Reebok’s head of creative direction to leave following acquisition of Authentic Brands

Diving Brief:

  • After almost a year and a half as head of creative direction at Reebok, Kerby Jean-Raymond is leaving the retailer. Its last day is March 1 and the latest offering from Reebok by Pyer Moss – Collection 4 will be released later this month, according to a statement from Jean-Raymond.
  • Jean-Raymond has worked with Reebok since 2017 and “led the creative team in unifying brand direction, resulting in significant growth across key categories,” according to his departure statement.
  • “I have enjoyed my time with Reebok and wish the company well in all of its future endeavours,” Jean-Raymond said in a statement.

Overview of the dive:

Identity has been one of Reebok’s biggest challenges over the years, even at its peak in the 80s and 90s.

Some believe the brand tried to grow too quickly in too many categories as it evolved, losing its purpose along the way. Under parent company Adidas, however, Reebok went the other way. The brand lost much of its former identity as a sports generalist and tried to redefine itself as a fitness brand.

In June last year, however, the company take the first look to a “renewed brand creative direction” under the direction of Jean-Raymond. Along with art marketing director Jide Osifeso, the two were on a mission to “challenge what a brand like Reebok can and should look like.” Additional campaigns have been built during the yearbut the brand refresh coincided with the sale of the Reebok brand.

Authentic Brands Group in August came out as the brand buyer, with its own vision for the growth of the company. So far this has included expand Reebok’s global distribution and, on the side of Reebok, the preparation of a new operational model. Just last week, Reebok announced plans to dismiss around 150 employees in anticipation of the acquisition, the majority of whom work at the company’s headquarters in Boston. The company said at the time that the layoffs were part of a restructuring effort that impacted various departments and would take effect once the acquisition was completed.

Around the same time, Adidas said it would be hire more than 2,800 employees in 2022.

“We sincerely thank Kerby for his many contributions to Reebok,” Reebok President Matt O’Toole said in a statement. “The positive impact he has had on the brand will be felt for years to come. We wish him the best.”

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