Manager, Footwear Material Development
The FILA brand was founded in 1911 in Italy with a bold vision and strong point of view inspired by its surroundings. The vision was to create clothing that felt as natural to the wearer as their own skin. The FILA brothers drew their inspiration from art and fabrics and combined them in such a way that effused grace and vigor. That vision can still be felt today: FILA seeks out athletes and figures who represent grace, individuality, and a disruption to the status quo. Transcending race, gender, and class, the brand makes its mark wherever performance-minded individuals can be found. FILA has collaborated with sports figures such as Grant Hill, one of basketball’s most iconic players, to both design a collection of footwear that serves the modern athlete and to build communities. FILA and Hill partnered to revitalize a set of basketball courts in Durham, N.C. to provide a safe space for local youth to play and grow, with more plans to expand the program to other cities. FILA’s designers are committed to the founders’ vision and are constantly trying to move the needle in the world of athletic fashion by absorbing art and culture as it happens around them. The brand strives to be intentional in everything it does, and to do so with integrity.
As the FILA Footwear Material Development Manager, you will assist in the creation of materials across all the footwear categories that are appropriate for price, use, physical properties, source and aesthetic. Special focus on compounds and polymers. You will assist the team in all aspects of development, tracking and timely commercialization. This opportunity also involves utilizing textile, synthetics, leather product construction and process knowledge to anticipate potential problems, facilitate problem solving, manage project execution and meet deadlines. You will monitor and track material development projects to ensure commercialization within stated timelines. Create and use databases of library materials entering material specification in the Gerber system. Organize the physical library materials so they are easy to find. Physical and compliance testing. Ensure all materials are tested and meet physical, compliance and aesthetic standards.
- Create material specifications using direct input from the Product Creation teams.
- Submit material specifications to the Source Office material partners for sampling.
- Cooperate with a cross-functional team to create the physical material library.
- Ensure the maintenance of relevant material information in the GERBER system.
- Focus on traceability and sustainability.
- Create working tools for cross-functional teams (boards, display areas, material rings etc.).
- Train and support cross-functional teams in using the materials library.
- Bachelor degree in Footwear Materials, Textiles or a related field.
- Strong understanding of textile formation, yarn, fiber, dying, printing and finishing.
- Knowledge of material types knits, wovens; non-wovens, leather and synthetics.
- Attention to detail and the ability to handle multiple priorities.
- Able to negotiate and influence with sensitivity for the creative process.
- Understanding of the product creation process.
- Experience with vendor negotiation, materials or related development projects is preferred.
- Ability to travel.
- 5+ years of experience