Design Director, Performance Footwear

Posted 11.19.22
Portland, OR

Portland, OR | Product (Footwear Design) Team | Reports to Vice President Product Design

COVID-19: Allbirds requires all US-based Corporate employees who enter an Allbirds-owned or operated Corporate facility to demonstrate proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of their employment, subject to exemptions for sincerely held religious beliefs, or valid medical reasons.

Who is Allbirds?

At Allbirds, we believe in using business as a force for good. We’re a global footwear and apparel brand with roots in New Zealand and headquarters in San Francisco. Since 2016, we’ve been on a mission to prove that comfort, design, and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive. Our commitment to creating better things in a better way is fueled by a belief that the fashion industry needs to focus less on flash and more on thoughtfulness. We’re a certified B Corporation, meaning we meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. We’re dedicated to making the most sustainable products we can using premium natural materials – designed for life’s everyday adventures. In fact, TIME 100 named us for being one of the most innovative companies. Already calling our first shoe, the Wool Runners, the most comfortable in the world, and there is much more to come.

We take our craft seriously, but not ourselves. As part of the Allbirds family, you can look forward to team lunches, product tests, fun company events, inspiring guest speakers, comfortable shoes, sheep puns, and lots of creative ideas.

What does the job entail?

  • Work with the Vice President of Product Design and design team members to deliver compelling vision for Allbirds performance product solutions.
  • Conceptualize and visualize the future of Allbirds’ performance offering into the future.
  • Partner closely with and help problem solve with our product development team and manufacturing partners.
  • Work openly and collaboratively with a small passionate team of designers from diverse backgrounds including industrial, footwear, apparel, concepts (color & graphics) and materials/textile designers.
  • Partner with Sustainability & Innovation teams to implement & drive against performance design vision within our design ethos and in support of our business standards.
  • High level of project management and time management skills.
  • Diversify our performance design offering, build relevance and appeal to new audiences.
  • Work openly and collaboratively across all aspects of the footwear creation process.
  • Partner with Innovation and Product testing team to deliver optimal performance product solutions.

What kind of person are we looking for?

  • Highly collaborative with team player energy and mindset
  • 8+ years industry experience.
  • Strong communicator: Proficiency with visually and verbally communicating ideas, thoughts and design work to a variety of functions.
  • Deep Consumer Knowledge particularly in Performance Running.
  • High level of proficiency with communicating design vision and direction setting. 
  • High technical ability and deep performance design knowledge & “know-how”.
  • Deep belief in ‘Making better things in a better way’ and eager to embrace and translate the Allbirds philosophy into future industry-leading performance.
  • Great intuition, a leader and innovator and expert in the performance space.
  • Uses design as a tool for inspired problem-solving.
  • Comfortable managing multiple work streams, thinking holistically and strategically.
  • Great collaborator, able to work within a team of creatives and also cross-functionally with Product Development, PS&M (Product Strategy & Merchandising), Sustainability and Innovation, Marketing, Supply Chain, etc.
  • Comfortable solving problems through conversations, sketching, making in the studio and in the sample room, via Zoom & Miro collaboration.
  • Is flexible and able to work quickly/comfortably with tight deadlines, while managing ambiguity in a dynamic, fast-growing environment.
  • Strong work ethic with a “No task is too small” attitude.
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of the creative process.
  • Responsive to feedback, capable of both receiving and giving comprehensive feedback. 
  • Self-starter attitude with team player mentality.
  • 3D Capabilities is a Plus.
  • Work openly and collaboratively with a small passionate team of designers from diverse backgrounds including industrial, footwear, apparel, CMF and textile designers.
  • Manage other designers and external consultants.

More practical skills needed:

  • BFA/BA/BS or Equivalent 
  • Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google Suite
  • Asana Knowledge is a Plus

What do we offer?

  • Competitive salary + equity
  • Medical/Dental/Vision insurance
  • One Medical Membership
  • Mental Health and Financial Wellness Benefits
  • 401k employer match
  • Paid parental leave
  • Hybrid work schedule
  • Cell Phone and Wellness Stipend
  • 50% Discount on Allbirds Products
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Employee Stock Purchase Program


Allbirds is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. Allbirds policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, marital or veteran status, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member), sexual orientation, pregnancy, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. It also prohibits discrimination based on a perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics. All such discrimination is unlawful.


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