Head of Apparel Design - Innovation
Posted on Feb 12, 2019 by Under Armour
It started with a simple plan to make a superior T-shirt. A shirt that provided compression and wicked perspiration off your skin rather than absorb it. A shirt that worked with your body to regulate temperature and enhance performance. Founded in 1996 by former University of Maryland football player Kevin Plank, Under Armour is the originator of performance apparel - gear engineered to keep athletes cool, dry, and light throughout the course of a game, practice, or workout.
Under Armour is the chosen brand of this generation of athletes... and the athletes of tomorrow. We're about performance - in training and on game day, in blistering heat and bitter cold. Whatever the conditions, whatever the sport, Under Armour delivers the advantage athletes have come to demand. That demand has created an environment of growth. Today, with millions of unique registered users across UA's Connected Fitness community, the brand is resonating with more athletes than ever before, and we're investing to change the way athletes live.
UA is an environment where building a great team is vital, and where doing whatever it takes is the baseline and going above and beyond to protect the Brand is commonplace. Our teammates and the world's hungriest athletes alike, live by a code, a pledge to themselves and everyone else: Protect This House... I Will.
Under Armour created and defined the performance apparel industry. We want to transform the space again, the way we did then.
The Sr. Director, Apparel Design - Innovation will lead the team that creates Under Armour's most advanced products. This means design concepts, materials, and manufacturing methods that will hit the market years in the future. We are seeking a leader with great design intellect and judgement. A leader, who will ferociously challenge the status quo. This role will be building and defining this team, while equipping them with the best technology from our industry and others.
Seeking an innovator, who wants to explore unknown avenues in performance apparel. This person and their team will work closely with our leaders in Materials Innovation, Footwear Innovation, Connected Fitness, and Human Performance.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Lead strategic apparel design vision for Innovation across all product categories through collaboration with leadership in Apparel Product, Merchandising, Brand and other internal teams to ensure that Apparel Design Innovation is building a cohesive product strategy across multiple areas of the business.
- Drive the Head-to-Toe Concept key looks, sample development, fabric and trim suite package, and storytelling around Apparel product.
- Incorporate Consumer Insights within Apparel Design; capture athlete interviews and imagery that provide insights that benefit Apparel Design and keep Under Armour ahead of trend and in the know.
- Lead streamlining and publishing of apparel design relevant to consumer insight information to the cross-functional teams. Leverage partnerships with Category, Design and Brand Marketing to capture and bring these materials to life.
- Lead research trend, silhouette, fabric and trim innovation to further enhance the apparel product and product development process.
- Build a great team, inspire and mentor a strong and unique team focused on creating innovative, brand-right, trend-right and fresh apparel across end-uses.
- Manage team into calendar as they work closely with Development on the realization of product - refine and sharpen this model.
- Analyze existing calendar and work to bring big stories, fabric and trim innovation from Concept to Materials and Design ahead of calendar.
- Analyze existing business strategy, communications, user research, visual design, and branding to inform the creative development of the project's conceptual and aesthetic approach
- Analyze competitive landscape and user segmentation to develop a strong product roadmap
- Come to the table with a strong point of view on creative issues while still having an open ear to opinions and suggestions
QUALIFICATIONS, EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE:
- BA or BS in design or business related field
- 12+ years of Apparel design, innovation, and/or design strategy experience required, with a strong experience working with creative, product and design teams.
- Proven ability to drive consumer-centric planning and development process
- Ability to collect multiple input sources and synthesize learning into actionable insights that directly lead to new concept creation, consumer experiences, and long-term innovation
- Ability to oversee, mentor, and inspire designers-Focus on creating strong brand right pieces for specific delivery dates. Must be 100% up to date and proficient professional design programs.
- Must understand the web as a medium and its relevant technical constraints
- Must have a keen understanding of the balance between business, marketing, and technical requirements
- Handle all the day to day requests both internal and external to ensure all areas of their specific categories are being looked after and handled properly.
- Possess a strong creative point of view, be able to verbally express concepts and design choices to a larger audience. Ability to present convincingly using proper research and inspiring visuals. At the same time, this individual must be open to opinions and suggestions from cross functional and design partners.
- The ability to recognize when is the right time to push the limits of a project but also knowing when to pull back and keep it simple
- A continued understanding of the market as it relates to performance sports and fashion
- Strengthen design members through building a great team environment and pushing the boundaries of creative design to help make Under Armour the #1 sports apparel brand globally.
- Travel domestically and internationally to drive consumer insights, and prototype delivery in addition to collection of inspiration, trend and market research