Director of Technical Footwear Product Development & Production
Position Summary: As the Director of Technical Footwear Product Development and Production, you will drive all aspects of product creation from development through production with a strong lead on technical decision making to execute and deliver products that achieve the appropriate brand aesthetic, fit/functionality, quality and costing objectives in all milestones of the product creation process from prototype tech pack launch through production. This role will report to the SVP of Production.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Drive best practices and adoption of technical processes and procedures to successfully develop and deliver products on time which meet the design, quality and fit mission.
- Lead and manage daily communication flows with external partners (manufacturers, component suppliers) as well as internal partners (design, product development, production teams).
- Work with design on spec review and tech packs providing creative problem solving and forward thinking in the aspects of footwear product creation from concept to final product.
- Steer design and product development teams with technical knowledge on construction and tooling during prototype, SMS, BOM, fitting and pre-production meetings to proactively resolve production issues.
- Effectively evaluate leathers and materials for physical characteristics to specify appropriate materials for the product and ensure quality, functionality and cost-effectiveness and partner with raw materials lead to source for appropriate needs.
- Ensuring product quality and fit by inspecting and reviewing test cases and fit approvals while partnering with design team and factories to ensure that concepts remain in alignment with the brand’s aesthetic intentions.
- Obtain and communicate testing standards with suppliers.
- Pass off correction comments and finished goods orders to production phase.
- Analyze factory cost sheets, negotiate, and approve bulk costing to meet margin goals.
- Establish credibility throughout the organization as an effective provider of solutions to business challenges, including recommending alternatives on how to simultaneously meet brand aesthetic intent, quality and fit as well as identifying profit-improvement opportunities.
- Build and maintain strong partnerships/relationships with raw materials and finished goods suppliers to ensure vendor direction is in-line with the company’s goals and manage conflict resolution.
- Travel internationally to visit factories to facilitate product creation processes, monitor production and maintain vendor relationships.
- Foster the growth of footwear team members.
- Enforce adherence to all major milestones of the seasonal product development calendar relevant to vendors, design, and production.
- Track / process raw material orders with suppliers for sampling and production
- at least 8+ years of global footwear product development and production experience with manufacturing partners across Asia and Europe.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree.
- Strong technical leadership and knowledge on product construction, fit/functionality.
- Possess extensive footwear development and manufacturing knowledge to interpret design needs, anticipate potential issues and implement solutions as necessary.
- Strong knowledge of the product creation process and how it integrates into operations and manufacturing.
- Strong problem solving, negotiation, planning, and organizational skills.
- Excellent written and oral communication, interpersonal, and multi-tasking skills.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment.
- Ability to travel internationally.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and Outlook. Experience in RLM is preferred.
- Proficiency in Italian and/or Mandarin 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 $165,000 to $180,000, which represents a range commensurate with experience, knowledge, and skills required.