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Apparel Design Director

ABLE is growing our design team and we are searching for an expert to oversee our apparel department. We are a rapidly growing lifestyle fashion brand with a mission of creating sustainable business opportunities for women both locally and globally. Our team is composed of sharp, driven people who thrive in a mission-driven, collaborative culture.

Qualifications and Skills

● Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts or Fashion Design or equivalent professional work experience in either design or production
● Must have a minimum of 5 years of experience in product development, drawing sketches, fabric details and apparel construction
● Strong understanding of apparel and fabric production, including manufacturing processes, new material development, quality, color consistency, production issues and lead-times
● Ability to create and drive timelines with each vendor to ensure that designs will hit market deadlines
● Knowledge of best practices within the manufacturing environment
● Excellent communication skills with the ability to effectively collaborate with partners in Merchandising and Planning, responding to business objectives with creative, innovative, and cost-effective design solutions
● Strong negotiation and presentation skills
● People management skills and experience
● Excellent written and verbal communication skills
● Proficient with Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite
● Demonstrated decision making and problem solving skills


Job Responsibilities

● Creation of tech packs, including design renderings, materials, and measurements in order to accurately communicate designs to vendors
● Understand and apply trends in the retail/ fashion industry and interpret them for our customer
-Research Color, Materials, Print, Trims, Hardware, and Silhouettes
● Create assortment plans alongside the design team, including design inspiration, renderings, color palettes, and materials
● Report to Fashion Director for style approvals

● Use company sales data to inform design processes, company margin guidelines to inform pricing, and both sales data and trend knowledge to inform obsolescence planning for the product life cycle
● Communicate timelines and designs effectively to manufacturers in order to efficiently guide the product development process, ensuring on-time samples and final products
● Oversee fabric sourcing and material development to ensure materials are competitively priced and adhere to quality standards, color accuracy, and desired handfeel
● Travel to factories for product development
● Coordinate the sending of development packages to partners
● Support the initiation and management of product revisions and follow-ups on all development from 1st proto to commercialization.
● Manage final sample product testing to ensure that construction quality and materials meet standards
● Manage daily communication with vendors related to troubleshooting construction issues
● Establish new manufacturing relationships and find new vendors for new concept developments

Individual Traits

● Committed to the work of empowering women through employment as a serious solution to poverty
● Strength in being your own manager and able to stay on task and hit deadlines
● Passion for fashion and future design trends
● Thrives best in a team environment and enjoys collaborating to achieve best results
● Able to quickly read and react to customer’s wants and needs and turn them into thoughtful designs
● Understands impacts of sales, margin, and seasonality trends in retail

Team Collaboration

● Collaboration - Attend design and merchant meetings, actively contributing relevant category information, and work to execute actions coming out of meetings
● Flexibility - Take direction from leaders, implement changes, adjust processes as needed
● Supervision - Work with design team on a daily basis to efficiently execute apparel designs
● Creativity - Motivate and encourage innovation and creativity within the apparel category
● Adaptability - Ability to adapt to change and operate in a dynamic organization, while also managing competing priorities
● Observant - Recognize and accurately forecast fashion and cultural trends as they relate to the ABLE target customer

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