PB CAREERS: REI – Creative Director – Gear & Apparel

REI Store

Creative Director – Gear & Apparel
REI – Kent, WA

Who is REI’s Private Brand Team?
We are a team of creative, passionate people who love the outdoors. We bring our love of the outdoors into our daily work to create amazing products and brand experiences exclusively for REI’s customers.

We’re passionate about delivering compelling, meaningful products in the market. Whether it’s heading out for a weekend of backpacking, a long bike ride or just a walk in the rain. We are guided by our values of authenticity, quality, services, respect, integrity and balance. By joining the REI Private Brands team, you have the opportunity to make a difference, be challenged to create excellence and enrich our creative community.

What’s your job?
As part of our design team, the role of the Creative Director is to inspire, shape and lead all aspects of the Creative Direction for the products (gear + apparel) within one of REI’s Private Brands. Leads the creative design and direction of compelling products that are inspired, meaningful and brand right. Collaborates with Merchandising and Marketing to drive design and brand strategies. Represents design and creative direction to cross-divisional partners to ensure alignment. Models and acts in accordance with REI’s guiding values and mission.

Leading the Way

  • Identifies and communicates key responsibilities and practices to ensure the organization promotes a successful attitude, confidence in leadership, and teamwork to achieve business results.
  • Fosters a culture of creativity, design excellence, accountability and results.
  • Provides coaching, direction and leadership support to employees in order to achieve department, company and customer results. Conducts and ensures the completion of performance reviews.
  • Establishes and maintains visibility within the department.

Your Planning & Navigating Requirements

  • Provide creative leadership and oversight, inspiration and motivation to members of team to excel in creating compelling products.
  • Sets vision and design strategy. Ensures consistent execution and oversight of design strategy. Challenges and inspires employees to achieve design excellence.
  • Leads the creation and implementation of design languages and signature elements for REI private brands.
  • Attract, recruit, retain and develop appropriate talent to successfully complete established work plans.
  • Possess understanding of our existing consumers and gain understanding of future consumers.
  • Core member of Design leadership team to promote, inspire and drive design excellence, team cohesion and accountability.
  • Works with DVP and other Sr. leadership to craft strategies and design directions.
  • Collaborates with Retail, Marketing, Merchandising and Visual Merchandising to communicate design intent and execute creative strategies and line plans.
  • Responsible for the developing, monitoring and attaining the annual departments expense budget and goals.
  • 10+ years prior experience in apparel product creation and leadership role(s); bachelor”s degree in related field preferred.
  • Ability to collaborate with internal and external partners to achieve positive results
  • Ability to craft and apply vision, design themes, future consumer product needs, relevant and meaningful design trends and strategically plan for implementation
  • Strong team/people leadership practices through: establishing an environment of creativity, design excellence, teamwork, motivation, accountability and drive for successful outcomes
  • Strong knowledge of product design and product development processes including manufacturing.
  • Support design insights efforts and challenges the team to think like a consumer.
  • Extensive experience within categories we develop product for – and an intimate understanding of products we create.
  • Effectively presentation creation, delivery and communicate skills to all levels of the organization.
  • Possess intelligent decision making and problem solving skills through effective work management, organizational expertise, acute attention to detail, and effective prioritization
  • Domestic and international travel required
  • Builds capacity of individuals and teams through effective employee development, involvement, communication, and supervision efforts.
  • Creates a strong, mutually supportive work spirit and culture where people can do their best. Establishes trust and inspires others.
  • Represents REI private brands design to sales staff, store leadership and broader design community.
  • Makes effective organization and people decisions in a manner consistent with REI”s values and ethics.
  • Delivers on commitments and holds others accountable on their commitments.
  • Champions the organization and advocates solutions in the overall company”s best interest.
  • 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.
  • Effectively plans and executes changes.

At REI we offer an enviable work environment that Fortune Magazine has recognized on the “100 Best Places to Work” list since the award”s inception – 17 years in a row! Sure, we work hard, but it’s balanced with time off to play—a strategy that works for us as we continue to grow and thrive. Want to enjoy a workplace where you can be yourself, be heard and be respected while having a job that challenges you? This is the place.

With more than 130 retail locations (and growing), REI offers unique competitive benefits to its more than 11,000 employees, including healthcare, gear and apparel discounts, free equipment rentals and challenge grants to help employees reach personal outdoor goals, generous retirement plan contributions, public transit subsidy, adoptions assistance, paid sabbaticals, and more.

Category: Product Development

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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.