Deborah LEONG

Vice President Creative Director | STILA

questionnaire

1.)        What was your very first job? 

My first design job was interning at Options magazine in London. That turned into a full time offer before I left college. That turned into jobs at Cosmopolitan, Company, Elle, Vogue, GQ and Esquire before launching Australian Marie Claire.

 

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

I work in beauty and fashion. Currently VP Creative Director of Stila Cosmetics. Prior to that last year created a millennial skin care line called Naturally Serious exclusive at Sephora. My job is heavily executional which I love. Creating all aspects of the brand identity from seasonal campaigns, digital, video, model and product imagery, in store merchandising, events packaging and social content.

 

3.)        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? 

I grew up with my Mum buying British Vogue, was convinced I wanted to be a fashion designer as was a genius at making dolls clothes!! After a one year foundation art school exploring every aspect of fashion art and design, I decided to study graphic design instead.

After 8 years of working in the art department of the best magazine titles in London, observing top talent fashion and beauty editors and photographers followed by 2 years in Sydney I came to New York. Landing a head creative role at Bloomingdales that taught my everything about retail. This exposed me to working with incredible global brands.

From there I have switched back and forth between beauty and fashion, social selling, mass and prestige, all contributing to a full understanding of the fashion and beauty industry.

 

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

My mind is a library of content old and new. I have an 18 year old who constantly challenges me to remain current and exposes me to a younger demographic. I get off a plane anywhere and head straight to where the innovation is happening in beauty, fashion, fitness and well ness.

 

5.)        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? 

Launching Naturally Serious, exclusive at Sephora last year. Working with the EVP of Peter Thomas Roth I started creating the brand identity as a consultant in my bedroom with my golden retriever at my feet. It has grown from 5 stores to 35, and over a course of 5 years its expansion in the clean beauty space will be huge. It will always feel like my baby, in part to the fact my son took part in the campaign and created much of the social video content. Launching brands is always so rewarding budgets are tight which forces you to be extra innovative.

 

6.)        Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? (ie photo, film, social, experiential, vr, etc)

I work with an in house team of graphic designers, copy writers and videographers, and outside photographic teams. The newest talent needs to be able to be an art director/graphic designer/animator and shoot video and stills for social. In addition creatives that can write copy and truly tell a story I find the most interesting to meet. The industry has changed so much and the top talent is a hybrid of all creative skills.

