Q & A

Ted Kruckel:
Making Fashion Magic

Ted Kruckel
Founder, Ted Inc.

Education: Graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984; also avarsity swimmer

A sample of clients: In Style, Cond? Nast, the Fragrance Foundation's 2000"FiFi" awards, the 2000 Yahoo! Internet Life Online Music Awards

February 12, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

“There should always be a moment,” says Ted Kruckel, explaining his philosophy for staging successful events. And he should know. His firm, Ted Inc., has made moments for some of New York's hottest fashion events, including the NYC2000 fashion show in Times Square and the Fragrance Foundation's “FiFi” awards in June 2000.

With that principle in mind, Kruckel is at work creating a moment right now, sharing a glimpse of some of the famous faces he's entertained.

“Want to see my photo collection?” the boyishly preppy Kruckel says with the enthusiasm of a child anxious to show off his prized toys. “There's Gilles Bensimon [Elle's publication director] over there,“ he says, pointing to a photo. “And that one's Deborah Turbeville, of course. Can you guess who that one is? It's Julia Roberts!”

Ted Inc., a full-service events production and public relations company, has worked on events including an IBM gala, store openings for Banana Republic and the Yahoo! Internet Life Online Music Awards at Studio 54 in July 2000. The agency has “style without the attitude,” Kruckel says, and its events are both “produced” and “always fun.”

“Events are often packed houses filled with friends,” Kruckel says. Those friends often have well-known names, which is key to his success. “People without connections should not do big events,” he says. “You're simply not going to get celebrities to come to big things if you have no connection to them.”

Kruckel began his career in advertising, then held a chain of marketing positions at publications including Fortune, USA Today, Details and Elle, and finally formed Ted Inc. in 1994. Many Ted Inc. clients are magazines, including In Style and a number of Cond? Nast glossies.

After the look at Kruckel's photo album, his assistant announces that a reporter from Women's Wear Daily is waiting on hold with a question about Kruckel's latest event. “I'll take it,” Kruckel says, jumping into his chair and picking up the phone, happy to court coverage of the event in the fashion paper. After he hangs up, not a second elapses before he rattles off a rapid-fire series of instructions to his staff. There's a sense of urgency and freneticism to everything Kruckel does.

“It's like a whirlwind when he walks into a room,” says John Truex, of the accessories design duo Lambertson Truex. “He's genuinely energetic and loves what he does. He was born to do this, to encourage people and to come up with ideas.”

In his approach to developing concepts, Kruckel says he tries to brainstorm with the client. Depending on the budget, Kruckel will either do everything in-house or hire the best outside professionals in their respective fields of expertise, which he usually finds through word of mouth. The agency shies away from mass brands and day-to-day fashion PR (“It's extremely one-note,” Kruckel explains).

For Kruckel, the challenge of event production is keeping up with ever-rising stakes. “The hardest thing about the business is the constant struggle to deliver value,” Kruckel says. “These events have gotten big.”

Posted 02.12.01

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