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Head of Design (Footwear)

Head of Design (Footwear)

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

More information about this job


Pentland_Brands_Recruitment_Banner - icims


Building a family of brands, for the world to love, generation after generation


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.


For further information, please visit


Key Purpose of job


An inspirational leader with the ability to align multi teams behind one consistent divisional goal.


Translating brand & product briefs into compelling product designs & creative solutions that are desirable to the consumer. Responsible for overall creative design direction & the alignment of design resource & activities.


To ensure that individual brand DNA is defined and controlled throughout all design work, providing the design team with strong, clear and aligned-to-strategy creative direction that is relevant to consumers.


Building creative design capability & a creative culture that can be leveraged across current & future brands.  



  • Deliver divisional standardisation & efficiencies across all aspects of product design creation to increase overall product performance.
  • Support the Product Director in the development of the long-term divisional product strategy.
  • Proactively input and challenge the building of brand strategy with from a design & trend perspective.
  • Ensure Product /Design Briefs are clearly understood (and challenged) and answered with desirable creative solutions with clear consumer benefits.
  • Translate brand strategy into creative design direction and product DNA that deliver the growth objectives for each brand.
  • Define divisional design KPIs, and accountable for leading the creation and delivery of ranges that meet these targets and business growth expectations.
  • Provide a Global perspective on creativity & design dynamics, using Insight and data to identify opportunities, threats and efficiencies. 
  • To constantly scan and learn from the external consumer world to bring creativity, inspiration and newness back to the business.
  • Support the design teams to define and communicate brand specific Visual Brand Language (VBL) and branding guidelines to internal teams and external partners / licensees.
  • Collaborate with the innovation team on the creation of strategic product initiatives or NPD that benefits the division.
  • Lead concept design projects that are not linked to a commercial launch or standard seasonal timeline. 
  • Work with the Insights team to identify research needs and/or to validate new conceptual ideas.
  • Work closely with the Brand Management teams to align consumer communications to the product creative direction & stories.
  • Propose & manage Design Collaboration relationships & recommends when it is desirable or appropriate to use external design resources for the benefit of the division. 
  • Ensure the design resource is deployed in the most efficient and effective way to deliver the defined brand growth priorities.
  • To inspire the Design teams to deliver above and beyond, always pushing creative boundaries.
  • Develop, mobilise and equip the design teams with the necessary skills to succeed.
  • In collaboration with Design Pool, champion & support the integration of new creative talent into the division 
  • Supply creativity & design support for new acquisition tenders & embed new acquisitions into the division.
  • Owns & manages divisional design budgets.


Needs to have


  • A proven track record of leading and delivering successful creative direction and/or delivering desirable footwear ranges. 
  • The ability to articulate design direction with clarity and conviction, both verbally and visually;
  • Excellent understanding of design thinking and how it can drive value to the business.
  • Strong understanding and affinity of the consumer and their needs, in multiple markets and social cultures.
  • Strong appreciation of how the creative direction is applied to multiple product categories or brands.
  • A clear vision of how to constantly improve brand desirability.
  • Collaborates effectively to maintain and develop trustful relationships with peers across the business or multiple functions and within the product leadership team.
  • Highly capable of influencing a team of designers, nurturing talent, encouraging and supporting development and inspiring a team of design experts.
  • Proven influencing skills at all levels of the business.
  • Ability to work across multiple functions with experience of working in a matrix structure a benefit.
  • Strong emotional intelligence to assess, learn quickly and course correct as necessary.
  • Excellent presentation and interpersonal skills.
  • Gravitas and conviction, able to create support and belief across the organisation.
  • The ability to travel and spend time away from home.

Needs to be


  • A design / creative expert with a proven record of delivering desirable consumer products in sports, fashion or other relevant industry;
  • Inspirational and a strong influencer for other designers.
  • The divisions eyes and ears on the external design world, constantly bringing the "outside in" to challenge and refresh our thinking.
  • Consumer focused with a strong creative emphasis and understanding of industry best practice.
  • Inspiring, creative, forward-thinking and energetic.
  • Driven to exceed expectations.
  • A self-starter and self-motivator.
  • Is perceived as credible and an expert in the creative / design environment.
  • Courageous to challenge upwards and across functions.
  • Adaptable and versatile.