The 30 brand visionaries of 2023: US edition
Unveiling Frontify's most inspiring, trailblazing brand visionaries.
Founder, Liquid Death
Former art-director-turned-copywriter/creative director for agencies — like Crispin Porter & Bogusky and VaynerMedia — Mike Cessario founded Liquid Death, a beverage company selling natural mountain water in infinitely recyclable cans.
Founder, Wade and Leta
Leta Sobierajski is an independent artist, art director, and the founder of Wade Jeffree, a design studio focusing on creative branding, art direction, installation, and video. Recognized by the Art Directors Club as a Young Guns 15, Leta’s work ranges from conventional identities to brilliantly bizarre compositions. Her client list includes well-known names such as Adobe, Bloomberg Businessweek, Google, Gucci, IBM, The New York Times, Tate Modern, and UNIQLO.
Group Director, Creative Strategy Coca-Cola
Starting in the studio on Arnold’s Volkswagen Drivers Wanted campaign Luke Perkins has had many creative roles from Art Director, ECD, commercial director, photographer, and VP of Brand and Creative at Vacasa. Luke is now proudly at Coca-Cola leading creative strategy for hydration and tea brands such as smartwater, vitaminwater, Gold Peak, and Topo-Chico.
Dylan Field is the CEO and co-founder of Figma. Named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2015 and Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list in 2022, he scaled the company to a billion-dollar company before Adobe acquired it.
Named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 and one of ADC Young Guns, Jessica Walsh’s work has received countless awards from major design competitions and numerous distinctions. She founded &Walsh, a creative agency specializing in brand strategy and advertising based in New York.
Creative Director, Mattel
Yen H. Nguyen is a creative director and designer passionate about working on iconic global brands and retailers. Currently, she’s the Senior Manager of Global Brand Creative at American Girl at Mattel, Inc. Her work has influenced brands like Barbie, Hello Kitty, and T.J.Maxx.
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and President Mastercard
Raja Rajamannar is widely known for his contribution to marketing research as the author of the Wall Street Journal Bestseller Quantum Marketing. As a key brand leader in the industry, he has focused strongly on inclusion and sensory branding. Today, he’s the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and President at Mastercard.
Aditya Ramesh invented Dall-E and co-created Dall-E-2, an AI system released by OpenAI that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language.
VP/GM Nike Virtual Studios, Nike
Ron Faris is the VP/GM Nike Virtual Studios, Nike’s first digital product, design, marketing, and tech studio. He’s also the founder of Virgin Mega, a venture-backed company dedicated to pushing the boundaries of social and mobile commerce, which Nike acquired in 2016.
Sam Reich is a game show host and the CEO of Dropout.tv, a streaming platform sharing independent, ad-free, and uncensored comedy. He’s also known for his work with CollegeHumor, from which Dropout.tv came to life.
Sophia Yeshi is an illustrator and designer with a huge platform. She uses her work to shine a light on Black women, women of color, and folks in the LGBTQIA+ community that are bold, dynamic, and demand attention. Sophia has worked with brands like UPS, Adobe, Netflix, and Spotify to create culturally relevant work centered on topics she’s passionate about.
Brian Collins is the Chief Creative Officer and founder of COLLINS, a design agency that won D&AD Design Firm of the Year 2021 and was named Ad Age Design Firm of the Year three times, among many other accolades. He’s also an officer on the National Board of Directors for The One Club for Creativity and a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
CEO/Co-founder, Good American, SKIMS
Emma Grede is an entrepreneur, fashion designer, and founder of multiple brands. Emma is the CEO and co-founder of Good American, described as the first fully inclusive fashion brand that celebrates all dimensions of female power. She co-founded Safely, the plant-powered cleaning company, and is the Chief Product Officer and founding partner of SKIMS, which creates the next generation of underwear, loungewear, and shapewear.
Global CMO General Motors
Deborah Wahl is the Global CMO of General Motors and an influential business leader who serves on the board of Groupon and is chair of the MMA Global Board. Before her current position at General Motors, she acted as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for McDonald’s, where she improved the brand’s image through the all-day-breakfast products and campaign.
