Entrepreneur Makes History as the First Black Female Designer to Partner with Kohl’s

Design expert Barbara Clarke Ruiz, best known for her bold and versatile athletic apparel and sportswear designs has teamed up with Kohl’s to design the company’s latest Tek Gear capsule collection, available now online and in select stores. This new limited-edition assortment for Tek Gear comes as Kohl’s continues to build on its strategy to become the destination for the active and casual lifestyle, and bolsters the company’s active and athleisure private label offerings.

Ruiz has more than 20+ years and a resume that includes some of the most notable names in the fashion industry. This collection features vibrant colors, statement-making prints, and body-positive fits. Including styles for men, women, and kids, and is specifically designed to make customers feel confident, stylish, and energized. Each of the collections utilizes super soft fabrics and trend-forward design features.

The ladies’ collection includes peek-a-boo cutouts, wide satin drawstrings, ruching, and extra-long unfinished hems on the palazzo pants that allow customers to personalize to their preferred lengths. The Men’s and Boy’s collections are a play on active streetwear classics updated with functional fabrics and bold digital and graffiti prints. The girl’s collection is fun and functional for the season, utilizing buttery Soft Tek fleece with a bold pastel floral.

Barbara states, “I’m blessed to have had so many dreams come to life. I don’t take any of it for granted because I’ve had to put a lot of work to bring these dreams to fruition and that takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight and every opportunity leads you to a bigger opportunity or a bigger door. I feel blessed to be granted this opportunity of being the first black female designer to partner with Kohl’s. This is bigger than I could have ever imagined!”

With a strong focus on athleisure that goes from the gym to the street – the Tek Gear x BCR collection is for diverse audiences, girls, boys, men, and women of all sizes touts a diverse and body positive at its core.

Click here to check out the collection at the official Kohl’s website.

Barbara Clarke-Ruiz’s design career reads like a who’s who of international household names that include Nike Europe, Adidas US/Germany, Fila US/Italy, New Balance US/ UK, Speedo UK, Hanes, Jockey, Asics Europe, Disney, Colosseum, and Zoggs International. She was also the Creative Director for Walmart for six activewear divisions, which grossed close to $750M dollars per season. Hence, what prompted Venus to seek her out to be the design director of Venus’ line Eleven by Venus.

She is an entrepreneurial visionary with an astute blend of business acumen. Broad international and US experience designing and executing activewear apparel collections for global brands. An accomplished, versatile, dynamic leader with a strong track record of driving brand development, strategy, marketing, sales, and customer experience. A fiscally responsive creative strategist with experience in implementing diverse brands and products that leads to impact

Learn more by visiting her website at

Also, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.



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