the world’s most important market for luxury – for our three-day Trade and Press Delegation in October. With a packed calendar of insight events, networking parties and business meetings culminating in the British Luxury Press Show Room, this is an unrivalled opportunity to make your mark Stateside. Please email Stephanie Robinson for more information or click here to read more about this year’s programme: Walpole Trade Delegation New York 2019