Profession footwear product development manager

Footwear product development managers coordinate the footwear design and the product and collection development process in order to comply with design specifications, deadlines, strategic requirements and policies of the company. They track style development and review design specification in order to meet the design vision, the manufacturing environment, and the company’s financial goals.

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Personality Type

  • Enterprising / Investigative
  • Investigative / Enterprising

Knowledge

  • Health and safety in the workplace

    The body of rules, procdeures and regulations related to safety, health and welfare of people in their workplace. 

  • Pattern grading

    Know about cutting patterns accurately and grading the patterns to obtain the size series in case of mass production. Know how to mark notches, holes, seam allowances, and other technical specifications. Make adjustments and obtain the final patterns for cutting in order to compensate any identified problems during sampling.

  • Footwear materials

    The characteristics, components, advantages and limitations of a wide range of materials used in footwear production: leather, leather substitutes (synthetics or artificial materials), textile, plastic, rubber etc. 

  • Footwear components

    Footwear components both for uppers (vamps, quarters, linings, stiffeners, toe puffs etc.) and bottoms (soles, heels, insoles etc.). Ecological concerns and the importance of recycling. Selection of suitable materials and components based on their influence on the footwear style and characteristics, properties and manufacturability. Procedures and methods in chemical and mechanical processing of leather and non-leather materials.

  • Footwear manufacturing technology

    Footwear processes technology and machinery involved. The footwear manufacturing starts in the cutting/clicking room , cutting the uppers and bottom components. The upper components are joined together in the closing room by following a precise order of specific operations: skiving, folding, sewing etc. The closed upper, the insole and other bottom components are brought together in the assembling room, where the main operations are lasting and soling. The process ends with finishing operations in the finishing and packing room.

  • Footwear and leather goods marketing planning

    The principles and methods used in creating a marketing plan and how a company can best position itself compared to its competitors, taking into account the specifities of the footwear and leather goods market. 

  • Footwear quality

    Quality specifications of materials, processes and final products, the most common defects in footwear, quick tests procedures, laboratory tests procedures and standards, adequate equipment for quality checks. Quality assurance of footwear production processes and fundamental concepts on quality including footwear quality framework and standards.

  • Footwear creation process

    Footwear creation projects starting from inspiration to technical design and manufacturing by following several stages. Latest trends in footwear materials, components, processes, and concepts.

Skills

  • Use IT tools

    Application of computers, computer networks and other information technologies and equipment to storing, retrieving, transmitting and manipulating data, in the context of a business or enterprise.

  • Make technical drawings of fashion pieces

    Make technical drawings of wearing apparel, leather goods and footwear including both technical and engineering drawings. Use them to communicate or to convey design ideas and manufacturing details to pattern makers, technologists, toolmakers, and equipment producers or to other machine operators for sampling and production.

  • Prepare footwear samples

    Create, test and verify prototypes or samples of footwear against a predefined set of criteria throughout all stages of the manufacturing process. Revise the initial design concepts and implement technical improvements.

  • Develop footwear collection

    Transform footwear design ideas and concepts into prototypes and, finally, a collection. Analyse and check the designs from various angles like functionality, aesthetics, comfort, performance and manufacturability. Manage the development process of all the footwear prototypes in order to meet the customer’s needs and to properly balance quality with production costs.

  • Use communication techniques

    Apply techniques of communication which allow interlocutors to better understand each other and communicate accurately in the transmission of messages.

  • Implement footwear marketing plan

    Implement marketing plans according to company specifications, complying with market demand.

  • Create solutions to problems

    Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.

  • Distinguish fabrics

    Distinguish fabrics in order to determine differences among them. Evaluate fabrics based on their characteristics and their application in wearing apparel manufacturing.

  • Communicate commercial and technical issues in foreign languages

    Speak one or more foreign languages in order to communicate commercial and technical issues with various suppliers and clients.

  • Perform market research in footwear

    Perform market research on the company’s customers, selecting and applying the right marketing strategies for footwear industry. Apply the mix of marketing (product, prices, promotion, and distribution) to contextual conditions of the company. Forecast how various factors as environment, technological innovation, buying behaviour etc. influence the marketing and merchandising of the footwear produced by the company.

  • Reduce environmental impact of footwear manufacturing

    Assess the environmental impact of footwear manufacture and minimise environmental risks. Reduce environmentally harmful work practices in different stages of the footwear manufacturing.

  • Exert a goal-oriented leadership role towards colleagues

    Embrace a leadership role in the organisation and with colleagues as to provide coaching and direction to subordinates aiming at the achievement of specific objectives.

  • Apply development process to footwear design

    Be able to understand the needs of the consumer and analyse the fashion trends. Be able to innovate and develop the footwear concepts from an aesthetic, functional and technological point of view by using a wide range of methods and techniques, selecting materials, components and suitable technologies, adapting new concepts to manufacturing requirements and transforming the new ideas into marketable and sustainable products for mass or customised production. Be able to visually communicate the new ideas and designs.

  • Develop footwear and leather goods marketing plans

    Be able to develop marketing plans and provide directions for marketing strategies of the company, as well as be able to identify potential markets and to perform marketing activities to promote the footwear products of the company.

  • Create patterns for footwear

    Produce the mean form or shell, a two-dimensional representation of the three-dimensional shape of the last. Create scaled patterns for uppers and bottom components by manual methods from the designs.

  • Plan supply chain logistics for footwear and leather goods

    Plan, organise and monitor logistics and supply chain activities based on the footwear or leather goods company's main objectives regarding quality, cost, delivery, and flexibility.

  • Apply fashion trends to footwear and leather goods

    Be able to stay up to date on the latest styles, attending fashion shows and review fashion/clothing magazines and manuals, analysing the past and present fashion trends in areas such as footwear, leather goods and clothing market. Use analytical thinking and creative models to apply and to interpret in a systematic way the upcoming trends in terms of fashion and life styles.

  • Distinguish accessories

    Distinguish accessories in order to determine differences among them. Evaluate accessories based on their characteristics and their application in wearing apparel manufacturing.

  • Practice innovative thinking in the footwear and leather goods industries

    Innovate and create in the footwear and leather goods sector. Evaluate new ideas and concepts to turn them into marketable products. Use entrepreneurial thinking in all stages of the product and process development to identify new business opportunities for the targeted markets.

  • Work in textile manufacturing teams

    Work harmoniously with colleagues in teams in the textile and clothing manufacturing industries.

Optional knowledge and skills

use cad for heels operate 2d cad for footwear pattern engineering create technical sketches for footwear use cad for soles use cad for lasts cad for footwear ergonomics in footwear and leather goods design create 3d cad footwear prototypes manage footwear quality systems