Footwear Design Manager
We invite you to be part of our team of trailblazers dedicated to helping people discover and enjoy the outside. Come join us. Because on the inside we're all outsiders. And if it's outside, we're all in.
L.L.Bean is currently searching for a Footwear Design Manager to join the Design team located in Freeport, Maine.
Position Purpose:The Footwear Design Manager leads and provides direction to the work of the Design area at L.L.Bean, overseeing the work of others and managing a category or department. Design is responsible for the product aesthetic for all product categories (Core, Kid's & Signature). Key accountabilities include: 1) Creating product aesthetic inclusive of branding, color, and pattern 2) Partnering with Product Developers and Corporate Merchants in conducting market research to evaluate competitive set, identify seasonal trends, and decide on seasonal concept direction. 3) Collaborating with Sourcing and Product Development to select lasts, develop new footwear tooling, select materials, incorporate LLBean technologies, select color and trims & relate them to the product design & function. 4) Creating seasonal corporate color palettes and ensuring on-brand, commercial color direction and color compositions. 5) Creating and designing footwear styles setting aesthetic direction for the category. 6) Creating and deciding on brand appropriate / viable surface pattern and print direction. 7) Working within the Mind-To-Market Calendar to deliver concept drawings, commercial footwear tooling and upper specifications. 8) Collaborating with design leaders across categories to ensure an aligned approach to realize seasonal strategy and trend objectives.
Strategy (Product Aesthetic, Seasonal Concept Direction, Product Strategy)
- Oversees the creation of seasonal concept and mood boards to establish and identify key looks, trends, concepts, color, fabric, trim and style direction.
- Identifies and communicates seasonal color palettes.
- Creation of corporate seasonal design themes - including style, print, pattern and graphic direction. Ensures cohesive approach across multiple categories if applicable.
- Creation of seasonal trend direction, seasonal trend presentation, seasonal trend and vendor decks.
- Ensures consistency of the highest level of design across all products and categories.
Market Research Aesthetic Inspiration and Trend (Conduct Market Research, International Travel)
- Researches and develops brand appropriate trends and product ideas.
- Conduct research on market and competitive brands - domestic travel for inspiration and trade shows (NY Spin Expo/Premier Vision/Print Source).
- May travel internationally for R&D (Ispo/Stockholm, etc.) - - Travel to Asia to meet with factories, mills and vendors for research and product development and to ensure all product is commercialized to the very highest standards.
- Works with CM (Corporate Merchandise) Managers/DMM to ensure viability of products and product opportunity fills need within the assortment.
- Selects material direction for appropriateness including durability, performance, handfeel, aesthetic and partners closely with Product Developers to ensure vision of design, margin and target price is met.
- Meets with color and trend services to establish seasonal concept and trends.
- Meets with print and pattern vendors to establish seasonal surface pattern direction.
- Applies knowledge and expertise to ensure consistency and cohesiveness of line through pairings and cohesive look of the collection and key looks in apparel and outerwear.
- Introduces new and on brand styles and styling details every season.
- Oversees the selection of materials and creation of development spec package.
- Works with graphics department to instigate graphic and surface pattern direction.
- Present fresh and commercial materials, color and pattern for key items and relist programs to ensure they look fresh and commercial each season.
- Partners primarily with DMMs on: key product ideas to maximize potential of the assortment, lead the direction of the line / Category, and collaborates to position product lifestyle, and wearing occasion
- Oversees others' communication with Sourcing Partners, Factories, and vendors to ensure execution of the line.
- Oversees the work of others to ensure the integrity of design aesthetic and conformance to brand codes, project brief and margin goals.
- Ensures robust hand off to Product Development and Sourcing.
- Provide relevant feedback to PD and Sourcing regarding fit and styling during fit testing & sampling - Ensure integrity of design aesthetic
- General Meetings/M2M Meetings Responsibility
- Prepares and builds rigs and mannequins for all relevant meetings to clearly show seasonal direction and product ideas or oversees the meeting preparation. - Ensures all milestones are achieved and successful. Attends to align on key M2M strategies, initiatives & actions.
Health and Safety Requirement: Every employee is responsible for contributing to a safe and healthy workplace. Employees are expected to be active participants in health and safety by following all safety policies and procedures, reporting unsafe conditions or at-risk behaviors to leadership, and conducting work in a safe manner. Those in a leadership role are also expected to model safe behaviors, evaluate risk, and ensure that risks are reduced to acceptable levels.
Education Level: 4-Year Bachelors Degree
Years of Experience: 10+
Skills and Qualifications:
Facilitation and Communication
- Empowers others by sharing information and context around strategic direction and decision-making process. Facilitates cross functional communications. Solicits input and drives decisions.
- Verbal: Translates the big picture into clear, compelling goals and expected outcomes. Communicates appropriately for the message and audience, including frequent informal, timely, two-way communication.
- Written: Produces excellent presentation material that enhances ability of audience to understand and act upon information. Proactively leverages written communications to keep others informed.
Influence and Collaboration
- Builds collaborative relationships and creates win-win outcomes by seeking formative input, listening, and creating goals with the greater good in mind. Structures and organizes cross-functional collaboration to promote effective and efficient problem-solving. Champions accountability and discretion through words and actions.
Scope of Influence
- Department, Cross-functional partners/leadership, Internal/External Vendors, Senior Leadership.
Tactical vs. Strategic
- Develops and approves strategies. Oversees tactical work. Balances short term needs and long term results. Responsible to lead creation of vision for the category and business - long and short term.
Required Level of Supervision
- Major projects are reviewed in terms of achieving the goals, generally extended over the long term.
- Actively coaches others to improve their performance. Supervises others. Responsible for talent and succession planning.
If you care about the outdoors, joining L.L.Bean is a great way to feel good about what you do. Our benefits package makes a good thing even better, with programs and perks designed to support your health and financial goals. Plus, maintaining a healthy work-life balance and re-charging outside are all part of the plan. Because, when it comes to the outside-we're all in. Visit llbeancareers.com to learn more.
Being outside brings out the best in us, no matter where we come from or what we believe. At L.L.Bean, we value individual differences and encourage our co-workers to be themselves - because the uniqueness of each individual makes L.L.Bean better.