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Design and Brand Strategy Leader
Accomplished, uncommonly creative Design Director with 15 years’ experience devising strategies that expand brand equity, including successful tenures in the consumer packaged goods and apparel industries.
Specialties: Manager of complex design projects requiring company-wide and external input; practiced in collaboration with marketing, research, sales and industrial-design personnel. Team leader adept at rallying troops amid challenging circumstances; veteran of productive interactions with senior management. Deft handler of domestic and overseas agents; firm yet diplomatic negotiator; fan of travel. Highly skilled in formulating and preserving budgets and schedules. Flexible, accountable, personable.
- Melanie Weaver Design
- 1999 - Present (14 years)
• Contributing design, development and merchandising direction to variety of apparel and consumer brands.
• Design and product development clients include: William Rast, People’s Liberation, Hurley, Rip Curl, Blue Marlin, Capito Golf, Lily’s of Beverly Hills, and PinkCaddi Golf in addition to private label for the juniors, tweens and kids markets.
Procter & Gamble Account Strategy Manager for Kaleidoscope
- Melanie Weaver Design
- Jul 2010 - Nov 2011 (1 year 4 months)
• Directed strategic planning process and it’s projected outcome in partnership with CPG companies, i.e. Procter & Gamble, M&M Mars and Mead Westvaco. Partnered with Design and Brand teams to identify areas of opportunity, shape / influence the strategic direction of client brands and recommend appropriate plan of action. Defined and tracked “innovative thinking” across industry lines, applying relevant solutions to client plans. As an example, brought fashion and medical expertise into CPG strategies.
Director of Design
- Jul 2008 - May 2010 (1 year 10 months)
• Lent strategic acumen to brand repositioning by refreshing look of car-seat and stroller soft goods to attract young, hip moms; improvements led to superior retail placements, boosted brand awareness and increased price points. Introduced innovative fabrics (with wicking and UV protection) well ahead of competition.
• Challenged marketing team to attain “molecular” understanding of consumer; identified three distinct market segments and conceived new designs; product visuals effectively transmitted features to all demographic niches at store shelf.
• Led soft-goods engineers and graphic designers in exploration of home-interior and automotive trends, athletic equipment and apparel for inspiration; mined European trend research for new directions; buyers responded favorably with orders.
• Managed creative direction of industrial-design team to enhance visual impact of baby bottles, toddler cups and breast pumps; tight tooling budgets necessitated highly cost-effective strategy; joined in assessing technical ramifications of design plans to facilitate informed costing decisions.
• Spearheaded redesign of Snugli soft carriers to brand to appeal to young, hip moms; introduced technical fabrics and athletic apparel construction to allow for more streamlined, ergonomic design; combined new models with fashion forward patterns and colors to land specialty market placements.
• Maintained close contact with sales team, which proved vital when legislation mandated booster seats for bigger kids; ensured appearance of seats clearly signaled comfort for older children; reconceived product in bright, shiny colors to appeal to older children; outfitted one model with sticker packs so child could customize seat, sending product flying off store shelves.
Design Director for HEAD Sportswear USA
- Melanie Weaver Design
- Mar 2007 - Feb 2008 (11 months)
• Consulted with senior management in Germany and license holders in Canada to launch golf and tennis apparel in U.S. at 2008 PGA Merchandise Show; analyzed market to pinpoint target demographic; developed product from scratch while honoring heritage design signature; trained factory in Malaysia in technical athletic wear fit and construction and developed technical fabrics with Taiwanese mill; delivered two well-received seasons.
Director of Merchandising
- Sub-Urban Brands, Inc.
- 2005 - 2007 (2 years)
• Hired as Director of Production, charged with moving manufacture of men’s T-shirts and women’s loungewear to Asia for improved margins; expanded product offering to include men’s streetwear and women’s contemporary fashions.
• Engaged owner in intensive brainstorming to focus brand identity and guided designers along new path; new men’s line scored all store buy recommendation from president of Macy’s.
• Led design team in exploration of color, material and styling trends as well as establishment of signature fit and art direction of new brands; partnered with marketing and sales teams to provide trend and brand direction to retailers; ensured collections contained proper assortment of basics, key items and ensembles for both core and individual deliveries.
• Managed overseas agents and factories in sourcing of new materials, products, techniques and processes; oversaw development and production process for consistent 50% cost margins and 90% timely delivery.
Designer and Production Manager
- Girl Skateboards
- 2004 - 2005 (1 year)
• Recruited to oversee production and engineer growth of Fourstar line; upgraded quality, diversified style and color options, and reconfigured line as collection to spur orders of additional SKUs; first season featuring improvements saw 65% spike in sales, with 100% increase in second season. Formulated technical specifications. Diversified agent and factory portfolio resulting in improved quality, costing and delivery timelines.
Designer and Development Manager
- Guess? Inc.
- 2002 - 2004 (2 years)
- 2001 - 2002 (1 year)