From Montréal to Toronto and now Australia, Carrie Kirkman is not only a successful expert in the fashion and retail industry, but also an inspirational force. With more than 25 years of brand management experience for top women’s apparel brands, Carrie has established herself as a Canadian and international business leader.
He is now transitioning from the North American fashion and retail industry to Australia. Joining the senior management team at Target Australia in 2023, Carrie moves and oversees a $2 billion portfolio as Managing Director, Chief Merchandiser — and is ready to make her mark.
Carrie’s love for the fashion world began in 1985 when she left the modeling industry to pursue a career in corporate fashion management. Her passion for the womenswear industry was nurtured through her position as head of a Montréal-based sales agency representing brands such as Alfred Sung and Ports International. From managing small independent accounts to large national specialty chains in Eastern Canada, Carrie has spent 5 years developing her knowledge of fashion and brand management. After gaining experience in wholesale management, Carrie brought her skills to Toronto, joining Liz Claiborne Canada in 1997 as National Sales Manager and Director of Merchandising, where she managed the wholesale assortment strategy for brands such as DKNY, Liz Claiborne and Kenneth Cola.
Carrie joined the Hudson’s Bay Company in 2002, and one of her most significant accomplishments during her tenure was reengineering the womenswear business strategy to attract better brands, rebalancing the brand space to maximize apparel and deliver significant sales growth. She then moved on to other high-level roles that delivered results. Carrie joined Zellers in 2009 as head of the Women’s World group, achieving $30 million in sales growth in the first 18 months, and in 2010 launched a 40% sales growth plan as president and CEO of Jones New York Canada.
With years of experience leading teams as a top-level executive, Carrie founded Kirkman Consulting Inc. in 2015. She has applied her knowledge and love of business sales strategy, fashion, and management to help and inspire others through professional development, coaching, consulting, and speaking engagements.
After a vibrant, exciting career in North America, Carrie is now taking a leap and moving, facing a new challenge in a new country and on a new continent. As Managing Director, Chief Merchandiser at Target Australia, she is ready for this next chapter. Learn more about Carrie and her incredible career journey in her own words below.
My first job ever was… he has been working part-time in a bakery since he was 14.
I am passionate about the fashion and retail industry because… Iit’s all about people, ever changing and always challenging. I find it a wonderful juxtaposition of art and science.
I joined Target Australia because… Iit’s a fantastic opportunity to work with the amazing team and because I hope I can have a positive impact on the business!
My biggest problem was… my The Sears Experience. A big disappointment, but the biggest learning experience from the perspective of personal development.
I overcame it by… tself-reflection, plus investing time and energy with the incredible a self-awareness coach who was a gift in every way.
My proudest achievement is… tthe successes of the people I managed.
My best advice for anyone who cares about the cause and wants to get involved on the board is to… make sure your values are strongly aligned with mission of the organization.
The only advice I give, which I have a hard time following, is… ddon’t rush validation and approval from others. Real power is when you realize it has to come from your insides.
If I had to choose one thing that helped me succeed, it would be… the believes that i I am capable.
I stay inspired… my curiosity and gratitude for the women who have supported me incredibly in my life.
My next step is… devoking yourself to this fantastic new opportunity and enjoying it amazing country has to offer.
Stay up to date with Carrie and her new adventure Managing Director, Chief Merchandiser at Target Australia by connecting with her at LinkedIn and Instagram.