Footwear Design Manager - Athleisure & Kids

Job description

We’re looking for a commercially savvy, ambitious and energetic Athleisure and Kids Footwear Design Manager with first-hand experience designing Women’s, Men’s and Kid’s sports shoes, to join our Product team. This is a key position as we continue to grow globally and drive our ‘Athleisure’ collection. We are looking for a new team addition with a strong interest in fashion sport shoes, an eye for both detail and cultural significance, who is highly creative and has strong interest in both the design of sneakers and how to make them commercially relevant.

You’ll be a well-established designer with impeccable taste and extensive experience in the sports / active category working with textiles, knits, and engineered materials. You’ll have feminine but ‘sporty-refined’ handwriting and strong hand-sketching skills. Your expertise will shape technology-infused movement lifestyle products, backed by your keen eye for emerging trends and materials, working within the parameters of the brand. You’ll also be a great people manager with the ability to coach and mentor other design talent. If you have 3D experience, even better!

The Responsibilities:

  • Create sketches and style information for designed categories (Women’s, Men’s and Kid’s sports shoes) in line with FitFlop aesthetic
  • Have first class understanding of materials and other processes to sustain a high level of quality
  • Develop and create illustrations and technical drawings (Illustrator based) to a high quality and technical level
  • Create colour CADS
  • Create technical specs for all styles that will be passed to factories
  • Ability to create tooling tech packs and be able to fully understand and amend design blueprints
  • Work with Product Development team to develop each sample to its fullest
  • Strong understanding of last creation, construction and fit considerations
  • Support on the fitting of samples from an aesthetic point of view
  • Ensure all collections are in line with the product direction set by the Design Director
  • Able to understand and execute a clear “FitFlop” identity into the designs, colour and materials
  • Participate in market research to identify and stay ahead of new trends, competition and customer’s expectations
  • Contribute innovative and commercially driven design solutions
  • Work to a commercial brief and deliver designs and product on cost and to deadlines
  • Use knowledge of costing and shoemaking to develop cost efficient product
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of materials, pattern making, and the fitting of footwear
  • Development of new materials, processes and construction
  • Contribute to and follow design direction and translate market input into innovative yet progressive designs
  • Take part in development trips to Factories to oversee the creation of new prototypes and colour and material updates
  • Attend sourcing fairs in Milan and Paris and research trips to stay ahead of emerging trends and industry developments
  • Lead, motivate and inspire a team of designers, driving team performance and ensuring they are supported and developed in their roles, use personal development plans and career conversations to deliver progression and succession
  • Work directly with Product Manager to ensure that the design range plan and product matrix are aligned
  • Manage and delegate all projects from Main range to value channel
  • Manage the design calendar and ensure it is aligned with the product critical path
  • Lead weekly design meetings to share business/ product updates and departmental priorities/ initiatives in the absence of the Design Director
  • Manage and develop Junior team members, train new members to increase department knowledge and brand handwriting
  • Take an active leadership role to develop relationships with cross functional partners

The Person:

  • An experienced Footwear Designer, within a similar Footwear Design or relevant industry Design role
  • ‘Sporty-refined’ handwriting with advanced understanding of the casual / sports heritage of the brand
  • Structured mind, excellent communicator and presentation skills (verbal, written and sketches)
  • Thorough knowledge of lasts and units
  • Able to understand and work within the parameters of the product and the brand guidelines (fashion meets function)
  • Experience of working with Far East factories on casual/sports/kids products
  • Experience working with textiles, knits, and engineered materials
  • Excellent and up to date market knowledge on trends, designers and brands
  • Good understanding of international markets
  • Excellent 2D software skills (Illustrator), 3D software skills is definitely a plus
  • Experience of developing midsoles / outsoles
  • A “can do” attitude with the ability to design around a problem
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to work to a deadline and flex and adapt when needed
  • Strong team player and positive mind
  • Willing to travel as required


⛑Private health or dental insurance

💰Pension contribution

🌴25 days of holidays

👟Free pairs and product discount

📚 Learning and Development Plan

⏰ Hybrid working hours with a minimum of 2/3 days in our office in Hammersmith

☀️Summer Fridays (6 ½ days in July and August on Fridays

💆‍♀️Wellbeing programme – Sanctus coaching, Calm App and Retail Trust Access

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