Becoming a Product Development Director in the Fashion World

ModelHave you always dreamed about landing your dream job within the Fashion Industry? Something that would invigorate and motivate you every day? That perfect profession that would have you rushing from duvet to office each morning?

Acquiring a career within the Fashion world is no easy feat, it is extremely competitive, a dog eat dog world and with so many varying roles and positions, ensuring you secure the correct role is essential.

Matching your strongest qualities and skills with the job spec will increase your chances of a happy work life as you will be more confident about fulfilling the duties required of you as well as supporting your ability to further your chosen career.

What does a Product Development Director do?

A Product Development Director in the fashion industry has the responsibility for the full product development process, from conceptual stage to planning and delivery. They are creative individuals with strong commercial skills. They work closely with many different departments including Design, Buying & Planning, Production and Sales. They are involved with the sourcing process and oversee the planning and price negotiations with suppliers.

Below is an example of what is usually required to become a Product Development Director:

  • A vast connection of industry contacts with whom you have built strong personal business relationships
  • An excellent understanding of the design process from the initial stages through to the final product
  • A comprehension of product marketing
  • The ability to identify and create key trends and collections
  • At least 4-5 years’ experience within product development. (Closely related roles in fashion buying, garment technology or fashion design would be considered)
  • Educated to Degree Level
  • The aptitude to travel to source materials and build international relationships

Do you think you have what it takes?

Experience is vital within Fashion, so even if you don’t possess the above criteria just yet, don’t give up; work on refining your CV, accumulating the missing notches on your belt. Seek the advice of a fashion recruitment agency. Finally, don’t forget to network, network, network to build those vital industry contacts.

Further reading

If you wish to learn more about this profession, read this case study by London-based fashion recruiters Hudson Walker International about finding the right candidate for the role of Product Development Director for an established English label.

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