“Not tonight,” Cait Bailey told a photographer trying to take her picture inside an area cordoned off for special guests at a Louis Vuitton party at the Miami Beach Convention Center. “Not this time.”

Ms. Bailey, 34, suggested he instead aim his camera at Alix Earle, an influencer, and her boyfriend, Braxton Berrios, a professional football player with the Miami Dolphins.

“I’m not used to being the subject,” Ms. Bailey said as the photographer snapped Ms. Earle at the event, held during Art Basel Miami Beach in December.

Anonymity has become more elusive for Ms. Bailey, a publicist and brand strategist who runs the New York office of Align Public Relations, as her clients have grown to include people with large followings like Ms. Earle, the “Call Her Daddy” podcast host Alex Cooper, the sibling influencers Charli and Dixie D’Amelio and the singer Zayn Malik. Last month, Ms. Bailey and several of her clients, including Ms. Cooper and Ms. Earle, attended the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals in Austin, Texas, where Ms. Cooper hosted an event promoting her podcast network.

Ms. Bailey’s relationship with Mario Carbone, 44, a chef and an owner of Carbone restaurant and other establishments, has also made it harder for her to avoid attention. (Mr. Carbone was at Ms. Cooper’s SXSW event, too; he prepared Carbone’s spicy rigatoni for guests.) He and Ms. Bailey, who live in Miami Beach and in New York, have been together for six years.

Ms. Bailey’s Instagram account has no photos but more than 72,000 followers — a disproportionate ratio that some who spend a lot of time online have noticed. “Anyone know what happened with Cait Bailey?,” a Reddit user posted in a forum called NYCInfluencerSnark. “She deleted all her photos.”

Ms. Bailey removed all of her photos last year because they “were just all really outdated,” she said. Posting new ones “was just starting to feel like a chore,” she added. “It was starting to feel like work.”

That’s not to say Ms. Bailey — who has long blond hair and whose appearance has been likened to Margot Robbie’s — doesn’t use social media.

Her Instagram Stories have often featured pictures of her clients at fashion shows (many of which she has attended with them), snapshots of designer items she has acquired or photos of her and Mr. Carbone with influential people like Michael Coste, an employee at Hermès who works with its notable customers.

Days after the Louis Vuitton event at Art Basel in December, Ms. Bailey glided through the crowd gathered outside manicured hedges along North Bay Road in Miami Beach. Behind the bushes, a party was being held at the waterfront home of Wayne Boich, a billionaire who runs a company that invests in real estate and energy businesses, and who started another company focused on the pickleball-like sport padel.

A song by the rapper Snoop Dogg was blasting through the shrubbery. He was performing live on the other side.

It was a Friday night around 11:30 p.m. and Ms. Bailey, after sliding past a bouncer, said hello to Sergey Brin, a founder of Google, who had a deck of cards in his hand.

“He’s a great magician,” she said loudly enough for Mr. Brin to hear, prompting him to perform a trick. Then, he asked Ms. Bailey if she could help get some people into the party. “Of course,” she said. Ms. Bailey typed a little on her phone and, like magic, those people were let inside.

As Ms. Bailey made her way through the party, she was greeted by Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami, who gave her a fist bump. Then she stopped to chat with a group that included Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber. At one point, Ms. Bailey congratulated a man and a woman with a big diamond on her ring finger. The couple had recently become engaged.

“When are you and Mario going to get engaged?” the woman asked Ms. Bailey.

“Oh, I can’t take on one more project right now,” Ms. Bailey replied with a laugh. “He’ll know when I’m ready.”

During Art Basel Miami Beach, Ms. Bailey went to some 20 events. Mr. Carbone, a self-described introvert, said Ms. Bailey’s “social ability” and “the way she controlled a room” were among the first things that had drawn him to her.

Ms. Earle, who started working with Ms. Bailey in February 2023, echoed Mr. Carbone’s sentiments. “When I first met Cait, no matter where we were or where we went, she knew someone important in the room and always took the time to introduce me,” Ms. Earle said. “She can network like no other.”

Ms. Bailey’s networking ability also appealed to Remi Bader, a plus-size influencer who started working with Ms. Bailey in 2021. Since then, Ms. Bailey has helped Ms. Bader develop relationships with brands like Valentino and Balmain.

“I feel like if I didn’t have Cait pushing for me and fighting for me, they wouldn’t have worked with me,” Ms. Bader said.

Ms. Bailey, who grew up outside Baltimore, has built her network through several jobs, including positions at blue-chip and up-and-coming public relations agencies.

