Ivy Ross

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Ivy Ross

Ivy Ross (1955)[1] is an American business executive, jewelry designer,[2] and, since July 2016,[3] Vice President of hardware design at Google.[4] She has worked at Google since May 2014; prior to being appointed VP of hardware design, she led the Google Glass team at Google X.[5][6] Ross’s metal work in jewelry design is in the permanent collections of 12 international museums, including the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.[7] One of few recognized fine artists to successfully cross over into the business world, Ross is also a keynote speaker[8] and a member of several boards, and has been hailed as a “creative visionary” by the art world.[9]

Background & Education[edit]

Ross was born in Yonkers, New York and grew up in Riverdale. She credits her father, an industrial engineer who worked for the Raymond Loewy studio that created the Studebaker Hawk automobile, for influencing her choice of careers.[10] Ross attended the High School of Art and Design in New York City, with a major in Fine Art and minor in Psychology. She later attended the Syracuse University School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a major in Jewelry Design. She went on to complete the Professional Management Development Program at Harvard Business School in 1994.[11]


Ross began her professional career as a designer. After college she launched a jewelry design business in 1978 called Small Wonders,.[12] Until the mid-‘80s, Ross worked as a designer for Avon Products Inc.[13] She oversaw product development for Swatch Watch and worked as an accessories designer for Liz Claiborne before moving on to direct design and product development for Outlook Eyewear (Bausch and Lomb), Coach, and Calvin Klein.

During Ross’s tenure at Mattel (1998 to 2004) as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Design & Brand Image for The Girls Division, she was charged with developing a new toy for the pre-teen girls segment. Ross conceived of an experiment in multi-disciplinary design dubbed “Project Platypus”,[14][15][16] which resulted in Mattel’s highly successful Ello Creation System.

After leaving Mattel, Ross joined the Gap Inc. as Executive VP of Product Design & Development for Old Navy from 2004 to 2007. While there, Ross created an in-house blog called "Culture Feed" with insight culled from the Internet and curated by trend-hunter Jody Turner.[17] She left to become Senior VP and Chief Creative Officer for the Disney Stores of America (owned by the Children’s Place),[18] a position she held for one year before returning to the Gap in 2008. As Executive Vice President of Marketing for the Gap Inc. Ross was responsible for the launch of the 1969 denim line of jeans. In July 2011, Ross joined Art.com[19] where she served as Chief Marketing Officer until her move to Google X in 2014.


Ross was one of the first jewelers to use titanium, tantalum, and niobium, metals that reveal a spectrum of colors when they are charged with electricity.[20] By age 26, Ross had some of her jewelry designs included in the permanent collections of 10 museums, including the Smithsonian,[21] the Victoria and Albert Museum[22] in London, the Museum of Arts and Design,[23] the Schmuckmuseum, in Pforzheim, Germany,[24] the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City and the Montreal Visual Arts Center. Ross is a recognized American craft artist and has had her work exhibited globally.[25] In 1984 Ross and then-husband Robert Ebendorf won a Formica design competition through the exploration of a new product called ColorCore™.[26]


Ross is on the board of directors for Casual Male Retail Group Inc.[27] and the Institute for Play[28]. Previously, she was on the design board for Procter & Gamble.[29]

Honors & Awards[edit]

Ross was given the Juror, Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition in 2006 [30]. Additionally, she presented as a business storyteller for BIF-2, a collaborative innovation summit sponsored by the Business Innovation Factory, that same year.[31] In 2003, Ross was one of nine executives chosen by Fast Company magazine for the “Who’s Fast 2003” issue[32]. In 2008, she was named a Fashion Design Mentor for Otis College of Art & Design.[33]


  1. ^ "Dezeen: "The tech world is jumping on the design world" says Google's head of hardware design".
  2. ^ Ivy Ross by Cool Hunting, June 2011
  3. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/in/rossivy/
  4. ^ https://coolhunting.com/tech/ivy-ross-google-product-design-interview/
  5. ^ BBC News Technology "Google Glass appoints Ivy Ross as new head", May 2014
  6. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek Executive Profile
  7. ^ Smithsonian American Art Museum Collections
  8. ^ Ivy Ross at TedXRVA 2013
  9. ^ Art Daily News “Creative Visionary Ivy Ross Joins Art.com”
  10. ^ Harvard Business School Alumni "A Life by Design", December 2004
  11. ^ "HBS: A LIFE BY DESIGN".
  12. ^ Toledo Blade, September 23, 1981
  13. ^ Harvard Business School Alumni "A Life by Design", December 2004
  14. ^ <AIGA 2003 "Project Platypus"
  15. ^ Fast Company "Ivy Ross Not Playing Around"
  16. ^ [http://upstart.bizjournals.com/news/technology/2014/05/19/how-project-platypus-could-open-google-glass-to.html?page=all Upstart Business Journal>
  17. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine "Ivy Ross: the Feeder", June 2006
  18. ^ Indian Television "The Children's Place Retail Stores appoints Ivy Ross as Sr VP & chief creative officer of Disney Store North America", January 2007
  19. ^ PR Newswire "Creative Visionary Ivy Ross Joins Art.com Inc. as Chief Merchandising Officer", July 2011
  20. ^ Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center for American Art, Ivy Ross, Craft Jewelry Bracelet
  21. ^ Smithsonian American Art Museum, Earrings by Ivy Ross 1979
  22. ^ V&A Collections, Brooch by Ivy Ross 1984
  23. ^ Museum of Arts & Design, Necklace by Ivy Ross & Robert W. Ebendorf, 1986
  24. ^ Toledo Blade, September 23, 1981
  25. ^ A History of American Studio Craft
  26. ^ Smithsonian American Art Museum Press Room
  27. ^ Destination XL Group, "Casual Male Retail Group, Inc. Elects Industry Veteran Ivy Ross to Board of Directors"
  28. ^ The National Institute for Play Board of DIrectors
  29. ^ "Bloomberg: Online Extra: P&G's Quest for "Wow" Design".
  30. ^ Ambidextrous Magazine Interview with Ivy Ross, January 2007
  31. ^ Business Innovation Factory "Project Platypus"
  32. ^ Fast Company Magazine "Who's Fast 2003"
  33. ^ Otis College of Art & Design, Past Fashion Mentors