Caroline de Baëre is a footwear industry veteran with leadership experience ranging from strategic product development and merchandising through planning, sourcing and cost negotiation. Her broad range of expertise working with multiple brands enables her to plan and develop compelling products consistent with current market trends while achieving precise business strategies and objectives.
Caroline’s extensive experience in her field has resulted in providing footwear expert services to attorneys and brands in design and utility patent cases as well as trademark litigation.
4 patents held by Caroline include US Patent D785308 Boot with Notch. May 2, 2017, US Patent D767264 Footwear Outsole design. September 27, 2016, US Patent D741056 Footwear Outsole design. October 20, 2015 and finally, US Patent D398438 Footwear Boot w/ Zipper design. September 22, 1998.
Caroline’s career includes 15 years in the corporate arena. In 1986 she joined Esprit’s Footwear Production area. She moved into design with Esprit in 1989 as assistant to the Design Director, simultaneously studying at San Francisco’s Academy of Art.
In 1992, Caroline began tenure as Director of Product Development for LA Gear leading the product development team through several years of consistent growth. Three years later, she became Director of Product Development for Ariat International where she spent 5 years developing multiple Western and English footwear product collections for Men and Women and managing freelance designers. Caroline also initiated and implemented product tracking systems.
In 2013 Caroline took on the role of Vice President, Footwear with a start-up to manage strategic planning, product implementation, sales management and merchandising for the brand’s global launch.
As founder of Laforma, Caroline spent 17 years as a strategic product consultant developing long-term relationships with industry leaders by offering customized product services for Men, Women and Children.
She has worked with multiple brands to analyze business, identify marketplace strategies and lead the implementation of original concepts and product through design, development and sourcing to take full advantage of critical business opportunities.
Caroline is able to manage a team while developing margin building collections that capture and increase market share. She is an expert at calendar adherence and sku management. Her approach offers a unique combination of creative management skills and strategic business acumen. These qualities, along with her relationship and team-building skills are reasons brands often work with Caroline season after season.