• Blackford will oversee global design and merchandising at Canada Goose with a focus on category expansion and innovation.

Luxury performance apparel brand Canada Goose has tapped industry veteran Woody Blackford to lead its design and merchandising team as the company eyes expansion opportunities in new categories including footwear.

With more than 25 years experience in apparel, footwear and accessories, Blackford most recently served as vice president of global design and innovation at Columbia Sportswear Company. He will join Canada Goose this autumn as executive vice president, design and merchandising, overseeing the global design and merchandising organisation.

Lee Turlington, currently serving as chief product officer, will be leaving the company at the end of the year to re-engage his long-standing consulting practice.

"As someone who's deeply passionate about product performance, I've watched and admired Canada Goose for years as it continues to lead the performance luxury category, while staying true to its DNA as a function-first brand," says Blackford. "With footwear and other category expansion opportunities on the horizon and a focus on innovation, I am thrilled to join the company and lead an already exceptional team."

Dani Reiss, president and CEO of Canada Goose, adds: "Pushed far enough, function has become fashion. We are a function-first company built on authenticity – and that's what Woody lives and breathes. I'm excited to have him leading our design and merchandising team as we continue to grow our existing categories, and grow into the whitespace we see ahead."