Lead Apparel Designer


Posted Date
Job ID
Job Function
Product Design/Development
REI City
REI State
REI Location
Seattle HQ
Remote Eligible
Please visit the Covid-19 Hiring Updates before applying
What's cool about this job
REI is committed to becoming a fully inclusive, antiracist, multicultural organization. To fulfill our brand promise of enabling a life well-lived outside for everyone, we are seeking candidates who demonstrate shared values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism. 

The Lead Designer, Outerwear & Technical Apparel is responsible for leading the design team in the creation of compelling functional apparel products that are inspired, meaningful and brand right. This includes research and development of trends, themes, concepts and curation. They are also responsible for the creation and stewardship of seasonal themes to support the REI design language. The Lead Designer mentors and manages the career growth of their team, ensures a balanced workload, and oversees any freelance and contract design work. Collaborates with, Product Strategy and cross divisional partners to drive design. Represents REI outerwear and technical design and 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. 
  • Responsible for the creation and delivery of seasonal design direction. 
  • Ensures consistent execution and oversight of outerwear and technical design. Challenges and inspires employees to achieve design excellence.
  • Supports the creation and implementation of design languages and signature elements for REI products. 
  • Attracts, recruits, retains and develops appropriate talent to successfully complete established work plans.
  • Possess understanding of activities and consumers. Seeks to gain understanding of future consumers.
  • Promotes, inspires and drives design excellence, team cohesion and accountability.  
  • Works with Creative Director, DVP and other Sr. leadership to design directions. 
  • Works collaboratively with other members of the design team to support the goals of the brand. 
  • Supports the development and monitoring of expense budget and goals.

Bring your passion and expertise
  • 7+ 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 outerwear apperal design and product development processes including manufacturing.
  • Support design insights efforts and challenges the team to think like a consumer. 
  • Extensive design experience within outerwear category. 
  • Effectively presentation creation, delivery and communicate skills
  • Possess intelligent decision making and problem solving skills through effective work management, organizational expertise, acute attention to detail, and effective prioritization
  • Delivers on commitments and holds others accountable on their commitments.
  • 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.
  • Champions the organization and advocates solutions in the overall Company's best interest.
  • Makes effective organization and people decisions in a manner consistent with REI's values and ethics.
  • Consolidates information from various sources including feedback from others to reach sound decisions.
  • Domestic and international travel required

REI hires, trains, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law.  We remain deeply committed to making the Co-op a place where everyone can feel safe and be themselves. Join us. 
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 – 23 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 160 retail locations (and growing), REI offers unique competitive benefits to its more than 15,000 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.

REI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Posting Range
$95,000 to $200,000 per year
ARTICLE 23-A, Section 753

§753. Factors to be considered concerning a previous criminal conviction; presumption.

1. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall consider the following factors:

(a) The public policy of this state, as expressed in this act, to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses.

(b) The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license or employment sought or held by the person.

(c) The bearing, if any, the criminal offense or offenses for which the person was previously convicted will have on his fitness or ability to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities.

(d) The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.

(e) The age of the person at the time of occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.

(f) The seriousness of the offense or offenses.

(g) Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf, in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct.

(h) The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

2. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall also give consideration to a certificate of relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct issued to the applicant, which certificate shall create a presumption of rehabilitation in regard to the offense or offenses specified therein.