Footwear Design Manager, Studio

As a true pioneer in the arena of studio fitness, Reebok is widely recognized as being the studio fitness brand of the 80s/90s. To this day, Reebok’s commitment to encourage people to work out together remains at the core of the brand's mission. Studio fitness enables people to inspire, engage with and energize one another in a unique way. The Reebok Studio Footwear products are both performance and style driven with many of the products featured on fashion and lifestyle sites such as Goop and sold in partnership with Bandier.

Position Summary

The Footwear Design Manager for Studio is responsible for researching trends, ideation of new concepts and creating compelling footwear product to meet the brand aesthetic. The Footwear Design Manager works with the Senior Director and the footwear team to ensure that each product meets the category’s product brief and the seasonal design direction set by the Creative Director and Senior Management team.

Key Accountabilities

Manage Business (Processes and Projects)

  • Improve the design and development process by suggesting / using new, innovative concepts, materials, or manufacturing processes
  • Manage direct reports, junior team members, and/or interns and apprentices in their daily work and ensure they meet deadlines and deliverables
  • Resolve issues with the team relating to design, staff performance, and/or cross-functional problems

Manage and Develop People

  • Provide prompt and constructive feedback, and assume a coaching role to support and inspire the team, including interns and apprentices

Provide a Framework for Performance

  • Direct and ensure the team is prepared to deliver high-quality designs for milestone meetings
  • Create an effective work environment in which people can perform best by ensuring the availability or resources, e.g. by hiring best people available from outside and inside or by allocating budgets appropriately

Result Orientation

  • Drive accountability across the team, ensuring timely completion of all tasks within the seasonal development calendar, successful conclusion of time-sensitive special projects, and continually identifying ways to improve the process
  • Continue to do job functions of a Sr. Designer but at a much reduced level, including the following items:

Technical Communication

  • Accurately depict hand-drawn sketches, designs, graphic applications, and ideations as digitally rendered line art, flat patterns, 2D / 3D, technical drawings, and other required art / illustrations
  • Capture mental impressions and ideas in visual, verbal, or audio renderings
  • Effectively and efficiently navigate and use Reebok software tools and systems
  • Use appropriate Reebok forms and templates, such as briefs and tech packs, to capture, convey, and communicate design and product information to others throughout the design cycle
  • Create technical drawings and representations of fabric, trim, graphic artwork, and products such that construction information is interpreted exactly as intended
  • Select appropriate methods of communications to accurately convey technical information in informal and formal situations
  • Create design and concept boards to communicate seasonal direction and design theme application to a product or product line
  • Create supporting artwork that illustrates design concepts and tells stories

Creativity

  • Create new products, graphics, seasonal color palettes, or seasonal vision / concepts using trends in fashion and culture, competition, and Reebok past designs as catalysts
  • Translate fashion and culture trends to the brand, products, product lines, design concepts, color, and graphics
  • Freely speculate possibilities and if/then scenarios during brainstorming or sketch sessions
  • Employ multi-dimensional thinking to ideate and discover new perspectives, view points, or approaches
  • Use unorthodox or atypical ways of solving problems to conceive innovative, usable concepts, or inspire other concepts / ideas
  • Respond to design critique with multiple solutions

Reebok Design DNA

  • Incorporate seasonal inspiration, fabric/materials/trims, color, and graphics stories in designs that have visual aesthetic as well as relevant product color / graphics themes and placement
  • Select and ensure color, graphics/prints, materials, fit, and trims enhance product aesthetic, works within overall design range, and overall design has market appeal
  • Ensure the product successfully meets the brand aesthetic by adhering to Reebok design DNA fundamentals
  • Design products based on accurate assessment of fabric and anatomical characteristics
  • Ensure construction, finishing techniques, and textiles enhance product usability
  • Select textiles based on their functional properties, aesthetic, cost, and support of the intended design
  • Infuse and apply new technologies to performance products or fashion influences to sports-based lifestyle products or graphics / color and ensure they are integral elements of the design
  • Research and apply new and innovative ways to use existing techniques
  • Visualize concepts, impressions, and ideas in concrete and tangible ways
  • Translate design concepts to products and product lines
  • Design new components or innovate existing footwear parts
  • Attend and contribute to review sessions for designs, construction, fit, and/or prototypes
  • Resolve product design and development problems using innovative approaches
  • Ensure design reflects / incorporates market needs and product brief requirements
  • Design products that are achievable given construction and manufacturing techniques
  • Ensure execution of 2D into 3D / prototypes meets the vision and intent of the original design, margin expectations, and is of high-caliber
  • Apply knowledge of footwear technical processes for lasts, patterns, blueprints and molds

Industry, Market, and Consumer Acumen

  • Use relevant and appropriate resources to accurately determine, anticipate, and validate current and future trends, competition, retail landscape, and cultural drivers
  • Use appropriate research methods and resources to efficiently obtain current, reliable, and credible information regarding markets, colors, trends, consumers, retailer strategies, and other required types of information
  • Interpret and understand consumer dynamics, predict shifts, and react to trends
  • Make accurate assessments and projections of competitors' strengths and weaknesses in the global market relative to the Reebok brand, products, and product lines including market presence, tactics, merchandising, and trends
  • Maintain current information of Reebok and industry factors that can affect products, such as material, technology, and consumer feedback and insight
  • Accurately assess the impact consumers have on the market
  • Employ formal and informal methods to gain insight and to research industry, market, consumer, and competitor information
  • Analyze and summarize research data
  • Gather and apply market research and/or consumer feedback to accurately anticipate and fulfill consumer needs, and identify consumers and trends

Financial Aptitude

  • Create / design products that integrate technology, function, and design aesthetic and remain within cost margins
  • Assess potential cost / margin impact of fabric, color, trim, graphics, treatments, technology, components, and construction choices
  • Resolve cost / margin issues and ensure product / design realization and execution, within budget, against the targeted Go-In-Margin, revenue, quality / pricing, and timelines to meet market requirements
  • Analyze and select design / product elements based on cost and a hierarchy of importance
  • Fulfill product briefs' cost, margin, and competitive pricing requirements

Knowledge Skills and Abilities:

Manage Relationships and Diversity

  • Tackle conflicts proactively and finds constructive solutions together with his/her counterparts

Communicate with Others

  • Transport information effectively in individual and group situations using the most appropriate and effective medium, such as, but not limited to, presentations, meetings, one-to-one situations
  • Select content and use language and terminology appropriate to the audience
  • Prepare concise presentations, briefings, and email that ensure the intent is consistently and correctly interpreted by recipients
  • Convey messages verbally and visually in a clear, concise, and accurate way during meetings, telephone / video conferences such that interpretation is consistent and accurate, and need for clarification is minimal
  • Present facts and factual information in a structured and non-ambiguous manner
  • Receive and give feedback in a positive, constructive manner
  • Convey conceptual information in a concrete and tangible manner

Personal Impact

  • Be a leader to all those in the department

Planning and Organizing

  • Work independently and perform a variety of tasks with different levels of complexity by developing effective plans and organizing work efficiently
  • Meet design calendar deadlines and deliverables
  • Participate conscientiously and with accountability in own, cross-department, and cross-function teams, and facilitate effective team outcomes
  • Think and act in a goal-oriented manner, and prioritize and complete tasks in order of importance
  • Utilize personnel, financial, and material resources effectively and efficiently to get things done

Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of footwear design experience
  • Prior management of designers
    • Advanced level Adobe Illustrator; Photoshop and 3D software a plus
      Bachelor’s degree in product, industrial, automotive or interior design

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