Jess OLDHAM

Design Dir., Global Brand Design | CONVERSE

Jess Oldham has worked in the photo industry for more than 15 years.  Currently a Design Director at Converse, she is responsible for leading multiple creative teams within Global Brand Design.  After earning her degree in Communications and Photojournalism from Boston University, she held positions in publishing and licensing before launching a boutique photo agency.  In 2010, she joined Converse producing all creative for the brand, and over time built a multi-disciplined Creative Services department from the ground up.  Through it all, she's banded together with emerging and iconic creatives and the hardest working crews in the business.

questionnaire

What was your very first job?  

Bagging groceries at a local grocery store and teaching kids to figure skate.

Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.  

I am a Design Director at Converse.  I get to work with an incredible team of marketers, creatives and producers and together we create concepts and tell stories that eventually engage our consumers at retail and digital on a global scale.     

How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?  

The first time I experienced professional photography was on a family trip to Washington D.C during a visit to the Holocaust Museum.  That experience with photojournalism was the start of a life-long obsession with photography and specifically, documentary work.  I can’t draw, so photography has always been my favorite form of self-expression.  Creativity means everything to me; I couldn’t imagine not using my right brain on a daily basis.  Also, I recently heard a quote by Rich Roll, “pursue what's in your heart and the universe will conspire to support you.”  I think every twist and turn in my career has been guided by this belief, and that it’s great advice.

In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?  

Currently I’m spending more time working with graphic design vs. photography, and that is inspiring me more than ever.  I think it’s important to always revisit the icons of art and photography, and push yourself to experience new mediums.  It helps keep you fresh and you never know where you might stumble upon a new idea or creative spark.  I love fashion, and fashion photography especially – there is limitless inspiration there.  90’s supermodel era was my favorite.  Yoga helps too.

If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?

I think any situation where there is healthy collaboration, where the team bands together and fights through the emotions to get to a sticky idea – that to me is the ultimate win, and a true measure of success for me as a leader.  Those are the days I love my job the most.

jury

SVP Global Creative Director | SIMON
Founder, Creative Director | SLANG INC.
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Exec. Creative Director | PERIERA & O'DELL
VP Group Creative Director | DIGITASLBI
Chief Strategic Officer | VICE MEDIA
EVP Exec. Creative Director | BBDO
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Chairman | SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS
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Assoc. Creative Director | R/GA
VP Global Creative | MICHAEL KORS
Head of Brand Design | WARBY PARKER
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VP Creative Marketing | XCEL BRANDS
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VP CD of Experiential Design | EDELMAN
Sr. Art Director | DROGA5
Digital Creative Director | NBCUNIVERSAL
Creative Director | SHOWTIME NETWORKS
Creative Innovation Lead | GOOGLE ZOO
Creative Director | AEROSOLES
Director of Innovation | MEDIACOM
Creative Director | NFL
Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder | SID LEE
Group Creative Director | MOTHER NEW YORK
VP Global Creative | ESTEE LAUDER / ADF
SVP Brand Creative | KATE SPADE
Chief Creative Officer | CARROT- VICE AGENCY
VP Creative Services | ALICE+OLIVIA
Design Dir., Global Brand Design | CONVERSE
Design Director | 360I
Chief Creative Officer | HUDSON ROUGE
Owner + Artistic Director | EPI
Sr. Art Director | BARON & BARON
Head of Global Creative Design | JO MALONE
Creative Services | HARRY WINSTON
Group CD | THE MARTIN AGENCY
ACD | THE CREATIVE GROUP, CONDE NAST
Dir. of Digital and Print Prod. | KENNETH COLE
Partner | THE PUB
Exec Creative Director | TIFFANY & CO
Creative Director | SHOPBOP
Artistic Director | EQUINOX
Founder, Creative Director | AIR PARIS
ACD | BERGDORF GOODMAN
SVP ECD | LAIRD + PARTNERS
Creative | AMAZON FASHION JAPAN
SVP, Creative Director | ARNOLD WW
Art Director | PAPER
Group Creative Director | RAZORFISH
Photo Director | T MAGAZINE
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Co-Founder, CD | JOHANNES LEONARDO
Creative Director | BARTON F. GRAF
Partner | WALTON ISAACSON
Sr. Social Media Strategist | ADIDAS
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Chief Production Officer | DDB
Founder | NR2154
Creative Director | APPLE
Chief Creative Officer | SAPIENTRAZORFISH
VP Creative | MAYBELLINE
VP Group CD | MCCANN ERICKSON