We believe that being fit and active makes life richer and bigger than it could possibly be otherwise. And we’re always looking for people who share our passion for leading an active lifestyle, growing personally as well as professionally, and creating game-changing products and experiences.
Collaboration is a real thing here — because we know that individually we’re strong, but together we’re unstoppable. Athleta is a certified B Corporation, which means that we put people and planet right up there with profit, and we’re committed to using business as a force for good.
About the role
The Sr Director, Fabric R&D is part of the Athleta Production Team. The candidate must possess strong and inspirational leadership skills with a proven track record of innovation. This skill will be demonstrated in building and driving strategies to support brand sourcing and innovation goals. Individual will bring new ideas to the design table each season while also conducting season-less research to develop ongoing core fabrics, sustainable fibers and dying techniques for improved quality, responsiveness and cost. Individual will work with Sourcing and Production partners to develop design requests with appropriate suppliers and offer creative aesthetic and cost solutions within brand strategy for both Athleta and Hill City.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DELIVERABLES: Lead the Fabric R&D team that is responsible for driving newness and innovation, performance fabrications and development. As part of the production team, brings new ideas to the design table each season while also conducting season-less, continual research and development.
What you'll do
Lead the Fabric R&D teams for both Athleta and Hill City to translate the brand aesthetic into clear, executable direction for GIS /vendors/ suppliers
Maintain a consistent alignment with Design for all divisions on overall concepts as it ties to our Brand Strategy
Source seasonal design requests with appropriate GIS partners and vendors to offer creative solutions if the request is outside the brands sourcing and pricing strategy
Attend fabric shows as appropriate to gain perspective on innovation and trend as it applies to Athleta and Hill City
Regularly shops competitors and aspirational brands to better understand where they are and where they are going with fabrics and price points as it relates to business
Utilize technical expertise to realistically translate the design intent on fabric and yarn requests to meet raw material cost parameters and guidelines
Analyze fabric needs across the brand and make recommendations to Production and Design for leveraging qualities across divisions
Communicate and elevate potential Quality and AUC issues to leadership with recommended solves in season
Manage product integrity by reviewing testing exception reports. Trouble shoots to solve and recommend options
Maintain a fabric and trim resource library to support seasonal inspiration as well as archive historical and fundamental fabrications
Encourage and promote utilization of brand liabilities to Design and Merchandising seasonally
Ensure product development milestones and calendar dates are met
Attracts, develops and retains creative talent
Develops high performing individual contributors and leaders of others
Manage raw material process to achieve cost and responsive supply chain goals
Build and clearly articulate seasonal boards and trends that represent overall brand strategy, design vision, and textile industry innovations and trends
Identify and cost engineer fabric/wash within seasonal key trends to support family messages and cross-leveraging opportunities. Reverse engineer innovative fabrics/yarns to meet a value proposition
Work closely with Global Production and vendors to ensure smooth handoff of Design Development packages and seamless execution of product
Create and monitor R & D calendar to ensure all development dates are adhered to and that follow through is achieved
Oversee fabric approvals with Design determining proper hand feel, wash and construction
Manage alignment cross divisionally on fabric strategies
Brand point person to integrate with Gap Inc. Innovation Center and Aro for commercializing materials into assortment
Who you are
Excellent technical knowledge of yarn knits and performance fabrications
Strong analytical skills
Strong communication skills
Ability to negotiate and build consensus across multiple functions
Working knowledge and understanding of Production
Proven ability to work closely and partner effectively with Designers and Production partners
Proven strong management skills
Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to regularly interface with and influence senior management
Proficient in Microsoft Word, Power Point and Excel preferred
Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience preferred
15+ years in textile industry working with fabrics
6+ years of management experience preferred
Ability to travel throughout U.S. and internationally as needed
Benefits at Athleta
- Merchandise discount for our brands: 50% off regular-priced merchandise at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta, and 30% off at Outlet.
- One of the most competitive Paid Time Off plans in the industry.*
- Employees can take up to five “on the clock” hours each month to volunteer at a charity of their choice.*
- Extensive 401(k) plan with company matching for contributions up to four percent of an employee’s base pay.*
- Employee stock purchase plan.*
- Medical, dental, vision and life insurance.*
- See more of the benefits we offer.
*For eligible employees
Gap Inc. is an equal-opportunity employer and is committed to providing a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. We are committed to recruiting, hiring, training and promoting qualified people of all backgrounds, and make all employment decisions without regard to any protected status. In 2016, Gap Inc. was named one of the Best Places to Work by the Human Rights Campaign for the thirteeth consecutive year and was the sole winner of the Catalyst award for equality in the workplace in 2016.
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