Working as part of a global Design and Merchandising team, Lead Designer is responsible for leading a team of 2 or more designers at various levels in collaboration with the Design Director to conceptualize, design, and execute versatile apparel for an assigned category. In addition, being a sole creative contributor designing specific category collection, while working within the framework of the line plan, seasonal inspiration themes and the prAna development calendar. He/she works with the Design director to develop and maintain the overarching product aesthetic direction to support product line and divisional growth strategies. The position manages day-to-day design/development processes and partners with cross functional departments to trouble shoot complex design problems and encourages collaboration among all cross functional teams (Design, Tech, Product Development, Sourcing and Production) to successfully execute the product vision within the framework of the line assortment plan.
H/She works closely with the Design Director to establish standards and processes to produce consistent, high quality results and ensures that all project/department milestones and goals are met. H/She fosters a collaborative culture of creativity, innovation and solution minded thinking that enables us to consistently meet our customers’ expectations and company goals.
The following represents key outcomes the position is expected to achieve.
Women’s Product line that attracts new and retains loyal customers to achieve the company’s growth plans and financial objectives
Compelling product that aligns with brand aesthetic and that differentiates prAna in the market
A high performing women’s design team
Calendar deliverables are consistently met
Fosters solid, collaborative working relationships across Design, Merchandising, Product Development, and Technical Design.
Essential Job Functions
Individual Contributor responsibilities: 70%
Leadership & Management responsibilities: 30%
Individual Contributor: Apparel Design and Development
Research seasonal trends in activity, silhouette, color, fabric and trim
Work with the Design Director to select and identify fabrics and trims for development, collaborate with Materials and Product Development to source
Establish strong working relationship with merchandising & product development team to achieve margin goals, cost targets through use of appropriate style details, fabrications and construction
Provide input to Textile Print & Graphic Designer in the development of all over and placement prints
Prepare all inspiration and trend boards, thumbnail concept sketches, technical line drawings and updates to CADs/line drawings throughout development season
Prepare and complete with accuracy all initial techpacks: technical line drawings, detail drawings, Bill of materials, trim and label packages, seam construction and preliminary fit dimensions
Participate in fittings and partner with the Technical Design team to achieve consistent brand fits that meet customer expectations and return rate objectives
Prepare color ups for each style working within established color palette for selection and approval
Partner with product development team to manage style development from initial techpack through pre-production fit approval
Support prAna product team in the creation of presentation and visual tools for sales meetings, seasonal kick-off meetings, pre-lines or in-house dealer presentations
Attend relevant trade shows, travel to vendors, suppliers and key accounts as requested
Meet all design and product development calendar deadlines
Leadership, Coaching, Mentoring (People)
Manage and mentor a team of 2 or more designers at various levels
Manage design and development T&A plan to ensure alignment with master Product Creation calendar and key milestone deliverables
Help prioritize women’s design team’s workload in partnership with Design Director and Design Opp’s manager.
Conduct mid-year and yearly performance reviews
Provide coaching to enhance performance and guide development
Conduct regular one-on-ones with teams to ensure consistent, quality work
Education and Experience Requirements
8+ years of combined design experience in apparel (Sportswear or Outdoor apparel industry preferred)
2+ years supervising / managing designers of various levels.
Proven ability to interpret trends into innovative product.
Demonstrates a range of designing for multiple categories.
Demonstrates exceptional ability presenting to upper management, Major accounts, and sales meetings.
Effective working style with a variety of levels.
Ability to resolve conflict with cross functional teams.
Management experience preferred or 3 years of supervisory and management experience
Bachelor’s degree in fashion design required
Pre-employment design project required
Experience and passion designing apparel with the end-consumer in mind – to meet and solve their needs given their lifestyle and adventures
Outdoor, snow sport, climbing, yoga, outside active, surf, SUP, or other customer driven, like-minded athletic passion and experience a plus
Technical Knowledge And Skills
Strong command of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, In Design
Personal experience and understanding of the feel and fit of outdoor / active wear apparel
Proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage and PLM systems
Excellent hand sketching, rendering and illustrative skills
Comprehensive understanding of woven and knit garment and fabric construction, synthetic, natural, performance and sustainable fibers
Knowledge of printing, dyeing and finishing techniques
Strong creative and conceptual skills
Excellent color sense: Munsell color test results helpful
Detail-oriented with excellent organizational skills and the ability to meet and maintain schedules
Proven track record of delivering product concepts that meet customer expectations and business objectives
Possesses high level of ownership, looks at challenges with a positive attitude
Ability to be productive in an open, ever changing, fast paced environment
Demonstrates initiative, is conscientious and provides complete follow-through on areas of responsibility
Excellent verbal, written and visual communication/presentation skills
Must be able to sit and/or stand for extended periods of time.
Ability to look at a computer screen for extended periods of time.
Ability to maintain a professional demeanor in a flexible work environment.
Schedule and Travel
Must be able to occasionally travel internationally and domestically
Must be able to work full-time, Monday through Friday, with occasional extra hours to ensure design deadlines are met