WPO Guest Blog: Jackie Wilson leads a fast-growing fashion design business in CNY

jackie-wilson

By: Stan Linhorst | slinhorst@syracuse.com

Jackie Wilson has built a fast-growing fashion company in Central New York. Since 2013, revenue at American Fashion Network has skyrocketed ten-fold.

American Fashion Network is the umbrella for JES Apparel, which Wilson describes as “our stage name.” JES were the initials of Jackie, Estina and Surina, her two partners in Singapore. Their partnership dissolved in 2011. Wilson kept the name and today has 13 designers, artists and brand managers working at her studio in DeWitt. Eight more – designers and factory support staff – work at her new office in Los Angeles.

Wilson said the company’s hallmark has been speed to market, taking 10 weeks out of the normal timetable from conception of design to seeing garments in stores. She contracts with factories in Guatemala, China, Vietnam, Indonesia. A new one is coming online soon in Peru.

She was born in Whittier, Calif., grew up in La Habra near Anaheim and graduated in 1985 from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism, hoping to see the world as a foreign correspondent. Instead, the Gemco cashier job she landed at age 16 launched a career in fashion sales and helped her to travel the world, first for employers in L.A. and New York and now from her headquarters on Heritage Landing Drive.

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