Meet Carrie Kirkman, Canadian fashion and retail phenom headed to Australia to make an impact.
With a career that spans over three decades, she's a fashion and retail expert.
From Montréal to Toronto and now Australia, Carrie Kirkman is not only an accomplished expert in the fashion and retail industry, but an inspiring force. With over 25 years of experience in brand management for top women’s apparel labels, Carrie has established herself as both a Canadian and international business leader.
Now, she’s transitioning from the North American fashion and retail industry to Australia. Joining the Senior Leadership Team at Target Australia in 2023, Carrie is making the move and overseeing a $2 billion dollar portfolio as General Manager, Head Merchant — and she’s ready to make her mark.
Carrie’s love of 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 the head of a Montréal based sales agency, representing brands like Alfred Sung and Ports International. From managing small independent accounts to large national specialty chains in Eastern Canada, Carrie spent 5 years growing her fashion and brand management knowledge. After gaining experience in wholesale management, Carrie brought her skills to Toronto, joining Liz Claiborne Canada in 1997 as the National Sales Manager and Director of Merchandising, where she managed wholesale assortment strategy for brands such as DKNY, Liz Claiborne, and Kenneth Cole.
Carrie joined Hudson’s Bay Company in 2002, and one of her most notable achievements during her tenure was reengineering the women’s apparel business strategy to attract better brands, rebalance the brand’s space to maximize on the apparel, and deliver significant sales growth. She then moved on to other high-level roles that drove results. Carrie joined Zellers in 2009 as the head of the “Women’s World” collective, delivering a $30 million sales increase in its first 18 months, and in 2010, she instituted a plan to increase sales by 40% 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 applied her knowledge of and love for business sales strategy, fashion, and management to assist 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 is moving, facing a new challenge in a new country and continent. As General Manager, Head Merchant 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… working part-time in a bakery at 14.
I’m passionate about the fashion & retail industry because… it’s all about people, ever changing, and always challenging. I find it’s a wonderful juxtaposition of art and science.
I joined Target Australia because… it’s a fantastic opportunity to work with an amazing team, and because I am hopeful that I can have a positive impact on the business!
My biggest setback was… my Sears experience. Huge disappointment, but the biggest learning experience from a personal development perspective.
I overcame it by… tons of self-reflection, plus investing time and energy with an amazing self-awareness coach who was a gift in every way.
My proudest accomplishment is… the successes of the people I have managed.
My best advice for anyone that cares about a cause and would like to become involved with a Board is to… make sure your values are strongly aligned with the organization’s mission.
The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… don’t chase validation and approval from others. The real power is when you realize that it must come from within you.
If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be… the belief that I am capable.
I stay inspired by… my curiosity and gratitude for the incredibly supportive women in my life.
My next step is… devoting myself to this fantastic new opportunity and enjoying what this amazing country has to offer.