Why This New York Design Agency Makes Its Employees Pose Naked For Official Staff Photos

jessica walsh sagmeister walshJessica Walsh of Sagmeister & Walsh

We recently highlighted Sagmeister & Walsh, a design boutique in New York, in a gallery of crazy, beautiful ad agency staff photos.

Their image was arguably the most unforgettable of the set, because the entire staff — from the CEO down to the interns — posed naked.

Not just a little bit naked, either.

The full monty.

It turns out there’s a reason the agency does this, and partner Jessica Walsh explained it in a video series called The Creative Influence.

Here’s the history of S&W’s staff photos, which — obviously — are graphic. They’re not gratuitously sexual, but they’re not safe for conservative workplaces either.

Nineteen years ago, founder Stefan Sagmeister decided to give up his job designing at big agencies like Leo Burnett and TBWA, and start his own firm, Sagmeister Inc.

To publicize his new shop, he sent out a picture of himself naked except for socks and a black redaction bar.

It must have worked, because today Sagmeister's clients have included Levi's, HBO and Standard Chartered.

In June 2012, Sagmeister took on Jessica Walsh, 25, as a partner.

S&W has a small staff. Here they are — interns included — in their space suits ...

And here they are in their birthday suits ...

Formal ...

Not so formal ...

You get the picture.

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