As Reebok charts the path forward following a defining year, the company is expanding its talent roster.
The Boston-based brand announced today that it has tapped Portia Blunt, a New Balance veteran, to become its VP of apparel.
Blunt, who notably served a member of New Balance’s diversity council as well as appeared at FN’s first-ever virtual executive summit to address matters of racial equity in footwear, will lead Reebok’s functional areas of innovation, material design and global integrated operations. She will report to Todd Krinsky, Reebok’s SVP of global product.
During her 13-year tenure at New Balance, Blunt held a variety of roles in the apparel business, including leading the innovation function, where she was responsible for ideating, visioning and implementing new product for commercial concepts. She most recently served as director of apparel operations before departing for the Reebok post.
“Portia is a tremendous addition to our team and will be instrumental in helping shape and grow our apparel business moving forward,” said Reebok President, Matt O’Toole. “We’re on a mission to be the top athletic lifestyle brand in the world, and having best-in-class apparel, infused with Reebok’s unique DNA, will be critical to help us get there. Portia is the right leader to help shape the future of Reebok apparel.”
Blunt, who appeared at the second African American Footwear Forum in Portland, Ore. in August 2019 has become a vocal proponent on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity in the shoe industry. She was responsible for New Balance’s first-ever Black History Month collection in 2020 and, while serving on the brand’s diversity council, she helped shaped the company’s current diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and led the creation of its employee resource and affinity group framework.
“I couldn’t bemore excited to join this iconic brand and be a part of the Reebok family,” said Blunt. “Reebok has such a rich history and heritage in both the athletic and fashion spaces. And apparel offers such a great canvas to express this fusion of culture and sport to cultivate the unique style and attitude of the brand.”
Blunt, who began her career in apparel design with the U.S. Marine Corps in Quantico, Va., joins Reebok at a pivotal time for the company. Parent firm Adidas announced late last year that it was exploring strategic alternatives for the label, including a potential sale. It confirmed last month that it was beginning the divestiture process for Reebok, which it bought in 2006 for $3.8 billion. Potential suitors include New York-based Authentic Brands Group, China-based Anta International Group Holdings Ltd. and several private equity firms.