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Industry News 11/28/2017

Outdoor Research hires Liz Braund as Head of Product


With 20 years of experience, Braund to amplify and expand a product development team aimed at the next level of innovation in modern performance, fit, and style

Outdoor Research
, the Seattle-based apparel and gear manufacturer, hired Liz Braund, a veteran with 20 years of experience in outdoor and active apparel product development, as its new head of product, effective immediately.

In her new role, Braund will oversee a product development team that has proactively grown and restructured over the last year. Braund’s addition and the restructuring were centered around Outdoor Research more effectively pairing technical design and innovation – areas where it has led over the past decade with numerous award-winning and best-selling products – with a more highly specialized focus on fit, user needs and aesthetics.

Braund joins Outdoor Research from Royal Robbins, where she was Vice President of Product, and over the last two years helped re-imagine the Royal Robbins product collection with a focus on bringing innovation and fresh style to the travel market. Prior to that, she worked as Global Director of Outdoor Apparel at The North Face and held several key product and merchandise management roles at Nike.

In addition, Outdoor Research hired Kylene Wolfe as product manager overseeing sportswear category development. Wolfe brings more than 12 years of experience in design and product management to her role. Wolfe comes from Ex Officio, where she directed sportswear product management. Prior to that, she worked as a product manager at Eastern Mountain Sports. She holds a clothing and textiles degree from Virginia Tech.

Braund and Wolfe join a product-development team that includes Alex Lauver, overseeing product management for outerwear; Meghan Martens, Senior Product Manager for gear and accessories; Kim Stanford as Technical Design Manager; Julie Bjornestad as Creative Director; and Jason Duncan overseeing the elite tactical development team. Outdoor Research also has a full team of technical designers working with Stanford and the individual category managers to focus on fit standards for consistent, user-driven fit, and it continues to leverage its athlete-ambassador team for ongoing testing and product development input.

“Smart product innovation and technical leadership have always been hallmarks of Outdoor Research apparel and gear,” said Michelle Wardian, President of Outdoor Research. “We are a solution based company that is focused on the experience of the user. Liz and Kylene join a newly organized and expanded product-development team that is primed to take the brand to the next level of excellence. We’re known for exceeding our customers’ high expectations, and excited to continue producing some of the best outdoor apparel and gear available today.”