The one and only Jess Kienle
Tim Yap (The Philippine Star) - November 10, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Every now and then a new girl comes in the door and makes everyone’s heads turn. Every now and then someone arrives and we know she has “IT.” “It” is that magnetism that comes with dignity, an undefinable quality that makes someone glow. It is as visible as it is invisible. It is a spirit as much as it is a physical manifestation. Manila, feast you eyes on the scene’s newest It girl, Jessica Kienle. 

Jess Kienle ( pronounced keen-ly) worked in Paris for three years for a foundation that was devoted to the arts, took a four-year program in interior architecture, then spent almost two years in New York to finish her studies before she moved to San Francisco to work with Dara Rosenfeld. She also worked for Muriel Brandolini in New York. A quick Google check would reveal that Brandolini is BFFs with one of fashion’s most powerful women, Anna Wintour. One day after all that whirlwind ride of working, studying and traveling, Jess decided it was time to go back to the Philippines. Jess is now 23.

“I wanted to come back because it wasn’t fulfilling for me anymore to work for another company.  I wanted to start creating. I have such a wonderful foundation with my family’s furniture business, I wanted to give it a new look, a new feel.” The Kienle’s own Philux, a luxury furniture brand that has been a pioneer in the business for 30 years.  “I wanted to come home to help out in the Philippines.”

What sets her apart

Jess doesn’t have this air of entitlement and talks with utmost sincerity. She doesn’t strike you as vain or self-obsessed, and the more you talk to her, the more her beauty grows on you. “Manila is growing, there are many talented designers that are emerging and I want to be part of that. I want to feel more fulfilled to be part of that movement.”

The standard question when a new girl is discovered is “Any plans of entering show business?” as if it were the natural transition of anyone blessed with beauty, brains, bucks and breeding. Interesting to note that, contrary to popular notion, not all It girls have responded to the lure of the klieg lights. “Probably not acting. I don’t want to stray away from design. I just want to make sure I’m pursuing my passion. I wanna be able to help out. The growing Manila scene, I wanna be part of the action.”

She is, however; open to the possibilities of hosting, doing commercials and endorsements. Or anything related to lifestyle and design. “Design is very broad, there are many possibilities,” said Jess, who is starting to get noticed by designers and stylists for her statuesque and regal stance and nonchalant beauty. The common consensus? Is that she has IT.

“It’s nice to be back. I feel more complete. I feel I can really grow, as a person, close to my family and friends I grew up with. I feel all these factors will help me grow faster, because I have their support.”

Welcome the newest It girl on the block.

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(More on the new and the now at

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