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  • M Coleman Horn

    Founder and Principle Designer at Phyla, Inc.

    San Francisco, CA

With 15 years of experience working in softgood product-design & development, Coleman maintains a strategic focus on creating Avant Garde products and brands. Having worked as a designer at Nike, Polo, Gravis, Nixon and owning MEDIUM and VAEL; Coleman blends a diverse entrepreneurial background combining product development and business acumen. Specializing in the wholesale sector with expertise in identifying new business opportunities, Coleman conceptualizes and designs softgoods through hands on product development at the factory level. His creative direction in PHYLA delivers more design-porn. Specialties: An entrepreneurial Creative Director with expertise in product design & development, brand-building, marketing and sales in the fashion, accessories and sports segments.

Work Samples

  • Russian Special Forces Equipment

  • Timberland

  • VAEL Logistics Bags + Acc.

Work History

  • Founder & Owner

    • The VAEL Project
    • Sep 2007 - Present (10 years 2 months)

    VÆL is a premium brand extending the range of mobile societies (Gesellschaft). We engineer and manufacture softgoods for the wandering global creative class. Using top-shelf components like Vibram™ soles and US hides, VÆL delivers unparalleled quality and coveted advances in materials and technology. We undertake this design project with commitment to best practices in human rights and ecological sourcing.

  • Creative Director, Founder

    • PHYLA, Inc.
    • Jul 2001 - Present (16 years 4 months)

    Design + Manufacturing consultants for the footwear, apparel and soft-goods industry. Phyla's focus is on technical design and vertical supplier integration. PHYLA works on diverse design projects: including product development and merchandising, product design, graphic design and branding. Responsibilities include management of all aspects of running a small design firm, including creative, budgets and sales.

  • Founder & Creative Dir.

    • Medium Design Group [Acquired by Pentland June 2006]
    • Mar 2002 - Jan 2007 (4 years 10 months)

    Founded M3DIUM with business partners: Scott Milden and Eric Meyer. Designed and Developed 8 seasons of footwear and accessories. Developed supply-chain for overseas production of shoes, bags, watches & apparel. Created budgets and timelines for all product. Created look and feel of brand. Grew brand from 0 to 8M in sales. MEDIUM was sold in 2007 to Pentland.

    Key Contributions:

    • Managed all Production and Design. (Projection and goal setting, building and developing MEDIUM’s image, event promotions, advertising direction)
    • Strategically led SRM’s (supplier relationship management) within MEDIUM’s supply chain.
    • Managed trade-shows, samples, sales meetings and catalog production.
    • Generated long-term, profitable, and sustainable revenue streams by expanding into new markets, including watches and apparel.
    • Developed Collaborative projects between MEDIUM and ADOBE, Dwell Magazine and HOUSE INDUSTRIES.
    • Awarded Footwear Brand Launch of the Year, Footwear News Award, 2002.

  • Design Director for Simple + UGG

    • Deckers Outdoor Corporation
    • 1998 - 2001 (3 years)

    Created design direction and product architecture for Simple and Ugg. Worked closely with Scott Milden and Ruth Davis on building UGG to reach it's renown today. Designed the Butte boot, which after 10 years, remains the star of the line and determines the overall design language of the UGG mens line.


  • Senior Designer

    • Polo Ralph Lauren
    • Jun 1997 - Sep 1998 (1 year 3 months)

    Recruited to work between two corporations: Polo, Ralph Lauren, and Reebok, as a senior FOOTWEAR and PRODUCT designer, while the corporations entered a licensing agreement together to produce athletic footwear.

    Key Contributions:

    • Designed and developed full lines of product ranges for tennis, running, casual, hiking, and fashion.
    • Strategically Co-Developed initial product marketing direction and product briefs with the Marketing team.
    • Developed SWOT analyses to be used in footwear direction.
    • Developed logo system for Polo sport footwear, used in print, packaging, and product branding.
    • Had POLO hiking shoe on display at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco (MOMA) show "DESIGN AFOOT: Athletic Shoes 1995 - 2002"

  • Design Director

    • Morrow Snowboards
    • 1997 - 1998 (1 year)

    Recruited by Neil Morrow to head responsibility for all external image of the corporation from a product design standpoint.

    Key Contributions:

    Realized a 22 percent sales increase across the line through new product developments.
    Responsible for individual budgets of projects, including costing analyses & target costing.
    Developed and designed a new step-in snowboard binding and boot system called "ENGAGE" which was industry lauded as a game changer.
    Designed a new corporate identity system, including logos, packaging and POP display items.
    Designed new lines of technical outdoor snowboarding apparel for the Morrow owned company Westbeach and for Morrow's own label of outerwear.
    Designed vertical print ads and snowboard graphics.

  • Designer

    • Nike, Inc.
    • Mar 1993 - Jun 1997 (4 years 3 months)

    Staff designer responsible for footwear categories: Women's cross training, Men’s running and ACG, (All Conditions Gear).

    Key Contributions:

    • Job focus was technical athletic design and development with Pac-Rim manufacturing.
    • Secondary focus was research acquisition for sales projections and brand management.
    • Designed Footwear that helped Nike achieve it's boom in the mid 90's. Annual estimate of sales generated from 14 designs per annual seasons: 95 million dollars.
    • Awarded 2 US patents for developing innovations in athletic footwear.

  • Staff Designer

    • Saucony Inc.
    • 1992 - 1993 (1 year)

    Worked with marketing and engineering as staff designer, creating 5 seasons of technical running footwear and apparel for the sports industry.

    Key Contributions:

    • Job focus was technical athletic design and development with Pacific rim manufacturing.
    • Developed new corporate logo system for Saucony, which was used in advertising and product branding.
    • Designed a few "core" running products for Suucony which generated 20 million in annual sales.
    • Awarded KUZAMI (Japan) design award for footwear.


  • University of California, Santa Barbara

    • Post, continuing Philosophy, Sociology
    • 1999 - 2003
  • Portland State Univ.

    • Post, continuing History
    • 1997 - 1998
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

    • Ma Industrial Design
    • 1987 - 1991
  • Proctor Academy

    • 1983 - 1986



12 Travel+Leisure Best Travel Accessory Grace Carter. 12 Core77 Design Judge 11 Cycling Magazine Product Award 11 GC Patents awarded 10 LMU Entrepreneurial award 08 Project Tradeshow Award. 06 Stanford Lecturer 05 Paramount, Elizabethtown 03 Footwear News "Brand Launch of the year" award 02 MOMA SF Award "Design Afoot" 96 Nike patents awarded