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Sitting with the Design and Production departments of a fashion/retail company, a Product Developer will usually report into the Product Development Manager. A design background, preferably within a fashion and retail environment is required for the job of Product Developer.
A career in product development within the fashion industry requires you to become involved with developing fashionable goods for manufacturers and retailers. It involves planning, developing and presenting fashion-focused products for a specific market of the fashion or retail company you are working for. Working closely with the design and technical team, the Product Developer is involved in developing seasonal collections from design concept through to prototypes. Often this will involve trips overseas to source new fashion trends, ideas and concepts whether it is for womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, fashion accessories, footwear, or lingerie.
The job role of the Product Developer within a fashion and retail environment includes producing detailed tech packs and following complete development of product from initial drawings to final sample, liaising with factories and also travel to offshore factories to follow progress and check production, sourcing trims and fabrics, ordering raw materials and communicating with vendors.
To become a Product Developer, you will need a good understanding of the design process involved within the fashion environment, understand apparel and image aesthetics, fashion consumer spending, target markets, and the role of textiles and clothing within the global economy. Product Developers for the fashion industry must know material specifications and analyse cost. The job of a Product Developer entails developing the product at a quality, and level, which pleases both producer and consumer of the fashion/retail company you are working for.
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