The North Face: Design Director (Urban Exploration)

The North Face

Alameda, California

As a Design Director at The North Face you will help create, shape and lead the design direction for the Urban Exploration business.  You’re strategic creative vision will create compelling storytelling that is emotionally, culturally and technically rich to our consumers.  Through your storytelling, you will present visual concept solutions to product briefs; collaborate with our Design, Development and Product Management groups to focus new and innovative product designs for market success. You will develop an understanding of our culture through immersion in our influencers and athletes’ values, in our products, in consumer retail habits and in market- and macro-trends; and you will translate what you learn into strategies for you and your team to create compelling product designs. You will manage and coach a team for design performance excellence; work collaboratively between cross-functional teams; and articulately communicate your design intent and impact.  The foundation of our sports, culture and brand is built on working together.  Come play a part in shaping our future.  This position exists to lead a team of designers to create market ready product within margin that meets the consumer fit and function needs for the target consumer.


  • Responsible for the high-quality execution of designs in all assigned collections and categories.
  • Manages all in house and outside designers on established corporate time lines. 
  • Responsible for inspiring creativity and fostering new concepts that expand on brand defining products and technologies.  Continually looks for opportunities to develop design team members.
  • Responsible for the Design department’s execution of high quality design/ tech packages during design process.  Responsible for the creation of visual tools used in presentations for in-line reviews, product line meetings, and pre-line meetings with buyers.
  • Responsible for creating and communicating innovative technology and design language within managed design groups for all collections, categories, and series. 
  • Responsible to work closely with other category Design Directors to cross pollinate ideas and maintain seasonal design direction.
  • Responsible for executing seasonal color palettes for all managed groups.   Researches industry and trade shows for new materials, colors, and design trends.
  • Responsible for proof of concept work by design team.
  • Responsible for the Integration of Advanced Concepts and new technologies from inside and outside resources and works to ensure the successful execution of these proscribed inventions.
  • Manages the design schedule to ensure timely completion of designs and design package deadlines
  • Partners with development to ensure commercial success of seasonal line offerings and innovative advanced products.   Manage the trim development process to ensure we are developing a consistent brand message across categories.  Partners with material sourcing to develop innovative fabrications. Partners with Product Directors to develop line direction from product conception through final execution.  Required to understand market structure and distribution points for all assigned collections and categories.
  • Responsible for executing individual designs and/or collections according to stated product briefs.  These designs must be produced with a deep knowledge of product manufacturing.


  • 10+ years of related or similar experience.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Design (apparel), or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in flat sketching expertise.
  • Hands-on experience with CAD software, Softworks, Rhino, Cad Key.
  • High level of Proficiency in In Design, Illustrator, Photoshop, Word, PowerPoint.
  • Experience in creation of design packages and execution of product designs.
  • Experience in designing successful products.
  • Experience in research and analysis and design cycles.
  • Strong knowledge of formulating color palettes.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of apparel construction.
  • Excellent communications skills, including the ability to present concepts to product teams and review boards in a persuasive manner.
  • Strong and experienced in leadership.
  • Strong knowledge of product cycles.
  • Strong knowledge of manufacturing processes.
  • Strong knowledge of aesthetic form and the ability to design for different consumers and end uses.
  • Strong knowledge of textile and material construction and properties.
  • Strong knowledge of product costs and impact of design.
  • Travels extensively domestically and internationally as required (75%).




Design - Product

Position Type:

Full Time

Remote ok?



7 months ago

The North Face

Built on innovation, The North Face® brand offers unrivaled, technically advanced outdoor products designed for everyone from the most accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes and endurance athletes to novice explorers in search of adventure.