JennAir Assembles Defiant Women In Design To Ignite Conversation On Shattering The Status Quo
Jessica McConnell, Sophia Chang, Esther Garcia and Emily Oberg Come Together for Trailblazing Discussion at Modernism Week on February 16

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Feb. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- JennAir continues to defy convention with a powerhouse of female designers who have ignited a luxury kitchen revolution in an industry often dominated by men. Set against the backdrop of a city built by strong women, JennAir is advancing the conversation — and in turn, the category — by bringing progress to the forefront, as told through the lens of rule-breaking female designers. As the brand heads to Modernism Week in Palm Springs, Calif. with an array of progressive experiences, JennAir will pay homage to badass, trailblazing women across design through an all-female panel discussion, titled Women in Design: Shattering the Status Quo, taking place on Saturday, February 16 at 12 p.m. at the Community and Meeting Place (CAMP) theater.

The panel will be moderated by art curator and writer Kimberly Drew (far left) with featured speakers (from left to right) illustrator, designer and entrepreneur Sophia Chang, JennAir product designer Jessica McConnell, tattoo artist Esther Garcia, and fashion designer and creative director Emily Oberg.

In the spirit of the new JennAir brand ethos, Bound By Nothing™, the JennAir panel will bring together leading women with cross-disciplinary design perspectives — from fashion and interiors to illustration and tattoo art — to uncover how they push their industries forward and drive progress through an utter rejection of expectation. The conversation will cover ideas ranging from the sourcing of creative inspiration to the future of design and the representation of women in the industry as a whole. Pushing limits, they will take a deeper dive into each woman's personal rebellion against convention as a means to drive progress and the challenges faced in getting to where she is today: a dominating force in her industry.

The formation of an all-female panel was further inspired by the many female designers who play an integral role in the creation of the new JennAir products, from design conception to production. In a time when the world is taking note of powerful women as they shatter the glass ceiling, spearheading a movement to make their voices heard, JennAir is committed to shining a spotlight on the female powerhouses who are driving change in the design industry.

"Our design team is a force to be reckoned with," said J Mays, Chief Design Officer at Whirlpool Corporation. "As we champion the brilliant women behind the creation of our industry exclusive RISE and NOIRdesigns, what better place to celebrate than Modernism Week in Palm Springs. We invite fellow rebels, misfits and disruptors to join us in conversation as we continue to blaze a trail of product excellence that knows no end."

The panel will include a JennAir designer who led the team of women behind the creation of the RISE and NOIR design expressions, and industry exclusive pieces, Burlesque, Smoke & Brass and Cuts. Without this brilliant designer, JennAir would not be the challenger brand it is today. JennAir will also welcome four designers to share their unique experiences and ideas, across categories including illustration, fashion, tattoo art and interiors:

  • Jessica McConnell, Global Color, Material and Finish (CMF) Sr. Design Manager at Whirlpool Corporation. Choosing progress over stagnation, McConnell is responsible for driving the JennAir game-changing design direction and brand reset fueled by two new design expressions, RISE and NOIR, and led the creation of industry-exclusive Cuts, Burlesque and Smoke & Brass.
  • Sophia Chang, Illustrator, Designer and Entrepreneur. The New York born and bred illustrator is part of a new generation of young entrepreneurs that are flexing beyond what meets the eye. With her BFA degree in Illustration from Parsons School of Design, Sophia is a renaissance woman for the modern era, immersing herself in graphic design, illustration and apparel and spanning industries from streetwear to tech.
  • Esther Garcia, Tattoo Artist and Designer. In an industry notoriously dominated by men, Esther started a private, all-female artist driven tattoo shop in Chicago. Predominantly self-taught, this trailblazer brings a unique curiosity and rigorous investigative method to all artistic projects and is unafraid of a challenge.
  • Emily Oberg, Fashion Designer and Creative Director. Emily entered the world of streetwear ahead of the trend. Through an unorthodox entry to the industry at 20, Emily started her career building up Complex Magazine's video platform, before working as KITH Women's creative lead and going on to found her own streetwear brand, Sporty & Rich, creating a name for herself in fashion.

The panel will be moderated by the powerful and engaging Kimberly Drew, art curator and writer. Over the course of her career, Drew has worked for Hyperallergic, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Lehmann Maupin, and The Met. She has delivered lectures and participated in panel discussions nationally and internationally, and her writing has appeared across top women's publications.

JennAir is committed to not only deliver a new vision of luxury, but to spread innovative ideas to inspire the entire industry to challenge the status quo. Appliance design will no longer be confined to a one-size-fits-all notion of luxury. The future of the industry is limitless, and JennAir continues to lead the pack on the path of progress. JennAir is providing additional unique offerings throughout Modernism Week at CAMP, where attendees can experience new products from the JennAir RISE and NOIR design expressions first-hand, bringing the panelist discussion to life. To purchase tickets for this one-of-a-kind experience, visit

To learn more about JennAir and its presence at Modernism Week, visit @JennAir on Instagram and Twitter and

About JennAir
Defying physics with the invention of downdraft ventilation, Lou Jenn forged the path to an open concept and changed the kitchen forever. Founded in that progressive spirit, JennAir fearlessly carries his torch forward as champions of the design community and the industry at large. Hell-bent on burning down the tired conventions of luxury, JennAir crafts distinctive luxury kitchen appliances that push form and function to transform spaces. With exceptional performance, masterful execution and provocative design, JennAir offerings are powerful, yet bespoke to individual tastes, shattering norms to deliver the progress that today's luxury consumer deserves. To speak with a badass call agent at the JennAir Epicenter or learn more about the new offerings from JennAir, please visit or join us on and


Updated JennAir Logo (PRNewsfoto/JennAir)


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