Head of Brand and Business Impact, Patagonia
Aileen Ottenweller is the Head of Brand and Business Impact at Patagonia and is responsible for the global vision, strategy, and shape of Patagonia’s marketing organization. She focuses on environmental activism, connection to nature through sport, and responsible shopping practices.
Emily Bode founded the luxury menswear brand Bode, which began with just one collection of entirely antique garments in 2016 and became a major label. As the first female designer to show at NYFW: Men’s, she’s paving the way for women entrepreneurs in the menswear industry. Bode has been recognized with numerous awards, including 2022 and 2021 CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year, 2020 Woolmark Prize: Karl Lagerfeld Award, and 2019 LVMH Prize Finalist.
Leo Porto and Felipe Rocha
Leo Porto and Felipe Rocha founded PortoRocha, a New York-based design and branding agency developing creative and strategic work that engages deeply with our world. They have worked with some of the world’s largest global brands, including Airbnb, Apple, and Netflix. Together, their work provokes meaningful change, from large-scale projects that reach significant audiences to socially and culturally motivated initiatives.
Katrina Crawford and Mark Bashore
Founders, Plains of Yonder
Katrina Crawford and Mark Bashore founded Plains of Yonder, an award-winning studio famous for the main title sequences of season two of the well-known TV series White Lotus and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for Amazon Studios.
David Schwen is a creative director currently working as Design Lead at PepsiCo, where he manages the Pepsi brand for North America. He has led creative teams to do award-winning work across multiple mediums and was most recently named one of the 2022 GDUSA People to Watch.
Director of Brand and Creative, Gong
Lee Mincy is the Director of Brand and Creative at Gong. Lee has a longstanding career in advertising and branding, with close to 10 years in the tech SaaS space. He enjoys the opportunity to humanize young tech brand stories and help companies evolve into global unicorns worthy of the enterprise space.
Global Social Media Manager, Duolingo
Zaria Parvez is one of the most influential voices in corporate social media. Under her direction, the language learning app Duolingo has become well-known for its irreverent presence. In Ad Age’s 2022 Creativity Awards, Duolingo was named Social Marketer of the Year.
Creative Director, WeTransfer
Matti Skibiak is the Creative Director at WeTransfer, the technology company that owns a collection of secure creative collaboration tools and has become recognized for its distinct brand identity. Before this, he worked at the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy in Portland and Shanghai and at the independent creative company Arts & Letters in Richmond, VA.
Executive Creative Director Americas, DesignStudio
Eric Ng is the Executive Creative Director for the Americas at DesignStudio and a professor at Section, a business upskilling platform. He has worked with major brands, including Tommy Jeans, HelloFresh, Pitch, Google, UEFA Champions League, and Virgin Media.
Lauren Hom is a designer and lettering artist who loves helping creatives and brands get more eyes on their work. She has worked with many big-name brands, including Google, MailChimp, Airbnb, Adobe, and Meta.
VP Design, Airbnb
Teo Connor is the current VP of Design at Airbnb and trustee at the Geraldine Connor Foundation, an organization bringing people together through arts and culture. Previously, she co-founded W Project, a series of exhibitions and events celebrating women in the creative industries, and worked as a Design Manager of Human Interface Design at Apple.
CCO, Activision Blizzard
Pelle Sjoenell is the Chief Creative Officer at Activision Blizzard and is on the board of directors for the Otis College of Art and Design. He’s also the co-author of The Art of Branded Entertainment, a collection of essays on the future of advertising from some of the biggest names in the industry.
Named “one of the most creative people in business” by Fast Company and “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, Debbie Millman is a writer, designer, educator, artist, brand consultant, and host of the popular podcast Design Matters. She co-founded the world’s first graduate program in branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Brian Chesky is the CEO and co-founder of Airbnb. Named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015, he’s been behind Airbnb’s refocus on brand building.
Discover more visionaries
Frontify’s 30 brand visionaries, Europe
From the historic streets of London to the trendy neighborhoods of Barcelona, get ready to discover the creative geniuses who have been redefining the boundaries of brand across Europe, and beyond.
Frontify’s 30 brand visionaries in DACH
From the bustling streets of Berlin to the picturesque Alps and the charming cities of Vienna and Zurich, these visionary individuals have set new standards for branding with their creativity, innovation, and strategic thinking.