Posted on: August 26, 2020 | Job#: 338144

Head of Materials R&D

Full-time | One Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA, US 94105

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About Athleta

For the past 22 years, we’ve committed ourselves and our brand to a single aim: to empower all women and girls. Inspiration. Collaboration. Connection. Inclusivity. It’s what we do best, and we’re on the hunt for people who share our passion for leading an active lifestyle, growing personally as well as professionally, and creating game-changing products and experiences. 

We use business as a force for good by putting people and the planet right up there with profit, which is why Athleta is a certified B Corp. Ready to make a move? Join us. Because we know that alone we’re strong, but together we’re unstoppable.

About the role

We are seeking an individual to lead the Athleta Materials R&D function driving a material development strategy that fulfills our customer promise of Technical, Beautiful, Sustainable product. You will report into the Product Development, Sourcing & Innovation lead and will interface with Design, Merchandising & Gap International Sourcing (GIS) communities as well as the external supplier community to drive innovative fabric development & responsive strategies that will drive the Athleta business.

The ideal candidate must possess strong strategic, technical and inspirational leadership qualities with a proven track record of driving material development strategies balancing aesthetic, quality, function, cost and responsive needs. This skill will be demonstrated by creating and delivering a fabric and trims value proposition and tiered pricing structure across our product offering. You will bring to life ideas from our cross-functional teams each season while also conducting season-less research to drive evolution of core fabrics while also identifying white space opportunities strategically.

What you'll do

  • Lead the Athleta Fabric & Trims R&D team translating our brand product strategy into clear, executable direction for GIS, vendors, suppliers and other outside research institutes

  • Create, engineer and source long-term design and technical requests with appropriate GIS partners, mills and other research institutes to offer creative solutions that meet the brand specific pricing architecture

  • Attend fabric shows as appropriate to gain perspective on new innovation and trends

  • Utilize technical expertise to realistically translate the design intent on fabric and yarn requests to meet raw material cost parameters and guidelines

  • Ensure that products meet our rigorous standards and outperform our customers’ expectations (may require developing new testing methodology where it doesn’t exist)

  • Create and maintain a fabric and trim resource library

  • Attract, develop and retain technical talent

  • Develop high performing individual contributors and leaders of others

Who you are

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience preferred

  • 15+ years in textile industry working with fabrics

  • 4+ years of management experience preferred

  • Excellent technical knowledge of yarn knits and performance fabrications

  • Strong analytical skills

  • Strong communication skills

  • Ability to negotiate and build consensus across multiple functions

  • Working knowledge and understanding of end to end manufacturing

  • Proven ability to work closely and partner effectively with Designers and Production partners

  • Proven strong management skills

  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to regularly interface with and influence senior management

  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Power Point and Excel preferred

  • Ability to travel throughout U.S. and internationally as needed

Benefits at Athleta

  • Merchandise discount for our brands: 50% off regular-priced merchandise at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta, and 30% off at Outlet.
  • One of the most competitive Paid Time Off plans in the industry.*
  • Employees can take up to five “on the clock” hours each month to volunteer at a charity of their choice.*
  • Extensive 401(k) plan with company matching for contributions up to four percent of an employee’s base pay.*
  • Employee stock purchase plan.*
  • Medical, dental, vision and life insurance.*
  • See more of the benefits we offer.

*For eligible employees

Gap Inc. is an equal-opportunity employer and is committed to providing a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. We are committed to recruiting, hiring, training and promoting qualified people of all backgrounds, and make all employment decisions without regard to any protected status. We have received numerous awards for our long-held commitment to equality and will continue to foster a diverse and inclusive environment of belonging. This year, we’ve been named as one of the Best Places to Work by the Humans Rights Campaign for the fourteenth consecutive year and have been included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second year in a row.

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