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Innovation Designer

Innovation Designer

Job ID 
Position Type 
Permanent Full-Time
UK-London, Finchley (Global Headquarters)
Design & Creative

More information about this job





LACOSTE is above all a legend


The legend of a fantastic tennis player, René Lacoste, a member of the famous French "Musketeers" Davis Cup Team and a star of the courts at Wimbledon, Forest Hills and Roland Garros.


The true story of "the Crocodile" dates back to 1927. René Lacoste liked to recount how this nickname came about and ultimately became a brand of worldwide renown.


“I was nicknamed "the Crocodile" by the American press, after I made a bet with the captain of the French Davis Cup Team. The public must have been fond of this nickname which conveyed the tenacity I displayed on the tennis courts, never letting go of my prey.”


In 1933, René Lacoste founded a company to manufacture the perfect tennis shirt. The original “1212” pique polo shirt featured the now legendary embroidered crocodile on the left breast - Lacoste was born and revolutionised sportswear and branding within sport.


Pentland is the name behind some of the world’s best sports, outdoor and fashion brands.


We own Berghaus, Canterbury of New Zealand, Speedo, Boxfresh, Ellesse, KangaROOS, Mitre, Prostar and Red or Dead. We are also the global licensee for Lacoste Chaussures and Ted Baker footwear, the UK licensee for Kickers, and are shareholders in other companies such as Hunter, Butterfly Twists, Heidi Klein and Tracksmith.


We’re a third-generation, family-owned business – and we retain strong family values. We care about people, and that’s what drives our day-to-day work. This year the Great Place to Work® Institute recognised Pentland Brands the 11th Best Workplace in the UK and the 16th Best Workplace in Europe. Our global headquarters is in the UK and we employ 2,000 people across 20 countries around the world.


We believe that doing business the right way, with respect for people and the environment, is essential for ensuring our long-term sustainability - generation after generation. The Pentland values are at the heart of what we do and how we interact with the world around us.



In 1991 Pentland became the worldwide licensee for Lacoste footwear and in 2018 the two will come together to leverage the global reach of both brands for the growth of this iconic brand.


The JV aims to be renowned for its premium quality and innovative footwear, with an emphasis on sports-influenced styles.


Key Purpose of Job:


As a key member of the product design team reporting into the Head of Design. You will explore and develop ideas through a collaborative process, managing all aspects of NPD design & prototyping demonstrating and inspiring new and novel products and services that will delight future consumers and/or customers.


This is a highly collaborative role, working closely with other members of the design & category team as well as external resources to ensure we continue to challenge, push boundaries & create new Lacoste product concepts.




  • Turn ideas into tangible products or frameworks that can be demonstrated and evaluated internally.
  • Liaises with Materials, Design, Development and Marketing teams to bring design concepts alive.
  • Actively pursues new material applications, construction and production technologies that will enhance our apparel offer to consumers.
  • Keeps up to date on the latest technologies and manufacturing methods to generate new ideas.
  • Allows the business to make informed decisions about what to include in their future Brand plans by demonstrating what is technically achievable. 
  • Creates & manages the Innovation pipeline in conjunction with key stakeholders.
  • Identifies and demonstrates tangible concepts that can be evaluated by the brand team communicating how these opportunities can best be leveraged by the business. 
  • Works with the legal team on all new product concept IP.
  • Works with external development and research partners, identifying new opportunities to create competitive advantage.
  • Works closely with the product development team to ensure that all NPD is tested through controlled evaluation.
  • Produce appropriate design specification and documentation for products to be developed effectively.
  • Work closely with the category & supply chain teams to ensure that NPD concepts can be developed into commercially viable products when appropriate.
  • Liaise with Supply Chain and Marketing teams to ensure that the design intent is maintained through commercialisation of the concept.
  • Develops a network of internal and external creative experts and partners to help explore and experiment with ideas and product concepts.
  • Builds relationships with existing and potential new vendor partners to help determine how concepts can be developed in feasible and viable solutions in time.
  • Responsible for delivering against the innovation specific OGSM, KPI’s and Milestones through concept generation and development.


Needs to have


  • Experience in producing leading edge design and innovation from blue sky exploration to commercial realisation, ideally within a similar industry
  • Experience of working with consumer insight, trend, design, innovation, and scientific experts and information sources from across the globe
  • Proven ability to generate ground-breaking conceptual ideas based on insights, scientific principles, technology, trends, data and research findings.
  • Experience of cross functional team working and integration.
  • Strong sketching ability to think through initial concepts and share with internal teams for review
  • Skilled in various hands-on prototyping tools, from foam modelling to Arduino 
  • Proficient with Adobe Creative Suite (or similar) and 3D CAD design tools (SolidWorks, Rhino or similar) to explore and present design concepts and clearly define design intent 
  • Experience with performance materials, technology, digital developments and cutting-edge product manufacturing methods
  • Experience in working with consumers at all levels and experience working with elite athletes / coaches of additional benefit
  • Exceptional technical knowledge of product design and the process of innovation, including latest market developments and knowhow
  • Proven ability of working with external individuals, institutes and facilities to support design and innovation.
  • Proven ability to manage and deliver multiple, complex projects in line with project plans.
  • Strong communication / listening skills with experience in tailoring style and content dependent on the audience as well as understanding cultural differences and requirements
  • Proven ability to challenge the norm, think laterally and successfully persuade and influence others.

Needs to be

  • Highly collaborative and keen to push themselves and the team forward in positive way.
  • Driven to make things better than they are currently, but patient enough to know this sometimes takes time and team work.
  • Willing to move outside their comfort zone to push the envelope of what can be done.
  • Comfortable with “failure” as a means to progress.
  • Flexible and adaptable to changing conditions.
  • Able to remain calm in times of pressure.
  • Able to balance what would be incredible with what is achievable.
  • Creative with strong problem-solving skills.
  • Eagerness to learn, yet able to firmly convey their knowledge and expertise within the team.