Entrepreneur becomes first Black woman designer to partner with Kohl’s

Abu Mubarik October 31, 2022
Photo credit: Black News

Meet Barbara Clarke Ruiz, she is a design expert with more than 20 years of experience and has a resume that includes some of the notable names in the fashion industry. She has broad international and U.S. experience in designing and executing activewear apparel collections for global brands.

She has worked with international household names that include Nike Europe, Adidas US/Germany, Fila US/Italy, New Balance US/UK, Speedo UK, Hanes, Jockey, Asics Europe, Disney, Colosseum, and Zoggs International, according to Black News.

Ruiz also served as the Creative Director for Walmart for six activewear divisions, which grossed close to $750 million per season. In addition, she served as the design director of Venus’ line Eleven by Venus.

She has created for herself a strong “track record of driving brand development, strategy, marketing, sales, and customer experience,” according to Black News. “A fiscally responsive creative strategist with experience in implementing diverse brands and products that leads to impact.”

Ruiz has now teamed up with Kohl’s to design the company’s latest Tek Gear capsule collection, available online and in select stores. According to Black News, the move forms part of the company’s strategy to become the destination for the active and casual lifestyle. In addition, the new limited edition seeks to strengthen the company’s active and athleisure private-label offerings.

“I’m blessed to have had so many dreams come to life. I don’t take any of it for granted because I’ve had to put a lot of work to bring these dreams to fruition and that takes time,” she said. “It doesn’t happen overnight and every opportunity leads you to a bigger opportunity or a bigger door. I feel blessed to be granted this opportunity of being the first black female designer to partner with Kohl’s. This is bigger than I could have ever imagined!”

The collection, according to Black News, features vibrant colors, statement-making prints, and body-positive fits. The limited edition also includes styles for men, women, and kids designed to make customers feel confident, stylish, and energized. What is more, each of the collections utilizes super soft fabrics and trend-forward design features.

The outlet writes that “the ladies’ collection includes peek-a-boo cutouts, wide satin drawstrings, ruching, and extra-long unfinished hems on the palazzo pants that allow customers to personalize to their preferred lengths. The Men’s and Boy’s collections are a play on active streetwear classics updated with functional fabrics and bold digital and graffiti prints. The girl’s collection is fun and functional for the season, utilizing buttery Soft Tek fleece with a bold pastel floral.”

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