Design Director, COACHTOPIA -Sustainability, Leathergoods, RTW and Footwear
Coach is a global fashion house founded in New York in 1941. Inspired by the vision of Creative Director Stuart Vevers and the inclusive and courageous spirit of our hometown, we make beautiful things, crafted to last—for you to be yourself in.
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A member of the Tapestry family, we are part of a global house of brands that has unwavering optimism and is committed to being innovative and wholly inclusive. Visit Our People page to learn more about Tapestry's commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity.
At Coach, we believe better-made things can help create a better-made future—and this starts with how we design, craft and develop our products. Though we’ve always prided ourselves on creating high quality product crafted to last, we know we must go further and build a more circular future for fashion. With this responsibility in mind, we are launching a new initiative focused on circularity with an innovative business model that reimagines product “end of life” and Coach’s impact on the environment.
The Coachtopia Design Director will work closely with the Director, Merchandising to translate the brand identity and creative vision into product design, continuing to define a distinct Coachtopia design aesthetic, to drive bold and disruptive circular product assortment. This individual must be a skilled manager of creative teams (including but not limited to: Designers and freelance artists) and will be a key member of a dynamic, empowered team driving agile ways of working across functions to fuel innovation and speed to market.
The successful individual will leverage their proficiency in Design to...
• Translate the brand identity and creative vision into product design, continuing to define a distinct Coachtopia design aesthetic through innovation & circular design within our seasonal drops while targeting Genz customer.
• Research and develop inspiration boards to convey both the seasonal creative and sustainability vision and inspire the team. Continuously bring new ideas and innovative concepts that enhance the collection while realizing Coach circular product principles.
• Drive new approaches to designing for a circular economy, e.g., designing out waste and designing products intended to have multiple lives.
• Ensure a global vision and aesthetic for the brand across all product categories (HBG, RTW, FTW, jewelry …)
• Partner with team to refine seasonal concept materials, hardware, and color palette.
• Incorporate ongoing innovation in circular product development and materials into design approaches that are aligned to business sustainability/circularity goals.
• Develop design strategies that support incremental growth to core business driven by new Gen Z customer acquisition; leverage ongoing Gen Z customer insight and feedback to inform design.
• Build out strategic roadmaps of product, and how it can be scaled over time.
• Partner cross-functionally with Merchandising, Sustainability, Materials, and Product Development teams on regular basis.
• Lead multiple projects from conception to completion in accordance with deadlines.
• Ability to manage lead time development partnering with Product Development and Raw Materials teams to maintain deliverables.
• Lead, mentor and develop a team of designers; role model and nurture a circular design mindset and prototyping culture.
• Champion new agile ways of working focused on real-time cross-functional collaboration, iterative and incremental approach to design and development, and strong prototyping culture—from concept through commercialization.
The accomplished individual will possess...
• Minimum 8-10 years of experience designing leather handbags; ready-to-wear, footwear and jewelry a plus. A portfolio showcasing when applying is required.
• Experience developing leather handbags and product directly with factories- a MUST
• A strong fashion sense and have the ability to interpret trends
• Understanding of materials, hardware, leather, and handbag construction required
• Ability to sketch both technical drawings and freeform renderings and a portfolio showcasing our requirements
• Understanding of development from concept through engineering required
• Demonstrated ability to design with a customer-centric mindset; understanding of Gen Z trends
• Excellent interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills with the ability to interact with a diverse group at all levels
• Effective organizational skills with strong attention to detail and follow-up
• Motivation, solid time management and organizational skills
• Passion for sustainability with an understanding of circular business models
• A collaborative nature with great initiative
• Experience managing a team
An outstanding professional will have ...
• Experience in a sustainability-focused brand; versed in the principles of designing for the environment
• Certificate or advanced education in sustainability space
Our Competencies for All Employees
- Courage: Doesn’t hold back anything that needs to be said; provides current, direct, complete, and “actionable” positive and corrective feedback to others; lets people know where they stand; faces up to people problems on any person or situation (not including direct reports) quickly and directly; is not afraid to take negative action when necessary.
- Creativity: Comes up with a lot of new and unique ideas; easily makes connections among previously unrelated notions; tends to be seen as original and value-added in brainstorming settings.
- Customer Focus: Is dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; gets first-hand customer information and uses it for improvements in products and services; acts with customers in mind; establishes and maintains effective relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect.
- Dealing with Ambiguity: Can effectively cope with change; can shift gears comfortably; can decide and act without having the total picture; isn’t upset when things are up in the air; doesn’t have to finish things before moving on; can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty.
- Drive for Results: Can be counted on to exceed goals successfully; is constantly and consistently one of the top performers; very bottom-line oriented; steadfastly pushes self and others for results.
- Interpersonal Savvy: Relates well to all kinds of people, up, down, and sideways, inside and outside the organization; builds appropriate rapport; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact; can diffuse even high-tension situations comfortably.
- Learning on the Fly: Learns quickly when facing new problems; a relentless and versatile learner; open to change; analyzes both successes and failures for clues to improvement; experiments and will try anything to find solutions; enjoys the challenge of unfamiliar tasks; quickly grasps the essence and the underlying structure of anything.
Our Competencies for All People Managers
- Strategic Agility: Sees ahead clearly; can anticipate future consequences and trends accurately; has broad knowledge and perspective; is future oriented; can articulately paint credible pictures and visions of possibilities and likelihoods; can create competitive and breakthrough strategies and plans.
- Developing Direct Reports and Others: Provides challenging and stretching tasks and assignments; holds frequent development discussions; is aware of each person's career goals; constructs compelling development plans and executes them; pushes people to accept developmental moves; will take on those who need help and further development; cooperates with the developmental system in the organization; is a people builder.
- Building Effective Teams: Blends people into teams when needed; creates strong morale and spirit in their team; shares wins and successes; fosters open dialogue; lets people finish and be responsible for their work; defines success in terms of the whole team; creates a feeling of belonging in the team.