Company: Bonnier - Li & Fung (BLF)
Bonnier, Inc, a Swedish-based privately held company, is a global leader in the Media and Publication Industries. Their North American subsidiary, based in NYC, owns many iconic media/magazine brands including Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Popular Science, Saveur, Yachting, Boating, Cycle World, Waterski and Wakeboarding magazines. Bonnier’s world is all about storytelling, content generation and marketing to its millions of subscribers and brand audiences across its multiple media titles. Li & Fung, a Hong Kong based public company, is one of the world’s largest sourcing, supply chain and buying agency companies. No other company has as broad or as deep worldwide consumer product manufacturing relationships with suppliers than Li & Fung. The two companies have invested into a joint strategic initiative to begin to extend some of Bonnier’s iconic media brands into comprehensive consumer product collections. The first brand to introduce products will be Outdoor Life which will be launching an initial line of technical convenient/comfort basecamp/camping products in FA 2018. Outdoor Life was founded in Denver, CO in 1898 and has a storied history as the leading authority and inspirational voice for the Outdoor and Sportsmen community.
The Li & Fung – Bonnier collaboration is establishing its product engine headquarters in Denver, CO and is beginning to build the team that will lead the product merchandising, design and development efforts for Outdoor Life and the Guide Life collection and, in time, other select Bonnier Brands. In this role you will play a key role as a hands-on designer for and helping to set the design direction for multiple product types under the Outdoor Life brand and potentially additional markets and consumer profiles that will span Active Lifestyle to Home Product categories. Initially, the focus will be on the Outdoor Category with our Guide Life and Outdoor Life product lines (the Guide Life series represents the best of Outdoor Life products and will be available only on direct-to-consumer platforms). You will work closely with the BLF General Manager, Product Line Manager(s), Product Developer(s)/LF Sourcing Team and the Marketing team to ensure the design language and visual cues that define the family of products for each category are consistently delivered through product on a seasonal basis. Additionally, this person will play a key role in partnership with the PLM in ensuring that MSRP and internal/external margin targets are met while not compromising on the intentional pursuit of quality design, functionality and durability.
Key Responsibilities Include:
- Lead designer for all BLF products. This person will be a hands-on designer and will design and prepare tech packs for all Guide Life/Outdoor Life (and potential future brands) products on a seasonal basis.
- In many cases, this person will also act as the developer of the products he/she designs. This position will work closely with the LF Sourcing Team to ensure all designs are executed to expected levels. Travel to Suppliers will be required one to two times per season as part of the design/development process.
- Work closely with the Product Line Manager as a team to ensure all merchandising goals and objectives are being met and that communication and work flow with the LF Sourcing Team are smooth and productive.
- Be a key voice in helping to establish the overall design direction for all product categories to ensure a clear and consistent visual language connects across all products to help continuously reinforce the respective brand’s market position and consumer association.
- Understand the overall value proposition of each brand to ensure both internal and external margin targets are met.
- Be a forward-thinking leader to drive innovation for all ground-up designed products while applying thoughtful design direction for modifying available product designs for some products in the lines.
- Work with PLM and GM to develop an effective design process and seasonal workflow with set design reviews that align with the overall seasonal calendars/timelines with the longer-term objective of continuously working toward getting closer to market for the product development process.
- Direct and guide prototyping needs and plans for design reviews in conjunction with engineers.
- When appropriate and needed, help lead efforts to supplement in-house design needs with the recruiting and hiring of freelance designers for specific projects.
- Participate in the annual strategy, planning and budgeting process.
- 7+ years of progressive Industrial Design/Hard Goods experience, with at least 2+ years as a design leader in the outdoor or active lifestyle industries (soft goods experience a plus)
- 3+ years of Product Development experience within a design position (on site supplier/factory development experience)
- Solid understanding of graphic design as it relates to product applications
- Bachelor degree in industrial design or related studies
- Solid understanding of product development process and experience with overseas/Asia manufacturing
- Strong verbal and written communication skills and cross-functional collaboration skills
- Solid understanding of outdoor and sportsmen marketplace (camping, hunting, fishing, shooting, etc) from both a product and consumer perspective a plus
- A genuine enthusiasm and energy for designing multiple product types across various markets
- Ability to play an integral role within a broader team (multiple locations) and to connect the product vision to the overall company vision
- Strong organizational skills and the ability to juggle multiple priorities and timelines/deadlines
- Personal interest and participation in outdoor activities a plus
- Participation in product design for product lines that are not a part of the outdoor industry
- Domestic and International travel will be required to ensure all product designs are being executed by suppliers as intended
- Strong familiarity and proficiency with 3D visualization skills using leading CAD software design programs
- Compensation commensurate with experience