collierbrands

An introduction to designer J.J. Collier

Growing up in a small town, I'd always been captivated by the visions of travel, beauty, and design as portrayed in great film and fashion.  I loved the dream and wanted to live it. I could always draw and build things and saw apparel design as my ticket.

Traveling on the snowboard pro tour -riding with people from all over the world and living in technical garments- broadened my scope and bought me some time to figure out a plan.

In 1997, I bought a sewing machine and simply started learning. During my downtime between halfpipe training sessions I began constructing some garments, applied life-long drawing skills toward fashion illustration, love mixing materials instinctively, and began to conceptualize early merchandising ideas.  They were all raw and highly conceptual, all rooted in functionality, and all contributing to the objective.

After those last few years on tour, I moved back to the East Coast and launched a small business offering custom clothing for individual clients. Working full-time drawing and sewing garments, I got a call from Salomon, the famed French ski brand, and was hired to design their first ski apparel collection.

 

While working in France at Salomon headquarters, I was contacted by RLX for the role of Outerwear Design Director. Working for Ralph had only recently seemed an impossible dream.  I accepted and set about to reinvigorate their technical outerwear offer.  During that time, Mr. Lauren personally decided to launch Black Label sportswear based on the inspiring lifestyle product within RLX. Some of my Black Label designs have become classic items within the collection.

Beginning in 2010 at Spyder Active Sports, I led the reinvention of the product offer to put Spyder back on top not only as a sales leader but also as a design leader in ski and lifestyle apparel.  My goals for the brand's future came to fruition also as we pushed beyond ski heritage into broader lifestyle collections and top-tier motorsports partnerships.

Today, all my experience has collided in one brand where we can craft a wardrobe -across a broad range of possible needs-for some very capable individuals.

Learning how to sew while on the pro snowboard circuit was unconventional, but becoming a designer was my goal and I quickly discovered an innate, impassioned talent.  In a short period of time, I went from self-taught dreamer to creative lead for some of the most innovative, and best-known brands in the world.

Passion prevailed and I'm grateful every day for the opportunity to keep being creative, lead great teams, and grow revenue tastefully.

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