PORTLAND, Ore. (July 28, 2014) –KEEN, Inc., is stepping up its commitment to innovation and original product by adding some serious thunder to its creative team. The leading manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, bags, clothing and socks, is ready for its second decade with the hire of the company’s first in-house VP of Creative, Michael Minter and the launch of its new Innovation Lab based in Portland. As KEEN heads into Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (ORSM) 2014, it leads with an inspired and sharpened brand vision, sleek new product lines, and fresh faces on the executive team.
The commitment to connecting deeper with existing and new fans and the energizing of KEEN’S unique brand culture is amplified by Michael joining the KEEN family. In his new role he will serve as KEEN’s lead creative driver. The investment in a state of the art Innovation Lab also reinforces KEEN’s commitment to originality. These moves underscore the momentum of KEEN as it enters its second decade, and concurrently furthers its positions as a fearless product innovator. The first introduction from KEEN’s new Lab is the brand-new UNEEK footwear line, officially launched at the coming Summer Market.
Michael brings years of experience to KEEN from the outdoor, action sports, surf and footwear industries. His previous experience includes creative leadership time at ad agencies and influential brands like Sanuk and Billabong. At Sanuk, he led the design and development process as global creative director for nine years. During this time, Michael created big-picture brand-positioning strategies to help drive Sanuk’s substantial sales growth and brand presence.
“Michael is a perfect fit for the future path of KEEN,” said KEEN President, Steve Meineke, who recently joined the company in June to lead KEEN’s second decade. “He has a strong understanding of the KEEN connection to today’s consumers. He also brings unmatched experience in reading and engaging consumer behavior, building creative strategy, and communicating compelling brand stories.”
Michael will manage and orchestrate all of KEEN’s brand creative initiatives, with immediate focus on the brand’s continued launch of the groundbreaking UNEEK footwear platform. Michael’s creative storytelling and consumer-building visions for KEEN and its mantra of living the HybridLife – Create, Play, Care – will be elevated through new ideation and injecting fresh perspective and innovation into the brand to connect new and existing fans worldwide.
“KEEN is an amazing brand with an exciting future,” said Michael. “There simply aren't many companies out there with the true freedom and fearlessness needed to innovate, push design and keep things interesting. There’s great energy at KEEN right now, I’m excited to join the team and help drive that forward.”
Inspired by a love of the outdoors, KEEN Inc. manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, bags, clothing and socks, is dedicated to creating quality, innovative products that support the experiences and outdoor adventures of active people around the world. KEEN products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in KEEN Garage retail stores in Portland, Palo Alto, Tokyo, Prague and Toronto, where fans can enjoy a totally unique branded experience. The company operations and culture reflect a commitment to uniquely impacting global lives through it original products, the communities it strengthen, and its inspiration to create, play, and care. KEEN is headquartered in Portland, Ore.
Learn more at www.keenfootwear.com.