Francesca Kennedy Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Francesca Kennedy    

Founder and CEO of Ix Style

Francesca’s mission began when she returned to her grandparents at Lake Atitlán in Guatemala in 2009. The lake had become so completely overrun with blue green algae that the water looked like sewage. NASA called it one of the worst natural disasters of our lifetime as you could see the contamination from space.

The image of young girls collecting the contaminated water to drink, to cook and to clean remained with Francesca and later proved the catalyst for starting her own socially conscious fashion brand: Ix Style. Until that point, she had always taken clean drinking water for granted. After the contamination, she learned that diseases from unsafe water kill more people each year than any form of violence, including war.

Since Ix Style’s inception, Francesca has expanded her line of artisan made Huarache sandals to include men and children’s shoes, accessories and clothing. Her designs have garnered press in publications like Forbes, Financial Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and InStyle–all without the help of a PR team. She has also worked on exclusive collaborations with Gwyneth Paltrow for Goop, J.Crew, Gap, ShopBop and Anthropologie. Richard Branson was one of her first clients and carries Ix Style at his home and private resort on Necker Island. Ix Style has also been noticed by high profile celebrity clients like Amanda Seyfried, designer Rachel Roy and actress Jamie Chung, who have helped share our mission to millions of individuals around the world and across various social media platforms.

In addition to her TED Residency and TED talk about the importance of Lake Atitlan, which will launch on the TED site in March 2017.

Francesca was also featured on “Project Runway: Fashion Startup”, a Shark Tank-like show where the judges were in a bidding war to invest in Ix Style. Ultimately, Rebecca Minkoff (the # 1 accessories designer in the U.S.), Birchbox founder Katia Beauchamp, and Gary Wassner all invested in the company. Rebecca Minkoff is also co-designing five styles with Francesca that will be featured in Rebecca Minkoff boutiques around the world and on her website.

Francesca doesn’t believe in handouts, and neither do her partners at Puente and FUNSEPA, non-profit organizations based in Guatemala that provide educational and vocational resources for local women and children. Through these collaborative initiatives, Francesca is dedicated to empowering women through education, commerce, and production. Francesca chooses to invest in women and children because she knows it is the most effective way to invest in a community and ensure permanent and positive change.

Speech Topics

Speech Topics

  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Empowering women
  • Guatemala
  • Fashion
  • Water
  • Running a startup (e.g. business plan development, pitching to investors, PR plan, pitching to editors and vendors)

Related Speakers View all

More like Francesca