Power List: Designers and Brand Geniuses
by june ambrose and richard kirshenbaum
|Ralph Lauren and Lauren Remington Platt|
Author of Effortless Style and founder of Mode Squad, Inc., a stylistic agency that’s worked with clients such as Alicia Keys, Kelly Ripa, and Garcelle Beauvais, Ambrose has created custom fashions for A-listers such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jay-Z, and Will Smith. Currently launching a custom eyewear collection as well as a shoe line for HSN, Ambrose has hosted fashion segments on VH1, MTV, and the Today show.
The winner of the CFDA’s 2003 Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Accessory Design, Brian Atwood opened a flagship boutique at 655 Madison Avenue.
After selling his Eagle’s Eye apparel to Swire Group in a deal that valued the brand at $60 million Christopher Burch launched C. Wonder with boutiques in Soho and Columbus Circle. Burch’s brand was also awarded the Accessories Council’s ACE Award for Specialty Retailer of the Year.
A former wardrobe stylist, Jennifer Fisher was a CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist for her eponymous jewelry company that was launched with a dog tag charm to commemorate the birth of her son.
With a new golf shop on Madison Avenue, Ralph Lauren is still growing. As of September, Forbes estimates his wealth at $6.5 billion, which would make Lauren the world’s 122nd richest person.
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s senior thesis at Parsons The New School of Design would become their first collection as Proenza Schouler. Awarded with the inaugural CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund award in 2004, Proenza Schouler went on to be honored with the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2010 and 2011.
While still a student, Bibhu Mohapatra received the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Critics’ Award for Best Evening Wear Designer of the Year. Building on his buzzed-about brand, the designer just launched a collection of handbags.
Following the launch of their couture fashion label, The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen created contemporary collection Elizabeth and James. They have also released a women’s clothing line for JCPenney called Olsenboye, the T-shirt line StyleMint, and a furniture collection.
Cynthia Rowley founded her business in 1981 with $3,000 in seed money from one of her grandmothers. Since then, the brand has grown to include womenswear, shoes, handbags, eyewear, belts, dishes, legwear, hats, color cosmetics, fragrance, menswear, and the most recent addition—a makeup line.
The cofounder of the largest independently held agency in the US, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners, Kirshenbaum helped pioneer integrated marketing concepts such as the pop-up store. Today, the creator of NueStudioGroup/SWAT, he is the author of Closing the Deal and the memoir, Madboy.
At 30, Noah Brier is CEO and cofounder of Percolate, a platform that publishes and measures brand content on social media sites. Creating this tool for companies like American Express has propelled Brier to be named an “Innovator in Social Media” by Businessweek.
Gerry Graf, who has been widely considered one of Madison Avenue’s most talented agency creatives, started Barton F. Graf 9000 and has had breakthrough TV campaigns for Ragu and Kayak.
The Chief Digital Officer of The Media Kitchen, Darren Herman’s brainchild, KBS+ Ventures, is the first agency level institution with a vertical portfolio of marketing and advertising technology investments.
From rapper to cofounder of Marquis Jet, Jesse Itzler is the pioneer behind Zico Coconut Water and Sheets Brand dissolvable strips with LeBron James. The founder of 100 Mile Group invents and markets brands like Voli Light Vodkas.
Advertising Age’s 2011 Executive of the Year, Bill Koenigsberg is the founder of Horizon Media, the largest independent media agency in the world, operating with nearly $4 billion in billings and over 800 employees.
Ralph Lauren vice president of global advertising, marketing, and corporate communications David Lauren has led with breakthrough digital 4-D shows that have raked up millions of views. The Olympics sponsorship could be hailed as the most impressive and prestigious branding campaign, ever.
Grey NY President/Chief Creative Officer Tor Myhren made the venerable agency hot. Since his arrival he’s had a string of pop culture hits with Ellen DeGeneres for Covergirl and the E*Trade talking babies campaign for the Super Bowl.
Executive Creative Director Brandon Ralph cofounded Code and Theory, which has become the go-to digital and design agency for leading clients, such as Mashable, Dr Pepper, and Maybelline.
A director of his father’s $3 billion brand Tod’s Group, Emanuele Della Valle launched MediaBend, a company that creates and acquires properties in the digital media space, such as the well-regarded Lifestyle Mirror and Elizabeth Street.
Charlie Walk’s buzzed about new agency, JWalk, is a full-service marketing and creative VC enterprise. Successful campaigns for Lacoste have attracted brands as diverse as DeLeón Tequila and Viceroy Hotels.
Cover shoot: May/June 2014 issue of Gotham magazine.