JACQUI WENZEL, FOUNDER
WITH OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE, AS ONE OF NEW YORK CITY’S LUXURY MERCHANTS, JACQUI WENZEL HAS EARNED A STRONG REPUTATION FOR INTRODUCING, COACHING & DEVELOPING EMERGING DESIGNERS INTERESTED IN BECOMING GLOBAL BRANDS.
Following LIM College with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, Wenzel accepted an offer to join Macys “Executive Training Program”, where she earned her first buying position in Designer Coats.
Discovering the merchant within her, Wenzel quickly moved uptown to fully explore the exclusive world of designer fashion, accepting buying positions from notable retailers including Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Linda Dresner and Max Mara.
Honing her skills for discovering new talent took shape at the original Henri Bendel, under the guidance of Fashion Director Jean Rosenberg, where Wenzel met Stephen Sprouse and offered the designer his first 57th Street Windows. With passion and determination, guided by her instinctive eye, Jacqui was invited to shop Europe for new and undiscovered talent, enjoying the excitement and emotional reward of introducing unexploited collections and the designers behind them.
Wenzel’s introduction to lifestyle brands began with Romeo Gigli’s first US boutique. Hired by Carla Sozzani as Retail Director, Wenzel was responsible for buying and merchandising the Italian collection to meet the needs of the American market, without losing the integrity of the designer’s creative vision. From the Fornasetti screened fitting rooms to the Venetian glass chandeliers, Jacqui found herself immersed in the world of Gigli.
Sozzani would later introduce Wenzel to Mariuccia Mandelli, when KRIZIA prepared to open their first Madison Avenue boutique, where Jacqui directed the US wholesale and retail operation for six years.
In 2002 Wenzel establishes JWmerchandising, consulting for designers on special projects, including a merchandising assignment for Liz Lang’s transition into Target stores and joining Creative Director Tia Cibani for a global rebranding of Ports 1961, leading Wenzel to the position of President, where she directed the Advertising, Marketing, Retail and Wholesale expansion for the China based company into North America and Europe. As President Wenzel launched boutiques in New York, Los Angeles and Harvey Nichols London, participated in New York Fashion week seasonally and directed events with Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, W, Vanity Fair, In Style, Paper and Elle magazine with co-host including Glenda Bailey, Joe Zee, Olivia Palermo, Kim Hastreiter and Arianna Huffington.
In 2011 Wenzel re-established JWM with a greater global view and understanding of luxuries new frontier, launching emerging designers interested in becoming global brands, including CFDA’s Vogue Fashion Fund, top ten finalist, Misha Nonoo.
Wenzel continues her association with LIM College students as a Board Director of The Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, Fashion Education Foundation. Founded in 1977, the foundation is an independent, not for profit organization dedicated to raising funds for student scholarships and educational enhancements for LIM students.