Ivy Ross is an American business executive and jewellery designer. She was appointed Head of Google Glass at Google X on May 19, 2014. Ivy Ross’s metal work in jewellery design is in the permanent collections of 12 international museums, including the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. One of few recognised fine artists to successfully crossover into the business world, Ross is also a keynote speaker, a member of several boards, and has been hailed as a “creative visionary” by the art world.
Ivy 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. She later attended the Syracuse University School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a major in Jewellery Design. She went on to complete the Professional Management Development Program at Harvard Business School in 1994.
Ivy Ross began her professional career as a designer. After graduating from college in 1978, she launched a jewellery design business named Small Wonders. Until the mid-‘80s, Ross worked as a designer for Avon Products Inc. 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, saw the conception of an experiment in multi-disciplinary design dubbed “Project Platypus”, which resulted in Mattel’s highly successful Ello Creation System.
After leaving Mattel, Ross joined the Gap Inc. as executive vice president 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. She left to become senior vice president and chief creative officer for the Disney Stores of America (owned by the Children’s Place), a position she held for one year before returning to the Gap in 2008 as its vice president of marketing. There, Ross was responsible for the launch of the 1969 denim line of jeans. In July 2011, Ross joined Art.com as chief marketing officer until her move to Google X as an exec to oversee Google Glass in 2014 to rescue the ailing augmented reality device.
The following year, Google ceased production of the first augumented reality glasses and instead, appointed Ross to lead the company’s hardware products as of 2016.
After launching a collection of consumer hardware including smartphones and smart speakers in 2017, Fast Company honoured Google, the "Best Design Company" in 2018. Ross also served on the Fast Company's 2018 Innovation by Design Awards panel.
Under Ross’ direction, the tech company embarked on a crossed-over into the field of interior design at the 2018 Milan Design Week, with its sensorial "Softwear" installation depicting the intersection of technology with day-to-day life.
By age 26, Ross had some of her jewellery designs included in the permanent collections of 10 museums globally, including the Smithsonian, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Schmuckmuseum, in Pforzheim, Germany, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City and the Montreal Visual Arts Center. She was one of the first jewellers to use titanium, tantalum, and niobium, metals in her jewellery, which awarded her the National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Women in Design Award and the Diamond International Award.
In 1984 Ross and then-husband Robert Ebendorf won a Formica design competition through the exploration of a new product called ColorCore. In 2008 she became one of Otis College of Art & Design's fashion design mentors.