the first Indian housewife in franchise history on Real Housewives of New York, tastemaker, fashion publicist, brand consultant, entrepreneur
Jessel Taank is a New York based fashion publicist and brand consultant, known for thinking outside the box and putting creative spins on otherwise traditional approaches to PR while challenging the status quo. She currently stars as part of a brand-new cast in Bravo’s rebooted THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY (in its 14th season), as the first Indian housewife in the history of the franchise. Seeing an opportunity to reeducate America on what a “housewife” could look like, she has prioritized authenticity - and is using her platform to bring visibility to topics like mental health & fertility struggles in ways the franchise and the South Asian community haven't seen before.
A graduate of the prestigious Kings College in London, where she obtained a degree in English and Journalism, Jessel grew up surrounded by the influences of her grandfather’s bespoke tailoring business and her mother’s passion for art and design, inspiring her to forge a career in fashion soon after graduation.
Working for Conde Nast International, Stella McCartney, Celine, Victoria Beckham, Michael Kors and Westfield, where she led the strategic direction of thirty-three commercial retail properties and led partnerships with the likes of KKW Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Business of Fashion and Eataly, Jessel has shaped the pathways of growth for several iconic brands in the industry.
Born to an immigrant family in London, England, Jessel was raised in a tight knit but strict Indian household. Growing up, she aspired to chase the American Dream, and she hoped to seize it in New York. Motivated by the drive and ambition of her uncles, Max and Nitin Vadukul, who fled the prospect of their arranged marriages to pursue successful careers as photographers in Manhattan, both breaking ground in the rarified and exclusionary fields of fashion and editorial photography as lensman hailing from Indian descent, she eventually followed in their footsteps to begin her career in the fashion capital of the world.
Jessel met her husband, a financier named Pavit Randhawa, after they were introduced by a mutual friend at a bar in the Lower East Side. Romance didn’t spark immediately and they remained close friends for years before beginning to date seriously. They were married in Mexico in 2014.
Jessel currently runs a boutique agency called The Know that specializes in consulting newly formed brands. She is at the brink of launching Oushq, an e-commerce platform featuring ready-to-ship Indian designer clothing for the US market. A love letter through Indian fashion to the rest of the world, the retail platform will deliver highly curated ready-to-wear and accessories to the fashion curious, sharing the allure of Indian fashion with a global community. She is a committed supporter of Citta, an organization founded by artist and anthropologist, Michael Daube that empowers girls and young women in India through schooling, community support and traditional craft.
Jessel and Pavit reside in Chelsea, New York with their twin boys, Kai & Rio.