When I am driven and listening to my instincts, I live in creating firsts.
My journey in the Fashion Industry began in the sales and merchandising side of retail. After much hard work and tenacity I moved into manufacturing where my goal was to learn everything and build a career in Fashion. I was lucky to work for one of the first Children's Designer Brands out of France, Absorba. I later moved on to Guess Apparel where I began to hone my skills in design seasonal developing product with vendors,creating a sample library and basically teaching myself how to design denim washes. I loved the behind the scenes movement,the energy of creating and trending future seasons. My next move was seamless as I thought it was time to move to the footwear industry. I began at Sketchers as the first Material Designer, creating my second material library, building a core vendor network,influencing CM palettes and lots of trend shopping! I grew personally and professionally and as my voice grew, a dear friend asked me to network in Portland, Or.
I created a new role at Nike in 2001 as Material Designer for several performance categories, driving Color and Material language,building relationships with vendors and innovating design processes. Within 1 year I was presenting new materials to MJ, which changed the course of my career again as I was Jordan Brand's first Material Designer and the first female in Jordan Design. As the Material Designer for footwear I spearheaded the Signature and Hierarchy footwear that came out of Jordan. I worked closely with footwear designers,developing exclusive materials and relationships which have carried over to the MLab. I am proud of my successes including exclusive Material Designs on the AJXIX,which showcased unconventional materials used in luxury performance footwear. I cherished each signature project from the AJXIX to 2010,which includes the AJXX3,the first Sustainable Performance Basketball Shoe.My first experience working with polymers was on the AJ2009 Signature shoe where I learned how to apply multiple colors in dual injection outsoles.
I believe in intergrating seasonal color and material direction to influence design,introducing language early in the conceptual process begins dialogue,saves time and sustains the integrity of design. Material Designers bring so much to the table, in a world that blends the art of Communication,Science,Fashion, as well as your fives senses. It has taught me that design is not about my opinion but the expertise you deliver. It cultivates relationships that overcome time and geography.
Material Design has led to my current passion,Material Director of the MLab,a creative resource for Pensole Footwear Design School. Pensole is North America's first footwear specific school and I am proud to have created the first material voice for it.
The MLab is generously furnished with the same vendors partners I worked with at Nike and Jordan as well as partners from Automotive,Medical,Aerospace and Performance industries. Through the MLab I continue to mentor and offer educational opportunities to future Pensole students,professionals who want to empower their current role,
and Design Consulting through a CMF lens.
“Always leave the door open to creative opportunities, its like spoon-feeding yourself passion” — Suzette Henry