Director of Product Development (Maternity Cover)


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Job Details

Job title

Director of Product Development (Maternity Cover), Burberry


London, United Kingdom


Director / VP / President


Production & Technical



Full-time, Salary Unspecified

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Job Description

This position will lead and be fully responsible and accountable for delivering the end to end product development of collection, within their respective category. Partnering with the Chief Creative Officer, relevant Design Director and their team to develop prototypes, samples to high level of detail and quality. This will include providing strong technical advice and support, creative / technical solutions during fittings and any adhoc requests from design team or Creative chief. This role will provide a high level of visibility and exposure to senior leaders and will require a high level of technical knowledge, expertise to find and source solutions.

Ultimately this role is accountable for:

  • Owning the partnership with the Chief Creative Officer and Design Director and design team

  • Ensuring end-to-end adherence to the Critical Path for their category; from concept to pre-production

  • Ensuring samples and prototypes for their category are delivered on time to spec, within cost range, and to the required high-quality standards

  • Strong partnership and influencing vendors to ensuring high quality standards, respond with a sense of urgency and pace, and protecting the design vision.

  • Collaborate with Product Engineering, Sourcing and Merchandising to ensure clear briefings, updates and deadlines are met in accordance with the calendar for runway.

  • Inspire, coach and developing the team to consistently deliver quality, technical solutions, with a sense of urgency and pride in quality of work, and full accountability at every step of the way.


  • Responsible for maintaining a close working partnership with Design. Working proactively with the Chief Creative Officer, Design Director and runway design team, to ensure successful end to end development of relevant category from initial concept through to finished product, in line with creative brief.

  • Responsible for protecting the Burberry aesthetic by utilising in depth product knowledge, taking ownership of product development process end-to-end, and ensuring quality and attention to detail is maintained, eg Prototypes to be developed to the standard of a sample (correct fabric, trim, colour, pattern).

  • Responsible for owning and managing the Critical Path from concept to pre-production and managing the end to end timelines. This includes taking accountability for implementing the Critical Path with manufacturers and ensuring deadlines and any last-minute requests are adhered to. Ensure vendors do not compromise on quality in the development of our product.

  • Responsible for delivering prototypes and samples on time to a high-quality level, within target cost price range, to achieve target margin. This includes taking responsibility to raise awareness where there is a risk of not achieving and working with the relevant stakeholder to find solutions and enablers.

  • Responsible for ensuring functionality (including consistency and standardisation) and end-use is maintained. Ensure products developed are fit for purpose for the customer, brand and business. This includes ongoing risk assessment during the development process and proactivity in taking actions as a result.

  • Responsible for maintaining effective working relationships with vendors, developing a strong working knowledge of vendor capability, inventory, capacity and availability to meet demands. This includes taking accountability to negotiate any aesthetic changes to protect the design vision.

  • Responsible for collaborating with the Product Engineering teams while developing the collections for product testing to high quality standards. Leverage PE technical knowledge to seek solutions, and negotiating any aesthetic changes to protect the design vision. Ensure the efficient and effective handover of collection to PE/Sourcing to industrialise.

  • Responsible for managing and reporting on the budget for product development, prototypes and samples within relevant category, including working with manufacturers to negotiate and calculate costs

  • Collaborate with Merchandising to ensure Design meet key deadlines in the calendar, briefing senior merchandising individuals on the progress of the collection confidentially.

  • Follow the collection and be accountable for the smooth and efficient “hand over” to Production (PE/ Sourcing) of products to be industrialised.

  • To provide information and resolve problems that arise during and after the development of the collection

  • Strategically shape the PD Runway process and approach. Continually seek to evolve the way we approach product development, improving processes, evolving how PD provide technical advice/solutions and further improve efficiencies. This may include inputting into the Product Calendar, encouraging a team culture of problem solving, sense of urgency, ownership and continuous improvement of quality delivered from vendors for prototypes and samples.

  • Organizing category relevant fittings (including set up), meetings between Design and PD, show preparation and efficient logistics for show. Working with Design and Events on show prep. 

The Ideal Candidate

  • High level of technical product knowledge, development expertise and solid PD experience, including specifics on areas such as knit, construction, pattern cutting, fabric construction, raw material (woven and yarns) or leather treatment/tanneries (as relevant)

  • Solution and results oriented. Demonstrated ability to go above and beyond, with a can-do attitude. Provide technical solutions and demonstrated ability to add value in the design discussion and creative process.

  • Demonstrated solid operational knowledge of factories, developed from direct experience working in a factory/vendor.

  • Ability to optimising the vendor production process for prototypes and samples, education of vendors to constantly improve quality and response rate.

  • Expert communication and diplomacy skills. Including the ability to influence and negotiate with credibility at all levels within the organisation.

  • Ability to grasp information quickly and succinctly and effectively share information with the team in a clear, concise manner, including any follow up required

  • Ability to anticipate and plan ahead, escalating issues in advance (if needed)

  • Demonstrated ability to manage complexity and handle (themselves and their team) effectively under pressure

  • Agile: Thrive on change, with demonstrated experience in driving change across the team to evolve product quality and delivery

  • Instilling a culture of innovation, collaboration, accountability and confidentiality. Solid experience in inspiring a team of Product Developers to deliver within a fast paced commercial, luxury, ever changing environment.

  • Demonstrated ability to quickly grasp in depth understanding of aesthetic code and vision of Chief Creative Officer and Design Director, to clearly interpret this vision and accurately brief teams and vendors.

  • Demonstrated experience working in partnership with senior design colleagues, with the ability to confidently influence the Designer and provide on the spot solutions to enable the design vision

  • Demonstrated experience working on site with vendors, delivering clear briefs and leveraging relationships and availability to meet demands. Fluency in the Italian language (verbal and written –advance level), coupled with strong technical capability is essential to achieving this.

  • Demonstrated expertise in communicating and influencing with cross functional teams, including Design, Product Engineering, Merchandising and Global Sourcing

  • Demonstrated ability to drive a team culture with a sense of urgency and flexibility, ownership, and a proactive approach to provide innovative solutions on the spot to Design

  • Demonstrated high level of commercial awareness and managing product development cost, operating with professionalism. Able to achieve a balance between creativity and commercial implications throughout the product development process

  • In depth knowledge of fashion and products in relevant category –‘fashion sensibility’ - knowledge of trends, the market, the luxury consumer and peer awareness

  • Experience of Runway

Language skills

  1. Italian, Professional working proficiency
  2. English, Full professional proficiency

About Us

Founded in 1856, Burberry today remains quintessentially British, with outerwear at its core.  Digital luxury positioning and intensive focus on design innovation, quality and heritage icons ensure continued brand purity and relevance globally across genders and generations. Burberry believes that in order to be a great brand it must also be a great company and constantly leverages the energy of its compassionate and creative thinking culture to continually innovate and drive the brand forward. Headquartered in London, Burberry is a design, marketing and retail led business with a global reputation for innovative product design, digital marketing initiatives and dynamic retail strategies.