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Design Director/Trend & Concept expert

New York, New York, United States
August 14, 2018

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New York City, NY *****917-***-**** •

FASHION: DESIGN DIRECTOR CREATIVE LEADER TREND FORECASTER Major brands include: Express, Miss Selfridge, Whistles, The Body Shop, and H&M. Categories include: Apparel, Accessories, Cosmetics, Personal Care, Gifting, and Footwear. Multi-talented fashion design leader with progressive +20-year career of repeated success across multiple categories and lifestyles for high-profile brands in the U.S. and U.K. Hands-on teacher and mentor, empowering teams with the freedom to create while remaining true to brand DNA. Respected difference-maker adding high value with strong intuitive sense for spotting trends to develop brand-right profit-making products. EXECUTIVE COMPETENCIES

§ Brand Growth & Expansion § Color & Trend Forecasting § Cross-functional Collaboration

§ Design Team Leadership § New Product & Brand Launches § Visual & Verbal Presentations

§ Global Sourcing & Partnering § Photo, Digital & Visual Styling § Overseas Travel & Research PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

EXPRESS LLC, New York, NY 1999 – 2007; 2008 – 2017 Design Director, Accessories (2005 – 2007; 2008 – 2017) Director of Design & Product Development, Accessories (1999 – 2005) Provided visionary, creative, and design leadership for entire Accessories Division for $180M business in 600 stores nationwide. Determined direction for all 9 categories, including footwear, bags, soft goods, seasonal, and gifting products developing 3 seasons at once. Additionally, directly accountable for designing and sourcing all menswear accessory categories. In charge of styling products for photo shoots and online digital representation. Travel overseas frequently to conduct trend research, attend trade fairs, and visit factories.

Impact: Grew Express’ Accessories division from $45M to a record-breaking $180M annually.

• Rebranded footwear, increasing revenues from $0 to $33M in 5 years. Earned $13M in the first year via launch of seasonal footwear program and expanded into a full range of footwear with 6 categories due to success.

• Introduced new product categories, generating additional $20M in profits while repeatedly surpassing corporate margin targets and growing the bottom line.

• Developed and steered a top-notch team of designers over 10-year period to conceptualized and introduce highly profitable product categories, including legwear and soft goods.

• Broadened scope of trend forecasting department by devising and revising processes/procedures, thus seizing opportunities to leverage the highest profit-margin products for maximum impact to bottom line.

• Exceeded all financial targets by continually pushing the envelope to uncover new areas of growth and striving for excellence in product quality and design. Earned 5 “Brand Hero Awards” for exceeding each year’s financial goals.

• Improved pricing and margins by sourcing for and negotiating with new manufacturing and raw material suppliers to build a robust vendor base.

ANN TAYLOR LOFT, New York, NY 2007 – 2008

VP Design, Women’s Accessories

Oversaw design and development of all women’s accessories categories, making product more fashion forward while remaining consistent with the brand esthetic. Worked jointly with design team daily to ensure directional clarity and to tweak existing styles, quality, and esthetics. Added new team members to support expanding workload and focus on new categories’ growth. Impact: Completely overhauled division by introducing new and adding to existing profitable product categories.

• Drove sales and bottom-line profits by refocusing handwriting of successful categories and eliminating unsuccessful ones.

• Led the design and development of products featured in magazines for the first time. JULIETTE BENN, PAGE 2

MISS SELFRIDGE LIMITED / SEARS WOMENSWEAR, London, UK 1995 – 1999 Head of Fashion Development (1996 – 1999)

Head of Buying, Casual Division (1995 – 1996)

Brought in initially to lead and grow all casual clothing and accessories division for young women’s high-fashion retailer. Promoted to spearhead overall fashion design and development, which included creating in-house trend/color forecasting department for the brand and 14 buyers. Traveled overseas extensively to source for products and gather trend forecasting intelligence.

Impact: Grew and elevated all categories for top-shelf retailer generating $155M from 120 stores capitalizing on exploding gifting, accessories, and color cosmetics markets.

• Rebranded and re-launched 30-year old in-house color cosmetic brand, which was bought by leading UK pharmacy (Boots) for nationwide distribution to achieve +$9M in first year and then +$2.5M YoY.

• Identified and tapped emerging color cosmetics market by creating a range of fun and flirty body products, “Bare Bods,” to compliment branded Miss Selfridge perfume; sold to Boots as part of their body care lines.

• Captured 50% of total retail sales via effective management of development, sourcing, and buying of personal label casual wear clothing, accessories, and cosmetics.

• Started up unique “Lifestyle” department comprised of gifting and homeware items, harnessing the buying power of 16–24-year old demographic.

• Initiated and ignited growth of yet another category by developing range of young fun body products to compliment signature fragrance.

• Built in-house Color/Trend Forecasting department from the ground up, which helped gain the competitive advantage by accelerating development and gap identification in ranges. QVC, London, UK 1994 – 1995

Senior Buying & Retail Coordinator

Established a strong foothold for QVC concept in the UK by translating successful U.S. business model to European market. Introduced new product classifications: accessories, costume jewelry, personal care items, and lingerie to capture sales and loyalty of viewers, new to TV shopping.

Impact: Built Accessories division to produce 11% of annual sales during first year in the UK. EARLY CAREER

Sundries Manager, Accessories, Bath & Beauty – THE BODY SHOP INTERNATIONAL PLC, West Sussex, UK Designed, sourced, and coordinated ranges of accessories, bath, and beauty products for distribution to +700 stores. Introduced new, exciting, and never-before-seen products and categories, including fun add-on products for gifting. Impact: Grew accessories division from 5% to 11% of company total revenue. Buyer, Ladieswear – H&M HENNES LIMITED, London, UK Grew clothing and accessories categories (including lingerie and legwear) by introducing new trend-forward products, which boosted sales and bottom-line profits for stores in the U.K., Holland, Germany, and Switzerland. Senior Buyer & Retail Controller – WHISTLES, London, UK Gained valuable experience in fashion garment construction from start to finish, with direct involvement in buying high-end designer labels. Helped increase margins and profits, which led to opening of new locations and doubling business size. ADDITIONAL CREDENTIALS

Professional Development: Completed numerous company-sponsored external/internal courses in: Effective Leadership • Team Management • Team Building • Public Speaking • Presentations Fashion Design Legalities (Design Limitations, Copyright Law, and Intellectual Property Laws) Press & Publicity: Product designs featured in Vogue, Lucky, InStyle, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Bazaar, Elle, and Marie Claire. Profiled in Accessories Trade Magazine Languages: Limited working proficiency in Italian and French.

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