Sr. Director, Global Footwear Design

KEEN Footwear

Portland, OR, USA

Full time



Aug 24

*Please note, you must submit an Online Portfolio (preferred) or PDF Portfolio to be considered for this role*

The Sr. Director, Global Footwear Design establishes and executes the KEEN Design DNA to deliver a premium product consumer experience and supports KEEN’s core values.. This role oversees the design function for all global inline and innovation projects and is responsible for elevating the consumer experience through superior product craft..

Essential Responsibilities

  • Establishes the short- and long-term design vision and strategies with a focus on innovation and craft; communicates creative vision and direction to key stakeholders. Develops strong consumer-oriented points of view and leads the design team in executing the vision in seasonal product launches
  • Consults with the Product team to ensure cross functional alignment with new product launches for the seasonal calendar (SS and FW).
  • Partners with the KEEN Global Development Centers to ensure design consistency, speed to market and quality.
  • Drives best practice design execution by partnering with Engineering and Development to ensure that CADs are built with a mindful manufacturing mindset. 
  • Provides direction and leadership to KEEN Global Design Centers and KEEN Innovation team. Works closely with the teams to ensure design consistency, improved speed to market and quality.
  • Oversees execution of all product details, including construction detail, last, color, form, style, detail, graphic application, logo treatment, trim – incorporated to the KEEN Design language. Leads, influences, and delivers premium product across categories.
  • Manages the ongoing out-sourcing of design contractors.
  • Effectively plans and executes seasonal tasks among internal and external design team.
  • Manages daily activities involving numerous design projects and concepts. Executes own seasonal design concepts with the intent to promote additional ideas beyond what is briefed.
  • Creates and publishes a design guide which communicates the KEEN Design DNA.
  • Travels to trade shows, suppliers, global retail markets and liaison offices to discover, source, learn about, replenish, and develop trend information, materials, and new technologies
  • Builds, manages, and develops a cross-functional design team (Graphics, Color, Materials); sets team and individual goals that align with department and function goals. 
  • Plans and executes seasonal tasks among internal and external designers.
  • Maintains strong cross-functional relationships and builds matrix relationships across KEEN, ROFU, KEEN Innovation team and factory affiliates in service of the KEEN vision & strategy.

 Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in design or related field.
  • Minimum 10 years of footwear design experience.
  • Good understanding of leather, textile, and footwear components.
  • In-depth knowledge of design process.
  • Skills within illustration, whether this being freehand, or computer aided (Illustrator/Photoshop/3D).
  • Proven ability to develop and inspire teams through accessibility, empowerment, regular communication, and recognizing and celebrating successes.
  • Proven experience in identifying and planning for the development of technical skills, teamwork skills, and leadership skills.
  • Experience leading strategic development and planning for a design team —in line with company direction.
  • Strategic thinking and visioning; understands product relevance, positioning, timing and collections.
  • Proven ability to build strong relationships and get things done in a matrix-oriented environment—inclusive of leading & influencing leaders.
  • Strong presentation and communication skills (verbal, written, visual, listening)—inclusive of executive audiences. 
  • Strong people leader with proven track record of driving results through others. 
  • Ability to travel overseas, as needed, and work extended hours during peak periods.
  • International travel is required.

 Travel Required

Yes, as needed and agreed upon with manager

 Other Requirements

Please note this job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without cause.


Base Salary: $210,000 - $250,000 yearly

This range represents the low and high end of the anticipated base salary range for this position. The actual base salary will depend on numerous factors such as: experience, knowledge and skills, and location. Our base salary is just one component of our competitive total rewards strategy which includes numerous benefits and perks as well as specific health and welfare benefits.

Why Work at KEEN:  Driven by a passion for life outside, KEEN is a values-led, independently owned brand from Portland, Oregon, that’s on a mission to create original and versatile products, improve lives, and inspire outside adventure. Founded in 2003, KEEN launched a revolution in the footwear industry with the introduction of the Newport adventure sandal, and has donated more than $18 million to non-profit organizations and causes around the world to promote responsible outdoor recreation, including conservation efforts to protect open spaces. KEEN strives to show the world through its products and its actions that a business for good can actually be good for business. By giving back, reducing impact, and activating communities and individuals to protect the places where we work and play, KEEN puts its values in motion and takes action to leave the world a better place.  

At KEEN, we believe in a more just and equitable future for all people. As a global brand, we acknowledge that our business, buildings, and daily lives exist within the traditional territories of indigenous peoples. We strive for a future that recognizes the knowledge, rights, and resilience of these peoples.

KEEN Footwear is an equal opportunity employer. We value an inclusive and diverse community. Qualified candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply and will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, or disability.

Apply for this position Back to job

You must be logged in to apply to this job.