TAKE YOUR MARK: In the ever-competitive athletic industry, global creative directors — like other top-tier executives — are only given so much time to prove themselves until the stopwatch stops. Time ran out for Reebok’s creative director Thomas Steinbruck, who exited the company earlier this year, and Karen Reuther has now succeeded him as global creative director.
Earlier in her career, Reuther had a 12-year run at Nike that included serving as global creative director, where she headed up global design strategies for the brand across footwear, apparel and equipment. But she didn’t have far to travel to join Reebok’s downtown headquarters. Reuther was most recently creative director and brand psychologist at Cast Collective, a Boston-based group of consultants specializing in design, innovation and technology. There she worked with such clients including Puma, Vans, Timberland, Pantone, Piaggio Fast Forward, TJX Cos. Inc., Everybody Fights and Ideo.
Steinbruck, who held the post for 18 months, did not respond immediately to a request for comment Monday. Reuther was unavailable to comment Monday, according to a Reebok spokeswoman. Unlike Reuther, he brought to the sneaker giant more of a fashion sense, having served as Porsche Design Group’s creative director, Eli Saab’s vice president of collections and Kenneth Cole’s vice president of design.
At Reebok, Reuther will provide “brand-defining and consumer-relevant creative leadership across all design disciplines, including brand identity and design implementation, across every brand and consumer touch point,” according to a statement issued by Reebok.
Having not garnered the cachet among female shoppers that its parent company Adidas has in recent months, Reebok has been on a mission to redefine its women’s business for the past few years. High-profle brand ambassadors such as Gigi Hadid, Ariana Grande, Gal Gadot and Rae Sremmurd have been recruited to give the brand more of a sporty chic sensibility. The designer Victoria Beckham is also trying to do her part, through a collaboration with Reebok.