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Senior Designer, Handbags and Accessories



Detroit, MI, USA
Posted on Friday, December 8, 2023

Position Type: Full-time (salary)
Detroit, Michigan (may be open to remote depending on location and experience)
Reports to: Chief Creative Officer

About us

At Shinola, we make beautiful, enduring, handcrafted goods that are built to be lived in, worn out, and well-loved. Our thoughtful craftsmanship, timeless design, and spirited stories inspire our customers to live well, with confidence & joy—in a style that is uniquely their own! Because we are a growing and evolving company, each employee is a key stakeholder, making decisions every day that directly impact our overall vision and direction. At Shinola, you’ll have the opportunity to make a significant contribution at the start of what we believe will become an iconic American brand.

Job Summary

We are seeking a highly passionate and experienced Senior Leather Designer to join our creative design team. As a Senior Leather Designer, you will be responsible for leading and overseeing the design of our handbags and accessories, ensuring they align with our brand's aesthetics and quality standards. Your expertise in leather crafting and other textiles, knowledge of industry trends, and innovative design ideas will be pivotal in driving the success of our product line.

Key Responsibilities

  • Conceptualization: Conceptualizing and develop innovative and trendsetting products, including but not limited to bags, accessories, and small leather goods. Translate design briefs and brand guidelines into creative and marketable leather product concepts, considering factors such as functionality, aesthetics, and target audience.
  • Material Selection: Collaborate with the product development team to identify and select high-quality leather and other materials that align with design concepts and meet the desired standards of durability and luxury.
  • Technical Drawings: Create detailed technical drawings and specifications for production, including pattern layouts, stitching details, and construction methods, ensuring accurate execution by the production team.
  • Sample Development: Collaborate with product development on the creation of prototypes and samples, providing guidance to pattern makers, sample makers, and artisans to ensure the final product matches the design intent.
  • Research: Stay updated on the latest trends in fashion, leather crafting techniques, and design to infuse fresh ideas into the product development process.
  • Quality Control: Maintain a high level of quality control throughout the design and production process, conducting regular inspections and providing feedback to ensure products meet established standards.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate closely with cross-functional teams, including merchandising, product development, marketing, and purchasing, to ensure seamless communication and alignment of design goals.
  • Mentorship: Provide guidance and mentorship, fostering professional growth and promoting a collaborative and creative work environment.
  • Market Analysis: Analyze consumer preferences, market trends, and competitor offerings to identify opportunities for product innovation and differentiation.
  • Presentation: Present design concepts, prototypes, and finished products to internal teams and stakeholders, effectively communicating design rationale and potential market impact.
  • Project Management: Manage multiple design projects simultaneously, ensuring deadlines are met and design processes are efficient.


  • Bachelor's degree in Fashion Design, Industrial Design, or a related field; Master's degree is a plus.
  • 5+ years of proven experience in leather product design, with a portfolio showcasing a range of successful products.
  • Proficiency in design software such as Adobe Creative Suite and 3D modeling tools.
  • In-depth knowledge of leather types, textiles and trims, properties, and crafting techniques.
  • Strong understanding of production processes and ability to create production-ready technical drawings.
  • Excellent communication skills for effective collaboration and presentation.
  • Attention to detail and a commitment to delivering high-quality products.
  • A keen eye for design trends and a passion for innovation in the leather industry.
  • Contribute your expertise to crafting exceptional leather products that captivate and inspire our guests.

Summary of Our Total Rewards Program:

  • Compensation:
    • Compensation can be negotiated based on previous experience & qualifications
    • STIP (short-term incentive plan) eligibility
  • Paid Time-off:
    • 10 Corporate Holidays
    • 15 Vacation days (accrued)
    • 2 Volunteer days
  • Benefits:
    • Medical, dental & vision - click here to view our full package!
    • 401k with company match
    • Employee assistance program
    • Pet Insurance
    • Merchandise discounts
    • Complimentary employee watch

Hiring Overview*:

  • Recruiter Phone Interview - 30 minutes via Microsoft Teams (camera off)
  • Technical Interview with Hiring Manager - 1 hour via Microsoft Teams (camera on)
  • Take home assignment - 30 minutes - 2 hours
    • note: select positions may not require a case study assignment
  • Final Interview with Panel - 1 hour via Microsoft Teams (camera on)

*The general hiring process can be found above, however we may change the structure as needed.

At Shinola, we're committed to growing and empowering an inclusive community within our company and industry. This is why we hire and cultivate diverse teams of the best and brightest from all backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives across our organization. Research shows that oftentimes women and other minority groups only apply to open roles if they meet 100% of the listed criteria. Shinola encourages everyone to apply for our available positions, even if they don't necessarily check every box on the job description.