‘It’s no time right now to be reactive, you have to be proactive, and it’s much easier to be proactive on the client side,’ says John C Jay to explain his transfer from advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy to fashion company Fast Retailing in 2014. Fast Retailing is the parent company of multiple global fashion brands including Uniqlo, G.U., Theory, J Brand, Helmut Lang, Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princess Tam Tam.
As President of Global Creative at Fast Retailing Jay divides his time between three cities, Portland, New York and Tokyo. He oversees Creative R&D centers in different cities around the world, that are an extension of Fast Retailing’s new Innovation Center in Tokyo.
At Wieden+Kennedy Jay was Global Creative Director, overseeing their global network of creative offices. He was a partner and trustee of the agency and for 21 years worked with long-term clients such as Nike. In 1998, Jay moved to Tokyo to open the first of the agency’s Asia offices and launched the first brand work for Uniqlo. He also launched here an independent music label, W+K Tokyo Lab, in support of the city’s young musicians and artists.
Prior to his advertising agency life, Jay was the Executive Vice-President, Director of Creative Services for Bloomingdales in New York City. And he began his career in New York in journalism and editorial art direction. Jay has been named by Design USA in the top ten of their list of the ‘Most Influential Art Directors of the Past 50 Years.’ He was inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and was mentioned by Fast Company in their 100 Most Creative People in Business.