My family and I want to relocate to the Seattle area. Does anyone know what kind of opportunities exist there for someone with a technical design background? What are the best apparel companies to work for in and around Seattle?
Outdoor Research, Tommy Bahama, Brooks Running, Eddie Bauer are a few brands based in the Seattle area.
zulily has product development in dpts across the company. i would investigate there too.
There’s always Amazon as well.
Seatle is home to NPG (Nordstom Product Group) where they do all their private label brands. Also, Amazon is there too and they make product too.
I’ve worked in Seattle apparel design for over seven years. Technical design jobs are actually more abundant vs design roles, but there seem to be the most opportunities if you’re willing to do a product developer roles, sourcing, etc.
Besides the brands already listed in others comments, Filson and Rei are also based here.
If I recall correctly, I think Patagonia is also over in that area…
Patagonia is in Santa Barbara CA
REI is just south of Seattle in Kent. And I think Zumiez is out there. And Costco, but I doubt they do their own development.
K sports. Brooks running
Actually Patagonia is in Ventura CA. Deckers (Ugg, Teva, Hoka, Sanuk) is in Santa Barbara (technically Goleta).
Filson is also Seattle.
Also REI I think? Or in the Seattle suburbs.
Yah like others said tommy Bahamas, reí zumies Eddie Bauer Nordstrom k sports. Brooks running Filson, cascade designs, cutter and buck, amazon san mar and exoficcio.
REI will have satellite offices, I don’t think their old HQ in Kent will be one of the offices. They sold their new building in Redmont/Bellevue and recently bought a 65K size building in Issaquah. Their plan is hybrid model work style.
Costco doesn’t do their own development.
There are smaller companies in the region like Redington (Bainbridge island) Zumiez (Everett) and SanMar (Issaquah) etc to check out. Not sure how well companies are doing financially, there was a lot of layoffs in early covid at companies like Nordstrom’s and some are slowly posting jobs again.
Each company has pros and cons, outdoor companies seem to put the product developer and technical designer roles into one. Nordstrom is structured with a developer and a TD.
Filson does overseas product and has their own factory in Idaho and at their corporate HQ.
A few tings to take into consideration is that the cost of living is high out here, I think the average selling price of a house is over $825K. Rent is dropping this past year and traffic pre-Covid was horrible, especially if your commuting from north of Seattle (Everett etc) to downtown Seattle.
Nordstrom, Tommy Bahama, and Eddie Bauer all had a decent chunk of Covid layoffs; I’m not sure about how the design depts fared, though. REI seems to be doing well, and Brooks Running seems to be doing a lot of hiring. Unionbay and TomBoyX are both in Seattle too. Not sure if design teams for Amazon are based in Seattle, or elsewhere - don’t seem to see many non-tech or non-marketing roles posted for Amazon Fashion in Seattle, but they’re always doing an insane amount of hiring so who knows.
Nordstrom, Tommy Bahama, Eddie Bauer, REI