Creative Director / Art | Brand Developer | Partner
Beginning her career as an art director at Donna Karan, Michelle Wells went on to collaborate with Alex Gonzalez and Raul Martinez in the launch of AR New York as Design Director. Michelle played a key role helping to establish the agency at a time that put AR on the map of go-to agencies. During her tenure she worked with a client roster that included Calvin Klein, Versace, Valentino, Cerruti, Dolce + Gabbana, Givenchy, Lanvin, Prestige + Collections, Anna Sui, Club Monaco, Diego Della Valle, Cesare Paciotti, Byblos, Genny, Richard Tyler, Narciso Rodriguez, Amica Magazine and Jane Magazine. Managing approximately 5 clients per season she delivered the highest level of advertising, branding and design for global fashion, luxury and lifestyle brands.
Following AR, Michelle joined No.11, Inc. as Creative Director, working with clients such as Coty, SportMax, Byblos, Paco Rabanne, Visuallocity and The New York Times Magazine | Fashion of the TImes in an equivalent capacity, before venturing out to open her own business.
Notably, Michelle was commissioned to work exclusively with Wallpaper* magazine in London on an extensive redesign and new brand positioning. Collaborating with the editorial staff, the publisher and the creative team she met objectives to evolve Wallpaper* as a competitive, sophisticated lifestyle magazine, to breathe new life into the brand and to develop an innovative digital platform. The consequent success positioned the publication back on par with the best of global lifestyle, design and shelter journals. Her commission was extended, with the request that she develop an extensive talent base of world class photographers and illustrators for the publication, and to nurture the creative and art buying teams.
Upon her return to New York she was hired by Publicis as a consultant to develop the brand identity and advertising direction for the global launch of Lancôme's new fragrance: Hypnôse. Following, she accepted the position of Vice President, Creative Director at Ann Taylor.
At Ann Taylor, Michelle spearheaded advertising and led a team of 11 who delivered creative solutions for all advertising and marketing needs for the $873 million brand, collateral material for it’s 357 stores, and maintained creative for the significant digital business. Additionally, she managed the creative director for Ann Taylor Factory and delivery of ATF assets.
Currently Michelle maintains clients and consulting projects in advertising, branding, digital across multiple categories—with expertise in global lifestyle brands; high fashion/luxury, retail, beauty, athletics/outdoor/adventure, the arts, architecture/interior design, travel, entertaining, editorial. She is an astute creative problem solver, ideas generator, leader. A relationship builder, keen negotiator, multi-platform savvy, enthusiastic and professional—known for her innovative thinking and sharply-honed solutions.
Michelle is particularly savvy at partnering with clients to understand the core of their businesses and aligned, revenue driving marketing needs—and in turn identifies opportunities to meaningfully engage audiences. Anchored with high-level execution—this approach leads to meeting goals, increasing bottom line revenues and revealing previously unforeseen opportunities.