The path she has taken has deviated significantly from what she envisioned after graduating from Georgia Southern University in 2012, which she described as: Return to Baltimore’s suburbs, marry a lacrosse player and raise children who would go to the same private Catholic school that she attended.

“It was the dream,” Ms. Bailey said. “And I was excited for that future.”

Her mother, Patti Caudill, an assistant clinical professor of speech pathology, helped put her on a different trajectory. Not long after Ms. Bailey graduated from college, Ms. Caudill participated in a charity auction where she bid and won a prize for her daughter: an internship opportunity in New York at PMK BNC, a public relations firm.

“I came home one day and my mom was so excited,” Ms. Bailey recalled. “She said, ‘I just secured an internship for you.’”

Ms. Caudill said she never had any doubts that her daughter would be successful, but that she never envisioned Ms. Bailey having the career she has today. “She’s kind of blazed her own path,” she said.

Ms. Bailey’s internship led to a full-time job that involved keeping track of press about clients at PMK, which has since merged with Rogers & Cowan to form a new agency. Her desk was in a hidden-away area — “basically the supply closet,” as she put it. Its location made it a place where some employees “would come and cry,” she said, or vent.

Michael Cohen, an assistant at PMK when Ms. Bailey worked there, described her as his “work wife” back then. “It was clear she was a people person,” said Mr. Cohen, who is now the president of film and television at Lena Dunham’s Good Thing Going Productions. “She valued relationships.” He tipped Ms. Bailey off to what would be her next job: a position as an assistant to a publicist at PMK whose clients have included Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez.

After four years at the agency, Ms. Bailey left to work at a start-up digital concierge service. But it wasn’t long before she started to miss working in publicity, she said.

She quit and started working as a freelance publicist — a line of work she said she might still be in were it not for a phone call she received in 2019 from Nicole Perez-Krueger, a former publicist at PMK, who at the time was building a new company called Align Public Relations.

Ms. Bailey, after being hired at Align, took a particular interest in influencers, or content creators, on TikTok. The app arrived in the United States in 2018, only a year or so before she started at Align.

Among the first potential clients she approached were Charli D’Amelio and her elder sister, Dixie, influencers who have parlayed their social media fame into a TV show.

Charli D’Amelio recalled that Ms. Bailey came to the sisters’ family home in Norwalk, Conn., for a meeting in March 2020, with a bag of bagels in tow. By the time Ms. Bailey left, the D’Amelios had made a verbal agreement to become Align clients.

“I had never heard of a publicist before and I didn’t know what that was or why I would want one,” Charli D’Amelio said. “Cait came over and explained what they do and how they would be able to help the family.”

By then, Ms. Bailey and Mr. Carbone had been dating for about two years. They met in 2018 at his namesake restaurant on Thompson Street in the Greenwich Village in Manhattan.

Mr. Carbone was there with a friend, he said, when he received a text message from Shay Mitchell, an actress with whom he is friendly, asking for a last-minute reservation. She was with Ms. Bailey; Ms. Mitchell, who is a client of Ms. Bailey’s, first met her when she was working at PMK.

“I told her we were full, but if you want to join us, you can,” Mr. Carbone recalled telling Ms. Mitchell. “She said, ‘Great, I’ll take it.’ And that’s how I met Cait.”

Introducing them, Ms. Mitchell said jokingly, “means reservations for life!”

Mr. Carbone said he grew up in a family in which “working hard was standard.” To be in a relationship with someone who has a similar work ethic “makes it easy,” he added, noting that Ms. Bailey’s achievements have had very little to do with his.

“There is no piggybacking on Major Food Group,” Mr. Carbone said, referring to his company, which has recently opened a string of restaurants in Florida.

A telling sign that he had fallen for Ms. Bailey, he said, was his decision to get rid of a beloved vintage U-shaped sofa in his New York apartment.

“It was beautiful, but it was impossible to sit on, to lay on,” Mr. Carbone said of the couch, a piece by the furniture designer Maurizio Tempestini. “In the beginning, she was nice about it because we were in the courting stage, and you don’t want to say anything. But eventually she was like, this is the worst couch ever.”

As Ms. Bailey has inspired Mr. Carbone to give up certain things, he has influenced her to take up new pursuits like backgammon. “She got better than me, and I admit that,” Mr. Carbone said, describing Ms. Bailey as a “bad loser and a worse winner.”

“If she wins, she gloats; if she loses, she finds an excuse at why I got lucky,” he said. “This goes for all games. It’s not a lot of fun to play with Cait.”

Not that Ms. Bailey has much time to play.

“She is really working away,” Mr. Carbone said.

Having a partner who is ambitious “and is just as passionate about what they do is a beautiful thing,” he added.





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