Director of Materials, Accessories/Footwear

New York City, New York (US)
29 Sep 2022
29 Oct 2022
Contract Type

Position Summary:

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.



Essential Functions:

  • 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.


Minimum Education (or substitute experience) required:

• Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent degree


Minimum Experience required:

  • 8-10 years of experience in accessories product operations


Skills Required:

  • 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.