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Associate Concept Designer - West Elm

Date: Sep 11, 2017

Location: Brooklyn, NY, US

Company: Williams-Sonoma Inc.

Requisition Number: WE-11629
Area of Interest: Product Development - Design
Organization: Corporate
Brand/Division: West Elm
Position Type: Full-time

JOB DESCRIPTION

Associate Concept Designer - West Elm

Who we are:
Born in Brooklyn. At home in the world. west elm has been helping customers express their personal style at home since the launch of our first catalog in 2002. Our home base is nestled down under the Manhattan Bridge in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, right above our flagship store. We are a dynamic, fast-paced brand with an exciting growth strategy. We value imagination, diversity and giving people the opportunity to explore, grow and shape our future. We look for innovative, smart and hard-working individuals who enjoy creative thinking and ingenuity. Help us carry out our mission of being a source of inspiration to our customers, creating a global community and tirelessly seeking ways to evolve our brand.

The overall function of this position is to support the Concept team through all major product development milestones to bring a cohesive and compelling product story to market. This role will report into the Concept Designer and together, they will work to support the SVP Creative Director. As part of the product design team, the Associate Concept Designer will work with the Concept team from early brainstorming phases, to formal presentations, to prototype reviews, to hand-over to creative marketing teams to bring product to market.

With an intimate understanding of the product development process, this role will impact the West Elm brand by communicating new design trends to layer into the core assortment and propel the brand forward. This role will support the big picture every season, by keeping teams organized, and in the loop on concept direction. The goal each season is to present an inspiring story that is seen in: product design, marketing and retail merchandising to maintain our existing customers while creating new paths to the brand.

In this role, the Associate Concept Designer, will be challenged to be open and adaptable to changing deadlines and priorities. An ability to understand ideas in their earliest abstract forms and provide support to the teams by taking notes, organizing materials and sharing them out as needed. In addition to keeping the team organized digitally, the Associate Concept Designer will be expected to pitch in with the management of physical concept materials, boards and samples. Experience with retail merchandising will be a true asset to the team. In this role support will be provided to the Design team to style textile and decorative accessory samples during prototype milestone meetings.

This is a big picture role. The Associate Concept Designer will interface with executives and support visionary brand direction from early phases, all the way to retail presentation. This is an excellent opportunity to gain an intimate understanding of multiple product categories and how each one is brought to market in a creative way through design and messaging.

This role will help to set the aesthetic tone each season, by bringing fresh ideas to the table. The associate will develop their eye by learning to be intuitive to needs of the West Elm brand. Positive working relationships will be built between cross functional team members at all levels. Sensing opportunities for structure and organization will lead to more project ownership.

Essential Functions:

Daily Responsibilities Include:
* Daily trend, image, video and content research with a discerning eye for great photography and relevant design direction
* Organize concept materials: create and clean physical boards, photograph and share out as needed. Receive all bought prints and artwork, photograph and share newness with the designers.
* Manage physical & digital image archives for brand and hospitality
* Manage travel photo archive (create contact sheets followed by trip recaps)
* Stay up to date with calendar milestones and changes, anticipate needs and adapt to changing priorities based on urgency.
* Check in daily with Concept Designer for any changing deadlines, priority projects or support they may need.
* Interface with Design VP's, directors & designers to provide concept support and communicate any concept needs.

Long Term Seasonal Responsibilities Include:
* Attend seasonal product direction meetings, write recaps of the meetings, generate visual seasonal concept product decks for each concept presentation.
* Interface with Design VP's & designers to communicate concept needs for product deck.
* Oversee the sharing of concept documents when available: product deck, posters, emotive decks for brand & hospitality, product review documentation, concept videos, trip recaps,
* Support Creative SVP with seasonal Product Review meetings (4 times a year): set-up of samples, style textile and decorative accessories with furniture sample to create visually compelling furniture vignettes. Help to maintain the initial concept vision through a styled presentation
* Layout & Maintain the Design team's Assortment Review deck to pass to cross functional teams ensuring that Concept Point of View is communicated along with product newness.

REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFICATIONS

Qualifications:
* Retail merchandising, showroom or styling experience
* BFA degree with a focus in design or fine arts
* 3-4 years of retail design industry experience preferred
* Highly organized with both physical and digital mediums
* Proficient in Photoshop & InDesign
* An understanding of furniture, product and interior design trends
* Great eye for photography
* Interest in Fashion and Fine Art
* Capable of researching through multiple channels: historical reference, digital archives, print mediums, online platforms (photo & video), social media, brick and mortar retail visits, museums, galleries & cinema
* Open and adaptable work ethic. Flexible to changing priorities and last minute deadlines
* Outgoing with a willingness to reach out and partner cross functionally on different projects.
* Graphic Design experience/background a plus
* Photography and writing skills will be valued

This position is not eligible for visa sponsorship.
Williams-Sonoma Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

*LI-CM

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, or other applicable state or local laws and ordinances.


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