Chandelier’s Richard Christiansen Talks Ads, Airlines and Sheep Racing

The Aussie creative who changed advertising in New York

Richard Christiansen first learned about selling during a “vaudeville” upbringing on an Australian farm that, in the wake of a drought, lured Japanese tourists with attractions like sheep racing. Outback life was isolating for Christiansen, but it also fueled his fascination with pop culture—which would eventually lead to roles as creative director at magazines like Benetton’s Colors, Milk and Suede. Christiansen launched Chandelier Creative in 2005, and his client list has since run the gamut from Old Navy and Target to Ferragamo and Bergdorf Goodman. But Christiansen—who serves as a Clio Image Awards judge—hasn’t forgotten his early rural inspiration. Chandelier maintains a surf shack in Montauk, N.Y., where his creative team and clients work and live (with family, partners and pets) during the summer months.