Alternative Apparel - Soft, Simple, Sustainable
Alternative Apparel was a small but growing Atlanta-based apparel brand with a creative team based in Los Angeles. After 10 years of mixed results, the decision was made to close the LA office and unify resources in Atlanta. I joined the company in 2015 with a focus on rebuilding the product development, technical design and preproduction teams from the ground up. With no formal process or team structure in place, I used my experience, resourcefulness, and quick thinking to develop a fresh approach. My plan had two priorities - build and lead a new team with clearly established roles & responsibilities, and develop Innovative and exciting new products to grow the collection. Additional aspects of my plan included streamlining the development process, a strategy to launch into new categories, and managing new material & yarn development
RESULTS: My team and I developed a faster-to-market development calendar that could respond and adapt to an ever-changing customer base. Our process and systems successfully delivered monthly assortments to Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Bloomingdale’s along with smaller private label customers - a previously unattainable goal that became standard practice under my guidance. I established a new customer facing process for acquiring incremental revenue in the off price channel and custom business. The workplace environment and standards that I established allowed the sales team to exceed sales targets and secure the largest order in company history from Costco.
At the end of 2017 Hanes Brands Inc. acquired Alternative ApparelHanes Brands Inc. acquired Alternative Apparel for $60m built off the successful implementation of our plan.
Upcycling with Atlanta artist Sonya Yong James
My work was discovered online through the internet - I find the parallel of using these ancient techniques and the fact technology and the modern web brought us together fascinating.” – Sonya Yong James
I was faced with thousands of dollars of liability trims sitting in our Atlanta-based D.C. far from overseas vendors. The easy route would be to trash the materials and move on. I saw an opportunity for both artist Sonya Yong James & Alternative Apparel to work together.
As a fan of Sonya’s 3D textile and fiber sculptures it was an easy to present a project where we could collaborate. The project brought excitement to both the Creative Marketing team & Retail teams.
RESULTS: Successfully delivered on a promise of sustainability and thoughtful use of resources which exemplified the brand values which led to in-store activation events, blog content and press coverage.
“I loved the idea of taking textile remnants and using them in an unexpected way. I'm using the drawstring to create large nets and webs with knots. Knots and nets are two of humankind’s basic tools. For centuries, people have utilized knots and nets for survival as well as ceremony and ritual.
Fashion Revolution Week 2017
I have a personal & professional interest in bringing transparency to supply chains while sharing & educating others about where our clothing comes from. I introduced the Fashion Revolution movement to the Alternative Apparel marketing & retail teams. I managed the global communication, digital assets and sign offs required to showcase our vendors in China, Peru, Egypt and Dominican Republic.
RESULTS: In-store activation events in San Francisco & Venice Beach, content for blog posts and press coverage introducing our brand to new customers.
Osh Kosh B’Gosh - Carter’s Inc.
Responsible for the sourcing, costing, approval and delivery of the highest volume Osh Kosh B'Gosh Girl’s Knits categories along with mentoring 2 direct reports. I provided on-demand analysis & reporting for executive level review on margin, product assortments, raw material hedging, country & factory allocations as well as production status. I used my experience in product development and design to mentor and grow my team’s technical knowledge and cross-functional relationships.
RESULTS: Exceeded margin targets, supported the design & launch of Flex PLM, trained & represented the sourcing team through IT implementation & upgrades, created strong cross functional relationships that allowed for streamlined processes and improved communication.
Without Walls - Urban Outfitters
Tasked with launching a new active-wear brand that would compete with adidas, Nike, Champion C9 and high end boutique lines. Through my experience & global network of suppliers I sourced new material qualities, established new quality & testing standards, development & sampling processes. Responsible for 50+ print developments, design approvals, costing and delivery for 300+ sku per quarter with limited resources and fast to market timelines.
RESULTS: Delivered high quality launch season of extremely small production runs allowing merchandising to test and read the market. Acted as a technical resource to design, merchandising, buying and sourcing on all technical active-wear.
adidas snowboarding - developing athlete driven technical wears
adidas Snowboarding brought an opportunity to use my experience managing development for adidas skateboarding & actions sports to take on new technical outwear challenges. With a new pro team, consulting designers and a tight timeline I successfully developed and commercialized the launch season of FW 13/14. I used my resourcefulness, relationships, passion for innovation and keen attention to detail to set a focused strategy for success. I worked closely with sports marketing, technical design and suppliers to establish wear testing and an easy way to share feedback. I supported marketing & sales through research of competitor costing, features & benefits analysis and sharp costing to deliver a profitable margin while setting our product apart from competitors.
RESULTS: Successful product launch, effectively trained the sales team on technical details, positive product reviews from riders and press, established a strong sourcing strategy allowing for future product lines to build off of.
adidas - 3D Rendering
I was challenged to reduce the number of sales samples, shorten development & production lead-times but continue delivering high quality goods. I piloted the use of cutting edge 3D rendering software, using my strong pattern making skills, understanding of textile properties and attention to detail.
RESULTS: Reduced the sampling lead time & production lead time for all US Originals graphic tee styles, delivered high quality 3D assets for catalogue use and built confidence so the marketing & sales teams adopted a new process
adidas Originals x Burton Snowboards
A challenging collaboration between adidas Japan, Mage Studios, Greg Dacyshyn & adidas created an opportunity to grow my project management and cross functional communication experience. The launch collection pushed the boundaries of technical sportswear, working with cutting edge material suppliers and new construction technologies.
RESULTS: Successful launch season utilizing cutting edge printing from Framis Italy, 3D line bonding, ultrasonic line bonding and high end made in Japan outerwear. The collection continued for another season leading to a strong business case for adidas Snowboarding.
“MAGE DESIGN’S TEAM WORKED IN CLOSE PARTNERSHIP WITH BURTON’S V.P. OF CREATIVE, GREG DACYSHYN, AND THE ADIDAS GROUP TO PRODUCE AN OUTERWEAR AND APPAREL COLLECTION. IN THE FIRST SEASON OF THE ADIDAS X BURTON COLLECTION BY OFFERING SKETCH AND GRAPHIC SUPPORT TO LEAD DESIGNER, KAZUKI KURAISHI. JUST A FEW OF OUR CONTRIBUTIONS INCLUDE A PARKA LENGTH DOWN, CASUAL RAIN COAT AND FADED CAMO PRINT” - Mage Design
adidas skateboarding & adidas action sports
product development + technical design
adidas Originals - artist collaborations
project management, product development & technical design
Managing technical design for complex graphic driven styles, developed multi-technique artworks being mindful of the artist’s original intent. Working with legal teams and brand marketing to ensure all artist approvals were documented before production.
Respect M.E. by Missy Elliot, Mark Gonzales, Dennis McNett, Def Jam 25th Anniversary, Method Man, BJ Betts, Mysterious Al to name a few.