PB Careers: Macys – VP Private Brands, Design – Men’s and Kids

Manage a multi-million dollar business and make critical decisions that maximize sales and margin every day as part of our merchandise planning team. With responsibilities for both brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce and our omnichannel single view of inventory (SVI), you’ll take an innovative and holistic approach to planning – one that leads the industry. You’ll also be part of our groundbreaking My Macy’s strategy, customizing assortments based on location and customer preference.

Job Overview:
The Vice President (VP) Private Brands – Design is a broad-based and strategic leadership role focused on the vision and development of Macy’s Private Brands, The position requires an entrepreneurial mix of visionary strategy development, end to end product development and design expertise, solid understanding of product sourcing, business acumen, strong merchandising skills, and the ability to lead a large team.  The leadership position must be able to develop a strategic vision for their brands, with a progressive, customer centric-approach all while holding teams accountable for delivering on sales and profit, product quality, value for our customer, and on-time delivery, without operating in the tactics of the day to day operations. A key requirement is to demonstrate curiosity in a much broader and more complex business environment transcending our traditional competitive landscape in order to engage our customer. Perform other duties as assigned.

The VP Private Brands – Design will be known as a trusted, agile, collaborative and results-oriented leader, business partner who can lead through influence and who possesses professional maturity and industry credibility.  A fundamental requirement is to be able to build trust with their teams and key collaborators. Candidates must be comfortable with quickly evaluating existing process and demonstrating agility to support change. Candidates must be able to collaborate across functions to gain alignment that leads to solid execution. Create a vision that supports being a market share leader in their category.

The successful candidate will:

  • Have ability to set and to deliver on a strategic category vision that aligns to the North Star strategy
  • Make “company first” decisions
  • Reduce complexity, act decisively, model agility in leadership style
  • Lead the creation of compelling core and curated assortments exclusive to Macy’s
  • Provide leadership and serve as a Brand Ambassador for Private Brands
  • Develop trend strategies that support merchant objectives and the Macy’s brand.
  • Set the brand/label’s seasonal fashion direction in collaboration with the Fashion Office.
  • Champion white space opportunities and build consensus and strategy to execute
  • Communicate with candor and value open debate to ensure the best ideas come to life
  • Have the temperament to lead and motivate the teams
  • Ability to empower team to remove obstacles
  • Growth-oriented mindset with ability to coach teams to embrace growth.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and lead functions outside of core competencies

Essential Functions:

  • Lead collaborative design vision with Product partners and with DMMs, DPMs, and to align on assortment architecture, pricing strategy, marketing/promotional strategy, and channel/location exclusive assortments.
  • Confirm seasonal drivers, whitespace opportunities, new categories of business, margin initiatives, and key financials for the quarter.
  • Set and drive the brand/label’s seasonal fashion direction
  • Lead the research and development of seasonal trends
  • Interpret seasonal fashion direction, assortment opportunities and merchandise trends for brands
  • Ensure designs meet merchant line plans, assortment strategies and overall creative direction
  • Travel Europe/Asia to identify emerging themes and new inspirations
  • Responsible for shopping the retail and trend markets seeking new merchandise/trend ideas and inspiration
  • Manage the communication within the Design Team, merchants and divisions to ensure cohesive aesthetic integrity within the brands


  • Collaborate with Marketing in development of new packaging, brand/label & hangtag needs.
  • Work with Marketing Department on representation of the brand. – Partner with Marketing on corporate initiatives (e.g. Way to Shop initiative).
  • Provide Marketing with all product information needed to market the brand/label.

Calendar and Production Management

  • Collaborate with Private Brand leaders, DMMs, DPMs, and DBMs, to ensure alignment to product development calendar meetings, deadlines, and deliverables.
  • Regular, dependable attendance & punctuality.


  • 4 year college degree required.
  • Ideally, 8-plus years of progressive experience in complex, best-in-class consumer and lifestyle-oriented companies that ideally create emotional connections with their customers.  The broad scope of this role requires a deep understanding of many functions, including Buying, Planning, Product Development, CAD Design, Production Services, Overseas Sourcing, Logistics, and Marketing.
  • Proven success in leading teams in a changing and ambiguous business environment.
  • Experience working across multiple organizational boundaries. 

Communication Skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Mathematical Skills:

  • Basic math functions such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and analytical skills.

Reasoning Ability:

  • Highly proficient in leveraging customer and trend direction to inform both assortment strategy, and decision making.

Physical Demands:

  • This position involves regular walking, standing, sitting for extended periods of time, hearing, and talking.
  • May occasionally involve stooping, kneeling, or crouching.
  • May involve close vision, color vision, depth perception, focus adjustment, and viewing computer monitor for extended periods of time. 
  • Involves manual dexterity for using keyboard, mouse, and other office equipment.
  • May involve moving or lifting items under 10 pounds.

Other Skills:


  • Dynamic, transformational leadership, passionate about our work 
  • Inspirational leader who is a talent advocate for the organization
  • Develop talent with a company mindset to share talent with peers – do what is right for the associate
  • A builder of engaged and highly functional teams and partnerships
  • Build and manage a robust team of highly motivated category managers
  • Build a culture that will drive engagement, commitment, fresh thinking, and allow for connectedness at all levels within pyramid
  • Comfortable with taking risks and celebrating risk taking regardless of outcome
  • Able to retain focus on vision and outcomes, letting others make decisions
    without the traditional hierarchical approval – think and act independently
  • Collaborative, supportive style with a strong ability to establish trust and build relationships across all levels and functions of the organization  
  • Resilient, tenacious, high energy.  Able to rapidly bounce back from adversity

Work Hours:

  • Ability to work a flexible schedule based on department and company needs.

This job description is not all inclusive. Macy’s Inc. reserves the right to amend this job description at any time. Macy’s Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment.

CATEGORY” Corporate » Merchandise Planning

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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.