Jessica Wade, DESIGNER | ENTREPRENEUR | MBA CANDIDATE
I believe the world is our visual and experiential narrative, one we create and write consciously and unconsciously, and when one riffs upon and/ or upends those narratives one uncovers innovative solutions to all sorts of problems.
The concept of the world as an extension of the body, a relationship scientists now apply to technology, is a perspective that intrigues me. My interest in how objects and the culture around us transform perception led me toward a career in the fashion industry. I designed for a handful of major NYC fashion houses, including Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, before founding the Jes Wade brand in 2009.
As a designer and founder of Jes Wade, I created emotive product and experiential environments to connect to our clientele on a personal level. Our streamlined customized manufacturing received a NYCEDC Made In NY certification and set the highest standards of customer expectation with an innovative approach to luxury retail as customer-centric and one-on-one. As a strategic innovator, I often worked with our vendors to help them build out their product offerings and/ or technology platforms to better serve their customers at large. While running my business I was intrigued by the intersection of product development, advertising (storytelling), human behavior and growth strategy. My background in design is grounded in empathy and user experience.
Studies of Business Marketing at the McCombs Business School at UT Austin, Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Art History at the Sorbonne in Paris and Rutgers University speak to my broad range of pursuits and intellectual interests. In 2012 the Jes Wade business plan was an awarded finalist in the selective mini-MBA program Design Entrepreneur NYC. Currently I am a first year MBA student at Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business where I use my design background and intellectual curiosity to solve highly complex strategic problems using customer data, market research and analytical thinking.
Philanthropic roles—from designing product to fund award winning human rights films to co-founding the non-profit initiative Humans Who Design—are a passion. I believe purpose-driven business, defined by collaborations and partnerships with organizations who give voice and dignity to those without, is the future of brand integrity and growth.
I live NYC with my husband and two daughters.