Innovative product design executive with proven ability to create highly profitable programs through superior design skill sets, trend execution and high level product execution regardless of distribution. My experience has enabled me to have a clear understanding of how great creative design is only successful when there's great business strategy behind it. Poor design leads to poor outcomes and poor business strategy leads to poor outcomes. I feel this is the key understanding in being successful at all distribution levels. I've designed and merchandised for my own company as well as in the mass market, collections and independent project areas. These experiences have developed me into a well rounded design executive with a multifaceted background.
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Visual Work Experience
2006 - Apr 2011
Design Director Young Mens and Active
Was hired to inject a more relevant product assortment for the Young Men's, JR's and Active categories. My diverse background enabled me to build comprehensive assortments that pulled from a variety of work experiences and skills. Below were my responsibilities;
- Accountable for 6 categories covering 6 brands; Arizona Jeans (all-american prep), Decree (City Style), Big Mac (neo workwear relaunch), Version (performance), Simply For Sports (active lifestyle)
- Implemented and executed design strategy consisting of concept, direction and execution.
- Expanded assortments in all brands to capture bigger customer base. This led to an increase in new customers and increased the brands average purchase price.
- Managed $256mill across all brands.
- Responsibility covered all product categories (tops, bottoms, seasonal)
- Constructed testing strategy for each brand to enable better speed to market and better understanding of customer preferences.
- Developed domestic and oversees denim labs to improve wash quality and aesthetic. Oversees make and fabric combined with domestic wash execution.
- Worked with sourcing in determining mill and factory alignment by region and skill level.
- Created standards for wet and dry processing. Improved consistencies in execution.
2004 - 2006
VP of Design and Merchandising
Kellwood Inc, Phat Pharm
Was hired on to manage all areas of design, product development and merchandising. Key hiring point was my ability to execute high value product content. The following describes the specific job responsibilities that I covered during the 3yrs I was there;
- Created successful brand extension Phat Classics that focused on a neo preppy customer and lifestyle
- Set design direction and concepts seasonally that reinforced relevant trends in fabrication, color, silhouette, wash and trims.
- Built strategic partnerships with visual merchandisers to maintain brand consistency with regard to how it was designed and how it organized at retail.
- Responsible for communicating design direction seasonally to licensees that improved the brand's overall visual communication to end customers.
- Segmented SKU development plan into 3 levels to ensure a balance in basics, fashion basics and fashion. Allowed design to build high value at each level and also provided a more efficient design timeline.
- Provided the road map for development. This included when fabrics, trims and samples were ordered along with start and stop dates specific to individual responsibilities.
- Executed product presentations for Board of Directors, Russell Simmons and Sales Force
- Partnered with Director of Sales for key account product presentations to support brand and concept direction.
2001 - 2004
VP of Design and Merchandising
Was hired to revitalize the brands sportswear collection. Company was very successful in the fashion leather outerwear category, but their sportswear division was not having comparable success. My 1st season's collection received great accolades with regard to relevancy and design execution. The company relocated me back to NY to open a design studio where I covered both men's and women's collections. Was responsible for 8 designers, 2 graphic artists, a production manager and a technical designer. The brand improved each year in both sales and profit. The last year that I was there the sportswear side had surpassed the leather business in sales. Responsibilities below;
- Managed 12 person staff
- Spearheaded signature Marc Buchanan Collection. Assortment focused on modern streetwear
- Revitalized sportswear brand by elevating design aesthetic and execution. Built team based on design intelligence and motivation.
- Refocused all design processes to work towards high level design quality and efficiency.
- Brand reached a level of authority that facilitated its 1st licensing products expansion
- Implemented a continuous development calendar that allowed the brand to capture additional business from emerging trends.
- Conducted all pre-line product launch presentations to national sales force. Allowed salesmen to have input into important factors that affected their specific regions. Higher adoption rates.
- Surpassed revenue goals 5 consecutive years.
1996 - 2001
Entrig was a personal project which blended streetwear with the active board sports lifestyle. The concept at the time was to build a collection that took its inspiration from snow boarding, skate boarding and surfing, and build a performance aspect to the assortment that met the needs of the board sports lifestyle. Our claim to fame was bringing polar fleece into the young men's market and reinterpreting it in silhouettes that the market was alreading using (shirt jackets, pea coats ect..). Responsibilities below;
- Partnered with Maseo from the legendary group De La Soul.
- Collection was built domestically in Calif where we were responsible from managing all independent parts of the development cycle.
- Created direction and aesthetic for collection seasonally.
- Initially presented line with regional salesmen to educate accounts on brands identity and merchandising strategy.
- Created ad campaign aesthetic to align with concept of brand and theme.
- Developed and directed PR strategy for launch of brand that led to greater exposure with key accounts and wardrobe directors.
- Wardrobed a variety of celebrities in the entertainment, sports and board sport arenas.
- Distribution included Nordstrom regional stores, Up Against the Wall and several key independent stores regionally.
1993 - 1996
Was hired to develop both streetwear and skate influenced lines under the Brittania label. Created the brands new aesthetic to be sold at the mass market level of distribution. Responsible for entire brand soup to nuts.
- Responsible for Wrangler and Brittania brands
- Ensured brand(s) relevancy by keeping brand on trend and utilizing its long heritage to inspire design team.
- Created 1st skate brand "Raylz" for the company aimed at west coast lifstyle.
- Developed design, graphic direction, pattern direction and packaging for the brand.
- Developed unique assortments for specific key accounts to target regional customer needs.
- Identified product opportunities to test for emerging trends and concepts in the market.