Job Details

Columbia Sportswear Director, Apparel Design

Columbia Sportswear Company

Job - Corporate/Business

Close Date: 06/15/2019


Provide Product Design vision, knowledge, leadership, and management skills for the Columbia Brand’s team of Apparel Designers. Oversee the creative process for designing Sportswear, Outerwear, and Accessories for Men’s, Women’s and Youth product categories. Energize and maximize Columbia’s team of industry leading designers. Seasonally determine what projects best match up with each designer to maximize outcomes. Coordinate design efforts with Merchandising, Product Design, Graphic /Surface, Design, Innovation, Product Development, Sourcing and Production throughout the design/development cycle. Contribute design leadership and interpret new product concepts as needed to meet the needs of our customers; stay abreast and inform the product creation team of market trends.

•Direct, support and unify team interaction in researching, designing and developing apparel and accessories product categories by utilizing leadership, creativity and problem solving skills. Motivate individuals to excel in their performance and contributions.
•Interview and hire design candidates. Provide performance related feedback on an ongoing basis, as well as conduct Performance Evaluations and salary recommendations for designers and design associates. Support staffing optimization efforts and maximize the effectiveness of existing design staff.
•Coordinate efforts between the merchandising staff, design staff and innovation as needed. Co-manage the corporate apparel and accessories design staff with other Design Director(s) and Merchandising Managers.
•Stay abreast of merchandising business plans and strategic goals to ensure design resources can support the growth of the company.
•Determine designer category assignments; maintain an understanding of the strengths and goals of individuals within the design staff. Ensure that training is provided as needed on company processes and procedures; coordinate efforts with HR Learning and Development.
•Conduct market and trend research in conjunction with the design team; contribute creative design skills or product concept direction and ensure that products are designed to meet the goals of merchandising and sales.
•Develop workload plan for each season for design team projects; coordinate planning with product development to assure that goals and deadlines are met.
•Lead sketch reviews, color reviews, and participate in fit sessions; recommend changes as needed.
•Manage product design projects and provide liaison support to merchandisers, designers, innovation, graphic designers, associate designers, product developers, creative services, planning, and production to assure smooth execution of concepts and appropriate preparation for development and production.
•Support the Colour process and development of the Corporate Color Palette. Work as a team leader and with the colour team in identifying general color direction on a seasonal basis. Work to assure all color requirements are met on a timely basis.
•Research worldwide marketplace and interpret consumer and market needs as they relate to product category(s). This includes researching fabric, color, and design concepts and collecting feedback from customers and sales representatives. Attend selected trade shows for market research and attend sales meetings to gain thorough understanding of customer/product requirements and other travel as required including overseas.
•Propose design ideas based on seasonal needs with regard to fabrication, style definition, functional features, fit requirements and design details. If needed, provide sketches and line art to communicate design concepts, including multiple views and detail sketches as necessary. Occasionally provide design/concept boards to communicate design and color direction.
•Work with department members to meet timelines and assure that all design related tasks are achieved in a timely manner.
•Work toward positive team environment within the design staff. Give recognition and support to all individuals and provide leadership skills as needed.
•Maintain positive open lines of communication with all Columbia Sportswear management, staff and other departments in order to contribute to the smooth flow of information and efficient operation of the organization.

•Minimum of eight to ten years of increasingly responsible design experience, including 3 -5 years in a managerial role, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience.
•Advanced and thorough knowledge of apparel design, materials, and production techniques.
•Knowledge of computer design software as well as the talent and ability to perform free hand drawings. Strong knowledge of apparel design, materials and production techniques.
•Possess well-developed ability to read, write and speak English. Ability to write technical materials for product presentations and marketing purposes. Frequent writing of highly technical material requires a thorough understanding of the work, and the ability to clearly express complex concepts in written form.
•Mental ability to conduct complex interpersonal interactions with employees and customers, troubleshoot, design, perform college level mathematics, coordinate and perform special task/projects simultaneously, make decisions, operate independently and with discretion, and work effectively under pressure.
•Domestic &international and travel required.
•Must have excellent eyesight, including strong sense of color.
•Requires a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent specializing in apparel design or related discipline.

This job description is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of duties and responsibilities, but constitutes a general definition of the position's scope and function in the company.

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