John Rapp

John Rapp

Sportswear Designer


Ventura, CA USA

It takes a lot along the way to find a really good fit. And then once you do, it still requires a lot of maintenance-like any relationship-to keep it healthy.


By Roadtrip Nation

John Rapp


My road in life took a while to figure out.
Was always interested in breaking things down, putting them back together, making them better.
Went to school in Arizona, got an undergraduate degree in business marketing.
While teaching skiing on the side, he came up with a new padded ski product.
Friends pointed him towards industrial design, which aligned with his interests; went back to graduate school for design.
After school, worked for New Balance in Boston; growing up in Southern California, he wasn't used to the intense work ethic.
Knew he had to find / create a workspace that wouldn't constantly feel like a race; Patagonia offered a good balance.
Not a believer in "being consumed with work" outside of the building; says you should "milk each day personally as well as professionally."
Uses nature as his "role model"; says nature's good at tweaking things until it finds balance, and that's how you should approach your career.


Sportswear Designer

I design products to inspire people to get outside in the natural world.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Environment & Nature
Being Creative

Day to Day

I combine active product use, experience, market knowledge and input from other Design Team members to create original and innovative designs. I manage and assist with the designs of other team members. I also attend conferences and tradeshows to conduct product testing and maintain consistency in outdoor industry trends, design changes and innovations.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Scratch the itch. If something is interesting to you, no matter what it is, pursue it. You never know what random skills and knowledge you learn along the way will come back to help you.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You have to work long hours and extra days to succeed. "

Challenges I Overcame

Working for the Wrong People

Interviewed By

East Meets West

East Meets West

The East Coast born-and-bred road-trippers experience a totally foreign way of life-laidback and Californian-as they ride jet packs, talk to the creator of Frozen's Elsa in L.A., and venture north to Ventura where Patagonia designer John Rapp instructs them in the relaxed ways of West Coast work-life, finding what you love and digging in, and creating balance wherever you are.