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February 1, 2019

Timberland taps new global footwear design chief

By Beth Wright

Outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland has hired former Pentland Brands executive, Chris McGrath, as vice president of global footwear design.

In his new role, McGrath will lead the brand’s footwear design strategy across men’s, women’s and kids’, working closely with recently-appointed creative director Christopher Raeburn to deliver footwear that resonates with consumers and delivers sustainable business results.

McGrath brings to Timberland a breadth of design experience with brands including Musto, Puma, Clarks, Nike, Speedo and McLaren Formula 1. Most recently, he served as head of design for Pentland Brands, owner of the Berghaus, Speedo and Ellesse labels. Across these various positions, he was responsible for all aspects of product, including design, innovation, development, merchandising and marketing.

At Timberland, McGrath will lead a team of designers, working in close partnership with global merchandising and product development teams to bring products to the marketplace that further Timberland’s commitment to responsible innovation and re-interpret the brand’s rich outdoor heritage for today’s generation. He will also lead accessories design, and collaborate with the apparel design team to ensure a holistic design approach, from head to toe.

“We are very pleased to welcome Chris to the Timberland community,” says Jim Pisani, global brand president, Timberland. “His creative sensibility and international experience, coupled with his strategic approach to design, will be a great complement to our global product teams. He also has a proven track record as a collaborative leader who delivers strong business results, season after season. All of these qualities will serve him, and us, well as we set out to build the future of the Timberland brand.”

McGrath, who will report directly to Pisani, assumes his new role today (1 February). He will relocate from the UK to the New England area in the northeastern United States and the brand’s global headquarters in Stratham, New Hampshire in early 2019.

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