Posted on: August 17, 2022 | Job#: R51713

Athleta Director, Fabric 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

The Director, Fabric R&D will join Athleta’s Fabric R&D team, working closely with Merchandising, Design and Product Development. Reporting into the Senior Director Fabric R&D, s/he is responsible for helping to shape and drive our brand raw material procurement strategy across performance knits, to deliver innovation, performance, quality, and customer satisfaction.

What You'll Do

  • 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 
  • Collaborate with Design to source seasonal fabric requests with strategic mills within specified timelines 
  • Provide expertise to design, product development, and production teams on knit 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 knit 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 (thermal regulation, 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 knit 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 multitask 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.

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.

US Candidates – Non NYC
Please note that effective, June 30, 2022, Gap Inc. will no longer require any of its employees to wear face masks or require proof of COVID vaccination, unless required by local or state/provincial mandates or as part of Gap Inc’s quarantine guidelines after being exposed to or testing positive for COVID. Therefore, please disregard any language in any job posting that refers to Gap Inc.’s face mask and proof of vaccination policy as said policy is no longer effective.

US Candidates – NYC
Beginning December 27, 2021 the City of New York requires all employees in the City who work on site to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless an exemption from the vaccine requirement is approved due to an accommodation for a disability, a sincerely held religious belief or other legally protected basis (including status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking or sex offenses).


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

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