This position serves as a key team leader and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting long-term growth and profitability of the Johnston & Murphy and Trask women's footwear businesses. Oversee all product design and development processes of women's footwear and leather goods categories in accordance with current business needs and future strategic direction. Additionally responsible for coordinating all cross-functional departments including merchandising, retail operations, marketing, wholesale sales, and supply chain teams for unified execution of the women's footwear initiatives.
Collaborate with the VP of Design and Development to formulate women's strategic and creative direction for Johnston & Murphy and Trask brands.
Drive a performance oriented culture and fuel a team passion for creating innovative, high quality footwear and accessories.
Research and identify current and future market opportunities institutionalizing analytical methodologies the determine design direction and target markets.
Lead and direct a creative team providing key ideas, methodology, and brand positioning.
Motivate, mentor, and supervise design and development team to create compelling and trend appropriate product introductions on a seasonal basis.
Manage all design stages establishing artistic strategy, budgets, and schedules to ensure timely delivery of projects and departmental handoffs.
Implement and institutionalize product development processes and handoffs from initial design concept to fully commercialized product execution.
Plan and deliver marketing and retail training support for seasonal product launches while meeting specified quality, performance, cost, and margin criteria.
Create and maintain the product design/development lifecycle calendar, adhering to key deliverable dates on a seasonal and project oriented basis.
Formulate key partnerships with retail merchandising and wholesale sales teams to ensure unity and alignment of seasonal goals and execution plans.
Coordinate with sourcing/supply chain to evaluate manufacturing partners and build strategic global alliances.
Bachelor's degree in related field of study.
10+ years relevant experience in women's fashion footwear design and development.
Demonstrated experience managing the full product development lifecycle, including product briefing, conceptual crafting, patent assessment, product line development, costing, prototyping, specification development and overseas manufacturing.
Complete working knowledge of current footwear manufacturing techniques and expertise necessary to oversee and direct all design and development processes.
Ability to construct, articulate, and implement strategic and tactical development plans
Highly creative with a passion for fashion design and keen understanding leather, textiles, and color concepts.
Proven ability to build strong partnerships, analyze market positioning, and implement current fashion trends into commercial design concepts.
Experience leading a footwear product team, combining process management with the nurturing of a creative environment that encourages new ideas and innovation.
Excellent communication and organizational skills with the ability to adapt quickly and manage multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment.
Strong blend of analytical, decision-making, and creative problem solving skills.
Keen understanding of the nature and objectives in building and developing strong relationships with domestic clients and international manufacturing partners.
Domestic and international travel required.