collierbrands

An introduction to designer J.J. Collier

Throughout my career, I have been entrusted with a high degree of freedom to explore ideas and concepts in the interest of either brand launch or aesthetic reinvention (or even something as simple as a new hood or pocket solution). That freedom and passion for progression drives me, but I have always tempered it with commercial reality and respect to brand heritage.  At Salomon, Ralph Lauren, Spyder, and, currently, Triple Aught Design, I grew the business by actively studying that ratio of concept to commerce.  The results are visible in the garments and on the balance sheet.

My work for Triple Aught Design is some of the most meaningful in my career. Made primarily in the USA, I have had to alter my approach to adjust to certain limitations therein. The result is a distillation in design; honing the process of creation to an almost architectural degree. Our small team in San Francisco works painstakingly to execute precise product with the highest level of care.

Looking through the collection, you see some variation in the garments, but the brand DNA is ever present in the design language.

 The Interval Jacket is my favorite piece of my career.  Honestly, building an item of this quality (Made in USA with Cone Denim from North Carolina just before it closed) with Triple Aught Design kind of reset what it means to be an apparel designer for me.  Short of sewing it myself, I couldn't be more full of pride from this ace combination  of moto inspired details, timeless material, and perfect fit.  Customers have responded in kind as well; always a plus.

The Interval Jacket is my favorite piece of my career.  Honestly, building an item of this quality (Made in USA with Cone Denim from North Carolina just before it closed) with Triple Aught Design kind of reset what it means to be an apparel designer for me.  Short of sewing it myself, I couldn't be more full of pride from this ace combination  of moto inspired details, timeless material, and perfect fit.  Customers have responded in kind as well; always a plus.

 The Sentinel Jacket -cut from Ventile fabric- is one of the simplest, richest pieces I've ever designed.  Timeless is material, design, and fit, I consider this to be some of my best work (mostly because it took a village and the whole team loves it).  

The Sentinel Jacket -cut from Ventile fabric- is one of the simplest, richest pieces I've ever designed.  Timeless is material, design, and fit, I consider this to be some of my best work (mostly because it took a village and the whole team loves it).  

 Exceptionally finished, the Sentinel is an heirloom piece. On-point today and still a classic in 20 years.

Exceptionally finished, the Sentinel is an heirloom piece. On-point today and still a classic in 20 years.

 Classical menswear elements paired with modern details as well.  

Classical menswear elements paired with modern details as well.  

 Partnering with Polartec, the Javelin is a superlight combination of their Alpha insulation and Powergrid materials.  Warm when you need warmth and highly breathable when you need to cool off. This is another example of the team coming together to execute a highly technical style with US manufacturing.

Partnering with Polartec, the Javelin is a superlight combination of their Alpha insulation and Powergrid materials.  Warm when you need warmth and highly breathable when you need to cool off. This is another example of the team coming together to execute a highly technical style with US manufacturing.

 The extremely lightweight ripstop shell goods and knit mesh lining (with Alpha insulation in between) make for an amazing combination. Studied trims are signature to my work also.

The extremely lightweight ripstop shell goods and knit mesh lining (with Alpha insulation in between) make for an amazing combination. Studied trims are signature to my work also.

 The Talon Guide short (and pant) offer our customer a hybrid of a quick-dry static material (in non-flex points) and Tweave stretch panels for mobility and durability (in the seat and knees).  The pockets and panels are positioned for use while wearing a harness. Talon (pant) has been used in the desert and in mid-winter at 12,000 feet.  Versatile and capable.

The Talon Guide short (and pant) offer our customer a hybrid of a quick-dry static material (in non-flex points) and Tweave stretch panels for mobility and durability (in the seat and knees).  The pockets and panels are positioned for use while wearing a harness. Talon (pant) has been used in the desert and in mid-winter at 12,000 feet.  Versatile and capable.

 Discovery details and precision sewing throughout.

Discovery details and precision sewing throughout.

 

Spyder is a unique brand with a heritage that I had always known and respected.  When the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to reinvent the brand as VP of Design and Merchandising and, as per a balance of great design and commercial reality, my team and I made visible change every season.  We put Spyder back on top not only for sales growth (Spyder grew annually during my tenure), but for directional, progressive product as well.

 Exceptional detail and exquisite finishing.  Every aspect of the Legend Collection is custom and studied.  Here the Legend Pinnacle Jacket exemplifies the Spyder brand's core design DNA.  

Exceptional detail and exquisite finishing.  Every aspect of the Legend Collection is custom and studied.  Here the Legend Pinnacle Jacket exemplifies the Spyder brand's core design DNA.  

 The "depth" concept (laser cutting through the shell/foam/shell sandwich) was inspired by looking down into the faces and movement of high-end wrist watches.

The "depth" concept (laser cutting through the shell/foam/shell sandwich) was inspired by looking down into the faces and movement of high-end wrist watches.

Beginning in 2010, I was responsible for Spyder's 700+ piece product line (to include men's, women's, kyd's, lifestyle, and accessories).  If someone came into contact with Spyder's collection between Fall '11 and Fall '15, I either conceptualized, designed, fine-tuned, or approved that product.

In my elevated role as SVP of Product and Design starting 2013, I continued to personal design many pieces and obsess over fabrics, constructions, and trims. I have also enjoyed conceptually reinventing merchandising stories to generate excitement in the market (http://vimeo.com/87093801).  The obsession made a difference.

 Simple and perfect, the Mandate Hoody combines exceptional lightweight with amazing warmth.  

Simple and perfect, the Mandate Hoody combines exceptional lightweight with amazing warmth.  

 Aggressively styled for every day.  The GT Kompressor Jacket feels like your favorite down sweater, but looks ready for action.  

Aggressively styled for every day.  The GT Kompressor Jacket feels like your favorite down sweater, but looks ready for action.  

Spyder's heritage is one of speed, progression, and great technology.  I had the opportunity to take that heritage and prepare the brand for the next stage of growth by elevating taste and expectation throughout the company. 

 The GT Beacon Jacket featured in Esquire's Black Book (Summer 2015)

The GT Beacon Jacket featured in Esquire's Black Book (Summer 2015)

For Spring 15, the GT collection exemplified everything I dreamed for the future of Spyder.  An endeavor to broaden reach in the premium apparel market, GT continued my mission of transforming menswear by updating classically known men's garments with new, technical materials and modern design solutions.  Each piece was compelling alone, but designed to be infinitely interchangeable with any other.  

 

The following portfolio is a sample of historical work.  There are key moments in Salomon apparel history that mean very much to me and new kinds of freedom represented in the RL work.  All convey my love of detailed solutions, progressive thinking, and, ideally, a meaningful experience with the garment for the wearer.

Design and the conveyance of ideas has always been central to my work and motivation.  As I progressed through the ranks, I always kept creative work as top priority.  The chapters in France and New York had allowed that.  Back in Boulder, still with Ralph Lauren, but working with other brands as well, I continued to lead with ideas and conceptual thought.  The time came, however, for creativity to collide with experience. 

As with Spyder, my next chapter will include not only the application of ideas (and many more than I'd ever needed before), but also the leadership of full-brand reinvention, managing a team, and planning for tasteful, next-level growth.