Nick GROVER

VP Licensing, Merchandising & Design | UNIQLO

Currently Nick is the Creative Director of UT and VP of Global Licensing at UNIQLO.  Prior to that Nick was with Gap Inc. at their Old Navy brand for 10 years where he was an executive on the Men's Division and was the creator of the Old Navy Licensing Division.  Nick, his wife, and 3 young sons, feel lucky to call San Francisco their home.

questionnaire

1. What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now?
 
I was a marketing coordinator for American Eagle Outfitters.  In some ways it was an experience that helped me always feel the itch to want to be creative in my work.  After that first job I was a merchant for 12+ years, I enjoyed it, but it was missing something.  In my new role I finally get to have a place for that creative output, but still staying close to the business strategy.
 
2. Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.
 
I'm the Creative Director and head of Licensing for UNIQLO's UT Division.  The stakes are high, but the job is a lot of fun.  I'm responsible for coming up with who we will partner with and what stories we will tell, then I get to work with each outside partner to co-develop the collections.  UNIQLO being a Japanese company and a lot of partners being non Japanese, I do spend a lot of time problem solving, but having the ability to start each season with a complete blue sky mentality and really trying to dial in to the zeitgeist of global culture is fun, daunting and stressful, but fun.
 
3. How did you discover that the creative world is right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Which train of events did bring you to where you are today?
 
It was probably more of  slow burn for me, but my wife is a designer and we worked at the same company when we met and then both transitioned to working from home around the same time, just being around someone who is super creative can have a really positive impact on getting over the fear a lot of us have to put creative ideas out there.  Whether in our jobs or personal lives.
 
4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
 
It's not a great answer, but everywhere, I may see something that a small online brand or local boutique is doing and it will send down a path of trying to unlock and idea like that on a global level.  On the other side, I work with partners like Disney that aren't exclusive to UNIQLO, so we have to figure out a special twist to put on anything we create.  The team and I spend a lot of time in museums, reading books, and going to cultural events to better understand what is happening. 
 
5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?
 
Early on in my time at UNIQLO I had the opportunity to find an artist in NY to collaborate with as part of a bigger Haring, Basquiat, Warhol collection we had launching.  His work was only for one store in NY, but we were able to work together to make it an impactful experience for our customers, our founder saw the recap and loved it so much, 2 years later we had worked together on 3 global collections.  The idea of being an amplification point for talented creatives is something that I really try to use my role at UNIQLO to be.
 
6. Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? (ie photo, film, social, experiential, vr, etc)
 
In my day to day role, I focus more on what is happening in art (illustration, painting, photography) and the world of pop culture more than anything else, but I am seeing a stronger and stronger need to be storytellers in addition to product creators, so now am playing catchup on leaning about using social media to effectively tell stories and generate global awareness to projects we have coming out.

