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Director of Technical Design

Employer
Half Days
Location
New York City, New York (US)
Salary
$120k. - $150k
Closing date
28 Mar 2023

Overview:

Halfdays hiring a Technical Design Director to oversee technical design of our ski, snow, outdoor, active and accessory categories. This individual will be responsible for communicating fit intent to vendors, leading fittings, all fit-related communication to internal cross-functional teams, and upholding high standards of universal fit and construction quality. They will manage all technical aspects of our product development from initial concept through to production, working to constantly improve fit and execute top-quality product. This role is tasked with ensuring fit consistency and delivering flattering, well-made and fashionable outdoor apparel for a rapidly growing brand. 

The ideal candidate is:

  • Detail-oriented and strives for excellence in everything that they do
  • Deeply passionate about flattering fit and comfort in outdoor apparel
  • Experienced in fashion and understands how to bring an elevated fit into outerwear
  • Has an eye on innovation, high-end tailoring, and follows the latest in fit
  • Has expert-level patternmaking and construction knowledge
  • Is accountable, knows the buck stops with themselves, and is always thinking proactively to avoid issues down the line
  • Has an interest in skiing or snowboarding and enjoys the outdoors
  • Is looking to bring their technical design experience to a growing brand

Role Scope, Responsibilities:

  • Reports to VP of Product + Creative Director to uphold product quality and industry-best fit. 
  • Works with Product to understand and protect fit intent and fit differentiation across merchandising assortment.
  • Provides technical direction, in collaboration with Design. PD and vendors on all matters pertaining to specs, pattern, construction methods, and techniques to improve fit, balance, and overall quality of the garment.
  • Builds and upkeep detailed spec sheets, graded specs, and clear, patternmaking-informed fit comments.
  • Communicates with overseas factories on all fit, measurement and construction details of garments.
  • Manages sample approval and comments in collaboration with Product Development team and Design. 
  • Receives, measures and evaluates samples, prepares for fitting sessions. Proactively reviews all construction against tech packs, prior fit comments, spec sheets and design changes.
  • Leads fittings with Product team; informing on-and-off tolerance specs, general fit intent adherence, construction issues.
  • Consistently refines + improves grade rules based on ongoing fit feedback and product sales analysis.
  • Maintains and consistently elevates the brand’s fit positioning across all product categories, creating fit signatures long term.
  • Creates garment archive and maintain organization of samples’ fit development stage, comments, etc
  • Conducts fit clinics of customers, fit models, etc to identify fit optimization opportunities and/or problem solving.
  • Works with Production on vendor production quality standards and agreements, QC checklists + processes.
  • Works with Design, Product Development + Production at the end of each season on hindsighting fit or construction challenges, optimizing for future reorders.
  • Manages a Technical Design Associate, training them in best practices and most efficient standardized processes.

Qualifications:

  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in outerwear, activewear, and ready-to-wear technical design. 
  • Minimum Bachelor Degree in Apparel Manufacturing, Design and/or Patternmaking.
  • 10+ years of industry experience in womens outerwear, ski/snow, activewear and sport, and Plus Size. 
  • Fashion brand experience in ready-to-wear product technical design and/or development
  • Leadership experience heading up a technical design team in a fast-paced environment. 
  • Having an expert-level understanding of patternmaking (paper and digital), draping and grading is essential
  • Experience in a startup or growing company.
  • Keen knowledge of both standard sizing as well as extended sizing (XXS-4XL) and up-to-date grading and sizing practices across competitive brands in our segment of the market.
  • Specialist in outerwear and performance fit, understands ergonomics and general practices in ski/outerwear product design
  • Accountable, entrepreneurial, and reliable with strong work ethic and can-do attitude
  • Positive, open and friendly team member capable of working with various departments, dynamics.
  • Must be good at sketching in Adobe Illustrator and tech-savvy; working with Microsoft Office, Acrobat, Google, Dropbox.
  • Ability to work on both long-lead and speed-to-market developments; agile and efficient while remaining detail-oriented
  • Clear and succinct communication skills, ability to translate complex technical information in easily understood manner to overseas partners using patternmaking, draping and construction expertise.
  • Highly organized and able to productively self-manage workloads and prioritize top deliverables
  • Able to conduct occasional international calls with Asian vendors and/or attend technical design-related trade shows/events
  • Experience in extended/plus sizing (ideally up to 4XL) and petite sizing
  • Experience as a skier or snowboarder (of any ability level)
  • Naturally interested in and proficient in data analysis (we are data-driven!)

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