Director of Materials, Accessories/Footwear
This role will provide specialized guidance for leathers / fabrics from development through production for Alexander Wang’s Accessories & Footwear product categories. The principal function of the position is to globally source and develop materials that work within brand aesthetics, quality, and cost objectives.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Collaborate with accessories and footwear design and PD teams to develop a seasonal materials assortment that drives innovation and newness, delivers design vision and supports brand cost and manufacturing requirements.
- Present material research and inspiration to Alex, design and product development teams for seasonal materials selection.
- Maintain an organized and user-friendly materials library. Creates and manages seasonal materials charts from concept through commercialization.
- Research markets and attend international and domestic materials exhibitions to identify material trends and techniques.
- Monitors material deliverables from first round of samples through salesman samples and commercialization.
- Attend prototype, pre-production, BOM meetings to evaluate material usage. Recommend & source alternatives as needed.
- Create and manage materials sourcing strategy to meet design aesthetic and financial goals. Evaluate existing core leather articles & supplier base with the goal of identifying opportunities to counter-source alternatives to improve quality/cost and finished product delivery.
- Help drive product creation and production calendar from the material perspective to ensure on-time delivery of sales samples and finished goods.
- Create and implement pre-production material approval SOP, including master swatch approval, cost negotiation and adherence to global testing standards.
- Manage tannery-factory conflict resolution by negotiating chargebacks, repairs & replacements as necessary to ensure timely delivery of finished goods.
Required Skills & Knowledge:
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent degree
- 8-10 years of experience in accessories product operations
- Thorough knowledge of global tannery & mill vendor base across different price points.
- Fundamental understanding of leathers and textiles in footwear and handbag applications, material costs, lead times, and MOQ implications.
- Excellent written and oral communication, presentation, organization and multi-tasking skills.
- Experience working and communicating with overseas tanneries and mills in Asia and Europe.
- Outstanding follow-through skills and attention to detail.
- Strong technical understanding of footwear & handbag constructions, development & manufacturing processes preferred.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and Outlook. Experience in RLM is preferred.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer M/D/F/V
In compliance with the New York City salary transparency requirements, the potential salary for this position is from $170,000 to $178,000, which represents a range commensurate with experience, knowledge, and skills required.