Posted on: June 24, 2021 | Job#: 366320

Director, Fabric R&D

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


We’ll send you to our application portal to get started.

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

The Director, Fabric R&D will join Athleta’s Product Operations team, working closely with Merchandising, Design and Product Development. Reporting into the SVP, Product Operations, s/he is responsible for helping to shape and drive our brand raw material procurement strategy across knits, woven’s and trim to deliver innovation, performance, quality, and customer satisfaction.
Drive product innovation by working with designers, mills, attending trade shows and staying connected with industry trends Support key product initiatives through fabric research with strategic mill partners

What you'll do

  • Collaborate with Design to source seasonal fabric requests with strategic mills within specified timelines
  • Provide expertise to design, product development, and production teams on fabric construction & content, fabric finishing technical capabilities to deliver raw material innovation
  • Translate Brand aesthetic into clear, executable direction for mill partners
  • Schedule seasonal appointments with strategic mills prior to development each season
  • Develop fabrics according to our Brand performance and quality standards
  • Comprehend results of lab tests and their impact on quality, performance, and price
  • Ensure all adopted fabrications meet Athleta’s performance goals and testing requirements, and identify key performance characteristics to support marketing claims (wicking, odor management, UPF, etc)
  • Maintain a fabric resource library to include core fabrics, and adopted seasonal fabrics
  • Manage direction of Fabric R&D staff through effective strategies and leadership
  • Ability to communicate clearly and professionally on a technical level with staff and all business partners
  • Mentor direct reports and cross functional team members with technical expertise
  • Ability to represent and /or lead assigned departmental projects
  • Ability to identify and proactively engage business partners when issues arise with recommendations for viable options/solutions
  • Fosters open communication and team environment with all business partners

Who you are

  • Technical knowledge of fibers & filaments, fabric & yarn construction, and fabric finishing
  • Knowledge of industry standard testing protocols
  • Agile and Flexible - our pace and process is fast and ever-changing
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Organizational skills and ability to multi task Ability to proactively trouble shoot and problem solve
  • Ability to create and carry out development action plans at all levels for both growth/development as well as address performance concerns
  • Strong computer skills
  • Ability to think “outside the box”
  • 10 + years of industry experience with an active/performance brand
  • Degree in Textile Design, or Textile Science Experience managing others
  • Travel domestically and internationally to develop fabrics with key mills, and attend industry trade shows.

Notice to applicants in San Francisco: Gap Inc. and its related brands will consider for employment, qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance. The Fair Chance Ordinance is provided here: English Spanish Chinese Tagalog

Benefits at Athleta

  • Merchandise discount for our brands: 50% off regular-priced merchandise at Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta, and 30% off at Outlet for all employees.
  • 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.


We’ll send you to our application portal to get started.

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