PB CAREERS: Private Brand Gear Designer – REI

PB CAREERS: Private Brand Gear Designer – REI

Job #: HQ4542
City: Kent
State: Washington

Job Description:
At REI, we have a workplace where you can be yourself, be heard and be respected while having a job that challenges you—it’s a great environment that balances hard work with time off to play. We’ve been recognized as one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work” since the award’s inception and continue to grow and thrive in a challenging marketplace. REI offers an excellent compensation package, flexible benefits, outstanding retirement plan, annual incentive program, and a generous merchandise discount to help you enjoy your free time.

Gear Designer
***We are looking for two new Gear Designers to join our Private Brands group. One Designer will focus on Packs and Travel while the other will focus on Tents and Sleeping Bags. Please indicate interest in your cover letter***

This job contributes to REI’s success by leading the product design efforts through the R&D, line presentation and commercialization processes. This position is responsible for the design of REI Gear, initiating preliminary design research, concept and prototype development, milestone meeting presentations, and formalized design hand-off to development partners. The designer works independently and with team to meet product plan objectives and deliver complete design direction for product development, engages with team as required to bring commercialized product to the marketplace. Models and acts in accordance with REI’s guiding values and mission.


  • Drives design based research in all areas that inform product design process.
  • Collaborates cross-functionally and cross-divisionally to create alignment and supply direction for guiding product line.
  • Conceptualizes and creates all necessary documentation to communicate design direction.
  • Conceptualizes and presents design direction in milestone meetings.
  • Partners with internal Private Brands Group functional areas to ensure product is fit-for-use and aligned with Merchandise goals.
  • Communicates and champions REI brand product information externally.


  • 3-5 years experience, preferably in travel or outdoor equipment sewn good categories, of new product design.
  • Advanced knowledge of tools to include: Technical illustration (Illustrator), Microsoft Office applications, freehand sketching.
  • Experience with PDM or PLM systems, preferred (Matrix One, Enovia).
  • Basic knowledge of sewing and construction, preferred.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally as required.
  • Knowledge of CAD tools: RhinoCad, preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree in industrial design, or demonstrated record of success as product designer in relevant categories.
  • Outstanding communication skills in visual, verbal, and written forms.
  • Willing and able to work over 40 hours a week during peak development periods.
  • Actively participates and collaborates with others on one’s own team and across REI for the achievement of business goals.
  • Flexible in one’s viewpoints and positions in order to support the direction taken by others at REI.
  • Uses business knowledge, innovative thinking, and sound judgment in the solution of problems or the pursuit of business opportunities.
  • Consolidates information from various sources including feedback from others to reach sound decisions.
  • Considers the ultimate impact of decisions and actions on internal and external customers.
  • Works smart by setting effective work goals, establishing priorities, and planning well in order to produce quality work.
  • Executes effectively by using resources efficiently, meeting deadlines, and keeping others informed of work plans and progress toward goals.
  • Clearly conveys and accurately receives information by a variety of methods and in various situations.
  • Builds rapport with all kinds of people inside and outside the organization.
  • Acts upon opportunities and involves and influences others in the accomplishment of worthwhile organizational goals.
  • Challenges the status quo, champions change and influences others to change.


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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.