Design Director, Footwear (Running/Training)


The position is responsible for executing the design direction set by the Senior design director each season for the respective product areas (Footwear). The Director manages their team of designers to create compelling stories and designs that embody the brand direction and also allow for commercial success. The Director partners with Product Marketing to ensure that the line meets the overall business needs and with Development to ensure successful manufacturing of the product.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Manage managers and designers in their daily work and ensure they meet deadlines and deliverables
  • Resolve issues with the team relating to design, staff performance or cross-functional problems and escalate them to the Senior Management as needed
  • Mentor designers on the entire team, even those who are not direct reports; be a leader to all those in the department
  • Successfully partner with all other areas within Design to ensure that the story, message and overall deliverables are in alignment with the entire department's goals
  • Partner with cross-functional groups (Product and Brand Marketing, Development, SBU, Merchandising, Sales) to ensure that the line is successful – meeting the brand aesthetic set by the Creative Director and meeting the needs of the business
  • Write and deliver goals and performance reviews to direct reports and ensure the teams meet deadlines around Performance Management activities
  • Manage, mentor and coach both within the team and with other teams to ensure the success of all designers in the department and to actively manage the career progression of those on the Director's individual team; manage expectations, communicate effectively, motivate and develop with creative ways to make the Design Department a desirable environment in which to work
  • Be an expert in the functional area and share that expertise and guidance to deliver high quality product; This includes not only design, storytelling and creative concepts, but also designing to cost, construction, manufacturing techniques and infusing technology into performance product / fashion into sports-based lifestyle product
  • Understand market needs and ensure that the team is savvy in trends, market requirements, competitors and overall needs of the Reebok brand based on the USP and the current business state
  • Art direct and ensure the team is prepared to deliver high quality designs for milestone meetings
  • Work with development on prototypes to ensure that the execution of 2D into 3D meets the vision and intent of the original design, meets margin expectations and is of high caliber.
  • Style designs (2d and 3d) for senior management presentations; Lead cross functional teams on projects each season set forth by the Senior Team and the Creative Director to bring the line to fruition each season
  • Identify problems and develop solutions or innovative approaches to the design and development of sport and/or sport-inspired footwear
  • Identify new or innovative concepts, materials, manufacturing process, etc. and suggest ways in which they could improve the overall process and positively impact the team
  • Support the Senior design Director and Senior Team in all activities that communicate Reebok as a brand to both internal and external executives and key players for the business

Knowledge Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong communication, organizational and presentation skills; ability to give and receive design critique and respond with multiple solutions
  • Ability to illustrate designs & concepts as hand sketches and line art and mentor the team to provide these at a high quality
  • Ability to present designs, concepts and seasonal stories to all levels of the organization and across various departments
  • Expertise in all areas related to design including costing, margins, construction, manufacturing, development, etc.
  • Strong team player with peers and Senior Management, and strong leader to direct reports and those within the team
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities with very short timeframes and under high pressure; Strong time management skills that are passed down to reports for their professional growth
  • Ability to identify talent and create career paths and succession planning for all members of the team
  • Ability to select appropriate candidates for open positions that will work well within the team and bring a high caliber of talent to Reebok Design
  • Understanding of general financial tenants of the department, ability to partner with the Head of Design Operations on strategic financial planning and fiscal responsibility for both the team and for the overall department

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of design experience and managing teams of designers
  • Ability to work well in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign (as appropriate for the functional area)
  • Knowledge of all aspects of product from market positioning through manufacturing
  • Strong negotiating and influencing skills
  • Strong Presentation and Storytelling skills and experience in mentoring teams in this area
  • Bachelors degree in fashion or Product design
  • Prior management experience in leading teams of designers

In the fall of 2017, the Reebok brand is moving its headquarters to a 220,000 square-foot section of the Innovation and Design Building in Boston's Seaport District. The move will bring community fitness to a next generation design and innovation space; the all new workplace will foster a vibrant collaborative culture and will allow the brand to be closely connected to the community in Boston. Alongside state-of-the-art office spaces, the headquarters will be equipped with an extensive employee fitness center and a public retail store.

Meet Some of Reebok's Employees

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From materials to use to how to cut and sew them, Andi creates the fitness clothing worn by elite athletes and Reebok's consumers—on the court, in the gym, and on the go.

Ben B.

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