Saundra Smith

Freelance Drawer & Fashion Illustrator

Location:Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, United States
2 Skills
Saundra Smith
Senior Fashion Design Director/VP
347-249-7072 ?

Inspirational leader with multifaceted international experience. Fashion innovator with the ability to think strategically and execute to achieve firm objectives. Creating innovative collections that attract attention, increase customer engagement and ignite growth. Adept at selection and development of prints and beadwork embellishment with expertise designing knitwear and wovens.
Acclaimed collaborator with expertise working within a design studio or corporate setting, partnering with GMMs and DMMs to create unique products and private label designs. Multifaceted experience working with top designers and retailers including JS Group International, May Company Stores, Mark Eisen, Emme, Mary McFadden, Albert Nipon & Ghost Limited UK.

Top Retailers: Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Saks, Dillard’s, HSN, Macys, Harrods, Lord & Taylor, House of Frazier, Cache Stores, Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew, White House Black Market, JC Penney, David’s Bridal & Le Chateau.

Fashion Design | Product Development | Merchandising | Sourcing | Specialty Sizes | Film Costume Design | Trend Analysis
Creative Team Leadership | Recruiting & Mentoring Design Teams | Succession Planning
Designer & Contemporary Sportswear – Dresses – Eveningwear – Bridal – Outerwear – Maternity – Knitwear – Accessories

Epiphany Designs (2012-2013) ?New York
Senior Design Director / Stylist & Consultant
Boutique firm specializing in design direction and styling with a confident, creative, vivacious spirit.
Launched and direct a fashion consulting firm specializing in design direction, specialty sizes and merchandising. Provide styling for luxury brand wardrobe building and upscale direct-to-consumer designs. Conduct trend and forecasting seminars, market analysis, fabric and trim research and website development for chic everyday lifestyle brand creating exquisite clothing to couture design standards.

JS Group International (2007-2012)?Montreal & New York
Montreal-based manufacturer of upscale day to evening dresses, eveningwear, bridal, bridesmaids, cocktail dresses and sportswear.
Design Director
Elevated design strategy and seasonal themes for private label products (focused on specialty store and major retail markets) in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment. Selected based on background in leading cohesive design teams and as hands-on consumer- and product-driven design professional with extensive experience in collaborating with major designers on top brands.
Balanced competing priorities to create luxurious product with sharp price points while maintaining low costs for staffing and product development. Created systems to synch design and production deadlines to ensure on-time product delivery. Created direct-to-consumer designs for HSN and private label garments for major retailers
Executive Leadership & Business Development
• Led a major business transformation from a 40% reduction in sales over a two-year period to a 100% increase in revenue over three years to become the most profitable division in the company.
• Increased cross-functional team collaboration (onshore and offshore), creating an inclusive atmosphere of mutual respect, accountability and communication with a positive “We Can” attitude and work ethic.
• Redefined the existing collection, creating exciting, fresh, on-trend merchandise with excellent flow thru to replace a stale, predictable “missy” look with little appeal to buyers.
• Boosted sales companywide by sharing styling and design ideas with less profitable divisions.
• Implemented improved Quality Control processes to ensure consistency in size, fit, embellishments, length and features in merchandise shipped, avoiding costly returns and discounting.
Design Strategy & Market Analysis
• Drove revenue $2M, expanding into a new market by developing designs for Destination Maternity.
• Generated $5M+ in additional sales by creating plus-sized dresses for multiple accounts.
• Served as trend specialist, immediately translating the latest red carpet fashions for major retailers, often creating designs to hand off to sales and production within a 72-hour period.
• Designed dresses featured on the red carpet at the Emmys and Tony awards and showcased on Access Hollywood, E News, Dancing with the Stars, the Today Show and Good Morning America.
• Created designs worn by major celebrities including Vanna White, Angela Bassett, Kimora Lee Simmons, Carrie Underwood and multiple reality stars on Bravo and The Style Network.
• Developed Monique Huiller designer line of bridal and bridesmaid’s gowns for Nordstrom’s and daywear missy line for international brand Peter Nygard, targeting a sophisticated European clientele.

Mark Eisen/ME by Mark Eisen (2006-2007)?New York
Premiere contemporary sportswear collection for the George/Mark Eisen signature labels.
Senior Designer
Brought on board to translate a sophisticated, high-end design sensibility into modern contemporary merchandise appealing to mass merchants and retailers. Created cohesive palettes and styling; provided expertise on fit, styling and innovative technology for the special size markets. Collaborated closely with colleagues, forming a cohesive team to achieve shared goals. Mentored younger staff members and involved them in the design process.
• Instrumental in increasing divisional revenue $2M within six months.
• Created new special sizes product lines that outpaced regular women’s sizes by a 2:1 margin.

Emme Collections/Kellwood Industries (2002-2004)?New York
Groundbreaking designer collection for specialty and better department stores with a positive focus on plus sizes.
Senior Designer
Recruited for key role developing a collection for plus-sized model and motivational speaker Emme. Managed a team in close collaboration with colleagues to create a collection embodying a positive message of self-empowerment enabling women to “love our bodies and accept ourselves as we are.”
• Rebranded the collection with on-trend styling that was congruent from season to season; created bestselling styles for signature collection that were reordered by buyers month after month.
• Increased profitability by reducing costs and boosting productivity; improved communication between design and production, implementing a game plan to ensure on-time merchandise deliveries.
• Developed RIG and mood boards to portray a unified design vision and theme each season; coached design team to develop an inclusive process with improved communication and accountability.
Design Manager – The May Company/May Merchandising?St. Louis
Senior Designer – Mary McFadden / The Nahdree Group?New York
Designer – Ghost Limited UK International?London & New Delhi, India
Earliest experience in design with Albert Nipon?New York

Bachelor of Fine Arts – PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN
Golden Thimble Award Winner for Excellence in Women’s Wear
Technical Proficiencies: StyleManager (CAD), Web PDM; Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word).
Skills (2) Rating
Fashion Illustration