jury

Art Producer | VANS
Associate Creative Director | SEPHORA
Senior Director, Creative | BIOSSANCE
Director, Creative | IMAX
Independent Creative Consultant, ECD, CD
Senior Director, Media | ACTIVISION
Sr Art Director | JOHN PAUL MITCHELL SYSTEMS
Executive Creative Director | THE COMMUNITY SF
Chief Production Officer | SWIFT
Global Creative Director | DECKERS BRANDS
Creative Director | CURALEAF
Creative Director | SAATCHI & SAATCHI LA
Chief Creative Officer, Marketing Executive | EBAY
VP, Creative Marketing | LIONSGATE FILMS
Head of Creative Production | AMAZON STUDIOS
Creative Director | NBC UNIVERSAL
Group Creative Director, Writer | DAVID&GOLIATH
Head of Design | POSTMATES
Director of Experiential Mktg | KIVA CONFECTIONS
Dir of Creative Content | INTERSCOPE RECORDS
VP, Global Brand Marketing | UNILEVER
Executive CD | SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Chief Brand Architect | CAVU VENTURE PARTNERS
SVP, Director of Assets and Content | DEUTSCH LA
Creative Director | FACEBOOK
VP, Photo Publicity | FOX ENTERTAINMENT
Dir. of Creative Services | RIOT GAMES
VP Creative Services | OGILVY Mexico
Group Creative Director | SAATCHI & SAATCHI
EVP, Head of Production | DEUTSCH LA
Dir of Brand & Visual Design | FUSEPROJECT
Creative Director | UBER
Founder & Editorial/Creative Director | ISSUE
Sr Director Creative Prod Gbl Brand Imaging | NIKE
Executive Creative Director | PHENOMENON
Executive Creative Director | SID LEE
Group Creative Director | 72ANDSUNNY
Design Director | PHENOMENON
VP, Global Creative | LIONSGATE FILMS
Creative Director | SEPHORA
Executive Creative Director | LINKEDIN
Sr. Creative Director | LINKEDIN
Creative Director | VVEEKENDS CREATIVE BUREAU
Global Sr. Creative DIrector | PRINCESS CRUISES
Global Creative Director | MURAD
Executive Director Integrated Production | BSSP
Digital Marketing Manager | 7 FOR ALL MANKIND
VP Creative | GAMETIME
Creative Director | THE CLOROX COMPANY
VP Marketing | RAKUTEN
VP Licensing, Merchandising & Design | UNIQLO
Director of Content | URBAN DECAY
Head of Strategy | BBH LA
Director Of Production & Business Affairs | MEKANISM
Producer / Enterprise Brand Creative | CAPITAL ONE
VP, Creative | RAKUTEN
Director of Production | RESTORATION HARDWARE
Director of Photography | WILLIAMS-SONOMA
Founder, Creative Director | FERNWEH LAND LLC
Sr. Manager, Brand Marketing | SWEETGREEN
VP, Creative Content | HUDSON JEANS
VP Global Creative Director, Brand Design | NIKE
VP of Creative Content | INTERSCOPE RECORDS
Creative Director | FACEBOOK
Creative Director | RPA
Vice President | CALLISONRTKL
President | 215MCCANN
Director Marketing | OAKLEY
Creative Dir. | SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Chief Marketing Officer | MOZILLA
Co-Founder & CCO | BATTERY AGENCY
Sr. Producer | THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY
VP, Diversity & Inclusion | SONY PICTURES ENT.
Photography Lead, Homes | AIRBnB
Senior Art Director | SALES FORCE
Art Director | SEGA
VP Creative Director | STILA COSMETICS
Sr. Creative Director | FOX SPORTS
Head of Creative Operations, Central Creative | UBER
Creative Director | NORDSTROM
Director, Head Of Production | LINKEDIN
Senior Digital Marketing Manager | ASICS
Director, Global Social Media | ORACLE
Senior Director, Creative Services | ARITZIA
Sr. Designer | DOORDASH
Art Director | FACEBOOK
Executive Creative Director | FCB West
Managing Art Producer | STARBUCKS
Senior Director / Group Creative Director | APPLE
Creative Director | RPA
Creative Director | ANOMALY LA
Dir. Branded Content Production | FX NETWORKS
Creative Director | SAATCHI & SAATCHI
Creative Director | KASTNER LA
Executive Dir, Production | ABC ENTERTAINMENT
Sr. Creative Director | DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB
Senior Art Director | SEPHORA
Group Creative Director | PUBLICIS SAPIENT
Executive Creative Director | DDW
Chief Creative Officer | HEADSPACE
Creative Director | GS&P
Executive Creative Dir, Branded Content | DISNEY
Sr CD, Marketing Creative | ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
VP of Photo Production | SONY PICTURES ENT.
Dir of Creative Content | INTERSCOPE RECORDS
Creative Director, Group Design Manager | INTUIT
VP Global Creative Director | SMASHBOX LA
Senior Art Director | NYX COSMETICS
ECD, Chief Creative Officer | THE CLOROX COMPANY
Co-Founder | CHAPTER SF
Pres, Mktg+National Acct | HEALTH-ADE KOMBUCHA
VP, Creative Services | WARNER RECORDS
Sr Design Dir | JOHN PAUL MITCHELL SYSTEMS
Design Director | CREDO BEAUTY
ECD, Head Art & Design | DAVID&GOLIATH
Senior Art Director | VANS
Art Director | VANS
Dir of Digital Marketing + E-Commerce | FOODSTIRS
Creative Director/Partner | THEORY SF
Dir of Music Video & Creative Content | INTERSCOPE
Creative Director | DERMSTORE
Creative Director
Design Director | INSTAGRAM
Chief Marketing Officer | PIXI BEAUTY
Global Head of Creative, ECD | YOUTUBE
Creative Lead, Special Initiatives | GOOGLE
Global Creative Lead, Media Lab | GOOGLE
Head of Creative | DOORDASH
Sr. Art Director | SEPHORA
Director of Creative | MATTEL, INC.
Content Program Manager | BASIC @ GOOGLE
Sr Director Brand Marketing | PANDORA
Chief Creative Officer | OMELET
CEO / Founder | WALTON ISAACSON
Director of Creative | ASICS AMERICA
Photo and Video Producer | THIRDLOVE
ACD | M/H VCCP
Chief Creative Officer | POP
Executive Creative Advisor | PELOTON INTERACTIVE
Creative Director | TWITTER
VP Creative I Creative Director | BLUESTEM
Senior Photography Producer
©2016 LE BOOK All Rights Reserved