When you’re in charge of making sure an event goes off without a hitch, you’ll think of everything—the décor, the catering, the staffing, the space—until you haven’t. Requests that clients didn’t know they needed until the eleventh hour will inevitably surface. But for Tala Yasseri, founder of a high-profile event-planning agency called The New York Issue, the last-minute requests to her team are often not like the others.
“A client wanted cash at three in the morning from his personal account,” she remembers. “He gave his card to one of the staff who was working to withdraw $2,000.”
To this, Yasseri said no—she manages a creative planning firm, after all, and limits these blurry-lined requests to “reasonable” personal concierge-type asks, like finding nannies for clients’ children on the night of the event or bringing in a tailor to the Waldorf Astoria to re-stitch a socialite’s outfit in the middle of a costume party (albeit at 1 a.m.). And she’s paid top dollar to make it happen. “It’s not a fixed formula, but 15 to 20 percent of the cost of everything is our fee,” Yasseri says.
Before starting her company, Tehran-raised Yasseri spent several years working at Milk Studios and there formed relationships with people in the industry. “When we opened The New York Issue in 2011, we started scouting from the people that we knew; they were mostly fashion clients,” says Yasseri, who used this as a strategy to attract the kinds of clients she hoped her agency would work with.
In just a few short years, Yasseri already counts companies like Architectural Digest and designers Prabal Gurung and Alexander Wang as loyal clients. Needless to say, her parties are Fashion Week fixtures. Besides New York, Miami and L.A., the company has thrown parties in Paris, Cote D’Azure and Monte Carlo, and Yasseri’s team coordinates every detail from the guest list and to the photography and will even develop the party’s overall vision.
Below, Yassiri breaks down her job by the numbers:
2 to 5 P.M.
The worst time of day to hold an event, based on experience
The number of hours founder Tala Yesseri considers to be a good night’s sleep
9 A.M. to 8 P.M.
The average daily work hours (pre-event and event days are around the clock)
The number of Fashion Week parties the agency threw this year
The shortest lead-time the agency had to plan an entire event after being hired by the client
The largest group of assistants the agency has worked with at once
The normal range of champagne bottles popped during an event
The average number of people who typically show up without a name on the guest list (for larger fashion-related events)
The highest number of hors d’oeuvres ever requested by a client (for 250 people)
The square footage of the gallery space inside the Guggenheim
The total cost of the most expensive party thrown by The New York Issue