FN spoke exclusively with designer Dave Dombrow after news hit Thursday that he was returning to Under Armour, as its chief design officer. This comes after announcing less than three months ago his plans to head to its rival Nike.
Dombrow told Footwear News that his decision came down to two paramount factors.
“Most of it came down to design and innovation, which are key pillars of Under Armour,” the designer behind Stephen Curry’s signature shoe line said. “I have a longstanding relationship with [Under Armour’s chief marketing officer] Kip Fulks. I’ve worked with him for many years — pretty much the entire time I’ve been at Under Armour. He places a strong value on design and innovation. He’s taken an expanded role within Under Armour. So the combination of that, and [founder and CEO] Kevin Plank’s commitment toward design and innovation, eventually got me to return.”
Regarding his contractual obligations to Nike since announcing his decision to join the brand in March, Dombrow said his impending employment with the brand was an “at-will job,” that he was free to back out of.
Watch on FN
“Nobody within this industry, to my understanding, is under a contract that they can’t — it’s an at-will job,” Dombrow explained. “There is no commitment from that. And, obviously I was not at Nike — I hadn’t started there so, in that regard, I was not formally employed by them.”
Dombrow rejoins Under Armour in the newly created role of chief design officer in August.