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Global Design Director at Nike
Raised barefoot in the sunshine state of Hawai’i, James left the islands in the pursuit of a dream that was yet to unfold. It was in California where he graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture at tender age of 22 that he found his calling in design. Architecture created the foundation for his thought process, aesthetics, and creative approach to design. His first year out of college, he began work on one of the biggest projects in the city, The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. In 1999 James was invited to join creative team at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills as a Visual Display Designer. It was here, amongst the Haute Couture garments, luxury footwear, and home furnishing created by the titans of Fashion and Design, where James discovered his passion for product design, inspiring him to leave it all behind, start all over and move across the country to New York City to earn his Masters in Industrial Design in 2002. It was here in New York where James was recruited to work for Clae and Lakai Footwear where he honed his skills designing footwear for some of the biggest names in Skateboarding. It was because of this experience that he was recruited by one of the biggest footwear companies, Nike. He was the former Global Design Director at Nike SB and was there for almost a decade helping create the magic that has defined a generation. From the early inception of the brand, to the cultural and performance powerhouse that it is today James has been there to lead the way lending creative vision, strategy, and design. The business has grown from a million dollar organization to a multi-million dollar juggernaut, winning numerous industry awards, best selling industry defining footwear, and numerous patents. Recently James was tapped on the shoulder to bring this youthful and innovative approach to Nike Golf where the potential to grow and influence the sport is immeasurable.
Responsible for defining the category design direction, collaborating with professional world class athletes, and mentoring a team of multidisciplinary designers through the design, production, and creation process across five distinct brands. Led the seasonal stories, creating a cohesive product line that is united by design, innovation, color, graphics, and materials, as well as integrating with the apparel collections across five brands. Drive creative presentations that strategize cutting edge market trends, consumer insights, game changing performance attributes as well as seasonal direction to Executive Board Members at Nike as well as Senior Leadership within the organization. Frequent global market travel including North America, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central Asia to meet with accounts, present design initiatives, and consumer research.
Create and led the innovation design initiatives across five different brands against all product categories apparel, footwear, and equipment. Developed the Innovation Roadmap for action sports focusing in on technologies that would significantly enhance athlete performance.
Designed and developed industry leading footwear product for some of the most forward thinking brands in Nikes portfolio, Nike Skateboarding, Nike Snowboarding, Nike 6.0, and Nike Branded Action. Worked closely with Brand Marketing teams, professional Nike athletes, sales, merchandisers, as well as retailers to create best in class icons for the Brand that still lead the category to this day. Multiple design patents on innovative game changing products. Collaborated with high profile artists and creatives such as De La Soul, Melvins, Medicom, Pushead, Iron Maiden, Supreme, Unkle, Futura, Dinosaur Jr, and many others. Designed, directed and developed entire bag collections for the Brand as well as led the construction and design of the Action Sports sales offices in Costa Mesa. Frequent Asia Development focusing in on product development, building factory relations, and keeping production timelines. Frequent global market travel including North America, Europe, Eastern Europe, Iceland, and Asia to meet with accounts, present design initiatives, and consumer research.
Full concept, design, and development of footwear for one of the most influential skate brands in the industry. Worked closely with sales and marketing teams, athletes to create footwear solutions for the brand. Worked with numerous professional athletes on signature products that reflect their performance needs as well as their personal style. Created footwear stories anchored by materials, color and graphics to bring to market compelling story telling and brand insights. Frequent Asia development, North America, and East Coast market travel focusing in on product development, future trends and keeping production timelines.
Designed footwear, created packaging, P.O.P concepts, softgoods designs, and graphic design for this visionary athlesure footwear brand. Created detailed specs for footwear upper cads, midsole dimension specifications, and outsole mold drawings. Created colorway and material stories, as well as worked on sample modifications and quality control. Frequent Asia and market travel focusing in on product development, future trends and keeping production timelines.
Concepted, designed, and presented full trade show build outs and visual displays for Sony Mobile Division. Developed space planning solutions for displays, created high quality visual presentation renderings, and physical scaled study models for clients.
Worked on the design and production of various ad campaigns for multiple clients ranging from fashion to movie and media houses. Developed high resolution graphics and low resolution schematic design solutions to present to the various clients.
Concept design and creation of windows for numerous international luxury fashion brands in one of the most profitable and exclusive stores in Beverly Hills.
Worked on the construction drawings for the entire creation of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles in Los Angeles designed by the Pritzker Prize winning Architect Rafael Moneo. Specifically worked on sections, wall elevations, and curtain wall packages for submittals to the city of Los Angeles. Also gained experience in detailing of the roof, curtain wall and ceiling connection drawings while working in with Rafael Moneo's, lead designers.
Produced hand drawn, fully rendered presentation boards communicating concept designs for multiple international clients. Crafted highly detailed, large scale presentation models conveying spatial layout and fountain engineering details for future projects in Japan.