Creative Director / Art Director / Brand Developer / Partner
( Explorer / Consumer of Culture / Generally up for some fun! )
Exceptional creative problem solver, brand developer, ideas generator, leader. Enthusiastic Art Director, with deep resources and industry knowledge. Relationship builder, keen negotiator, multi-platform savvy, logical, organized, and professional. Excels at outside of the box thinking, while meeting outlined initiatives. Consistently aspires to exceed expectations, within budget. Delivers highest quality creative across multiple mediums; including 360º solutions.
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 to clients in the fashion, luxury goods and lifestyle sectors.
Following AR, Michelle joined No.11, Inc. as Creative Director where she worked 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 rebranding of the magazine. Collaborating with the editorial staff, the publisher and the creative team she met objectives in evolving both the Wallpaper* brand, and Wallpaper* as a competitive, sophisticated lifestyle magazine. The success of the redesign repositioned the publication back on par with the best of global lifestyle, design and shelter journals, and established a digital presence for the title. Her commission included a focus on newly developing an extensive talent base of world class photographers and illustrators for the publication, and nurturing the creative and art buying teams.
Upon her return to New York she was hired by Publicis in a consulting role to develop brand concepts, an identity and advertising concepts for the launch of a new fragrance by Lancôme: Hypnôse. She then accepted the position of Vice President, Creative Director at Ann Taylor.
At Ann Taylor she spearheaded advertising for the brand and led a team of 10 who delivered creative solutions for all advertising and marketing materials for the $873 million brand, the collateral material for it’s 357 stores, and the branding of all digital assets. She also managed a creative director and delivery of the creative assets for the Ann Taylor Factory business.
Currently Michelle continues independent pursuits; maintaining clients and taking on a variety of consulting projects in fashion, retail, traditional advertising, and the interactive arena.
Michelle is particularly savvy at partnering with companies / brand owners / executives to understand their businesses and needs, to then identify opportunities to engage consumers in meaningful ways across multiple touch points. In turn, meeting needs and increasing bottom line revenues, while opening eyes to opportunities that extend beyond initial expectations.