Cecilia is the Vice President of Creative at Bluestem Brands, Inc. where she oversees the design and production of 8 titles and manages a team of 50 creatives. Prior to working at Bluestem, Cecilia worked at Perry Ellis International as Chief Creative Director, where she directed design and photography for their portfolio of brands. Cecilia’s innovative leadership style is based on her committed approach to team mentoring and a broad understanding of the creative and corporate worlds. Her unique vision has transformed graphic departments in full in-house agencies with creative teams capable of award winning campaigns.


What was your very first job? 

Design Manager at a design shop, shortly after Art Director for Coca-Cola and Unilever at a design agency. 

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

As Vice President of Creative I oversee and manage a team of 50 professionals including creative and art directors, designers, production artists, copywriters, photo producers and photographers. Together we define the branding and produce all assets for the portfolio of brands.  As a dedicated leader I provide the creative vision, structure, strategy and resources to empower my team to do its best work.

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 the train of events that brought you to where you are today? 

As far as I can remember I had creative vision with a particular interest in the future. I could sense trends before they were popular becoming a trendsetter at a very young age. When I was five my family moved to Holland for almost two years where the modern design aesthetic and the open and forward-minded Dutch society left an indelible impression on me. 

I have always had one foot on creative and another one on management, mixing professional experiences between creative agencies and corporate, and my always daring-positive-attitude has made me stand out and create a path of my own within the creative world. Understanding new trends and having the vision of what’s next have driven my career forward always. 

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

I am innately curious, always thirsty for design, stories and above all beauty. I surround myself with beauty because it makes me happy. I am out there searching for more information to process, magazines, books, shows, music and design. Travelling, discovering cultures and the colorful people in this world has always been the richest source of inspiration. I love to learn how people live, dream and get things done, from ideas to products, to successful enterprises. I am mostly interested in the real people behind the success stories.

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?  

So many beautiful projects throughout my career… I guess I can be proud of having the vision to inspire creative teams to produce their best work. That’s my success story. More to come.


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