jury

Glb. Head of Visual Identity Design | COCA-COLA
Chief Creative Officer | SIMON MALLS
Brand Manager | EHE
Vice President Creative | BUMBLE AND BUMBLE
Head of Design & Branding | MORGAN STANLEY
Creative Director | SONY MUSIC
Exec. Dir., Creative Services | LAURA MERCIER
EVP Creative Director | REVHEALTH
VP, CD of Design | PUBLICIS
Creative Director | McCANN
Senior Brand Manager | COVERGIRL
Director, Consumer Planning & Research | DIAGEO
VP, Associate Creative Director | AREA 23
CD of Marketing | HEARST LIFESTYLE GROUP
VP Creative | ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES
Creative Director | DKNY
VP of Design | SYFY
Brand Design Director | ALDO
Sr Creative Dir. | WHITE HOUSE BLACK MRKT
Sr Vice President, Creative Dir | RALPH LAUREN
SVP, Creative | BOBBI BROWN & LA MER
Vice President, Creative Director | WEWORK
Creative Director | SPIRIT & FLESH
Vice President of Marketing | SAMSUNG
Chief Creative Officer | SELECT WORLD
VP Creative Director | ESTÉE LAUDER
VP Creative Dir | AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP
Global Creative Director | STEVE MADDEN
VP Creative Services | BATH & BODY WORKS
Chief Creative Officer | XCEL BRANDS
Creative Director | HSN
Executive Creative Director | TBWA \ CHIAT \ DAY
CCO | AIR PARIS
Dir. of Content Production | MILK MAKEUP
ACD | JOAN CREATIVE
VP, Group CD | LAIRD+PARTNERS
Art Director | Barneys
Vice Pres Creative Director | BBDO
Senior Managing Photo Art Director | LL BEAN
Senior Director of Design | MOROCCAN OIL
Head of Marketing | MILLY
Assoc. Creative Director | VERIZON
Senior Art Director | BOMBAS
Ex. Dir., Global Creative, Innov. | ESTÉE LAUDER
VP, Head of Global Retail Design | FOOT LOCKER
VP of Marketing | SYFY
Head of Photo+Art Buying, Mktg | NY TIMES
AVP, Brand Creative | KIEHL'S
Chief Marketing Officer | EPIX
Creative Director | BB235
ECD | NICKELODEON
Exec Creative Director | DAVID THE AGENCY
EP, Director of Production | JUICE PHARMA
Director of Production | MOTHER NEW YORK/LA
SVP of North American Whiskeys | DIAGEO
Head of Partnerships & UX | HEINEKEN
EVP Executive Creative Director | McCANN
Design Director | ANN INC.
Creative Director | MACY'S
Creative Director | GOOGLE
Design Director | ANOMALY
Vice President Creative Director | STILA
Vice President of Marketing | KEDS
Executive Producer | MACY'S
Head of Creative Services | STUART WEITZMAN
Chief Brand Officer | THINX + ICON
Chief Marketing Officer | REMY COINTREAU USA
Dir. of Creative Services | M.GEMI
Content Director | THE STORY LAB NY
Assoc. CD | VERIZON
Exec. Dir. , Glbl Creative Design | CLINIQUE
EVP, Executive Creative Director | VELOCITY
Executive Creative Director | TBWA \ CHIAT \ DAY
Art Director | WOMAN'S URBAN OUTFITTERS
EVP, Global Creative | CALVIN KLEIN
VP Creative | KATE SPADE NEW YORK
Marketing Director | SOUL CYCLE
Vice President of Production | ESPN
Executive Creative Director | TBWA\Chiat\Day
Creative Director at Large | LAURA MERCIER
Senior Vice Pres Integrated Production | GSW
Group Creative Director | HUDSON ROUGE
Senior Director, Photo & Content Studio | MACY'S
Executive Creative Director | GREY GROUP
Director, Creative Services | HARRY WINSTON
Sr. Art Producer | CONVERSE
Sr. Director of Marketing | BROOKS BROTHERS
Senior Photo Editor | NYTIMES T BRAND STUDIO
EVP Global Fragrance Mktg | ELIZABETH ARDEN
Group Creative Director | SPOTIFY
Group Creative Director | INTERPARFUMS
Head of Creative | CHANDELIER
Vice Pres., Creative Services | KENNETH COLE
Div Vice Pres, Design | SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Creative Director | HUGE
Sr. Director of Marketing | JET.COM
Chief Creative Officer | COMPASS
Senior Creative Director | KATE SPADE
Creative Director | SHOPBOP.COM
Associate Vice President | LOFT (ANN)
Chief Creative Officer | EDELMAN NYC
Senior Creative Director | EQUINOX
AVP, Creative Director | SKINCEUTICALS
VP Creative | FRESHLY
Vice President, Creative | ESTEE LAUDER
Exec, Creative Director | CONDÉ NAST
Group Creative Director | MCCANN HEALTH
Head of Creative Strategy | JET.COM
Vice President, Design | MTV
Creative Director | TIFFANY & CO.
VP of Design | MTV
VP, Executive Creative Director | THE COMMUNITY
EVP Executive Creative Director | BBDO
Founder & Chief Creative Officer | MRS & MR
Art Director | FACEBOOK
Creative Director | REFINERY29
Creative Director | BUERO NEW YORK
Founder | NR2154
Director,Brand Content&Creative | FOOT LOCKER
Group CD | DAVID THE AGENCY MIAMI
Creative Director | GAP INC.
Vice Pres of Mktg, GL CD | KENNETH COLE
EVP Exec Creative Director | BBDO