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Location: ZurichApply for this role
The Head of Apparel Materials is the face and driver of material excellence of On Apparel’s prestigious and high performing product range. Achieving a leading market position requires innovative thinking and the ability to inspire all product creation shareholders, in our case through materiality. You will directly influence the premium product quality, know to read and translate the On design identity, implement an agile materials development calendar and drive ambitious innovative and sustainable solutions. You embrace challenges and take initiative to solve them by striving for even better. You will report into the Head of Apparel Creation and will collaborate closely with the Apparel Design/Development/PM leads.
Oversee, manage, and build Material development team and processes from initial brief through to handover to production (Wovens/Warp/Weft/Circular Knits/Seamless etc.) in both synthetic and natural fibres.
Direct and ensure heightened materiality per product need, enhancing the garment aesthetic, fit, elaborate trims and finishings in relation to design intent and material functionality. This may include washing, dyeing, bonding, printing, and other technical treatment of materials for advanced development purposes.
Oversee the full collection from initial design hand-over to sales team samples, by driving and improving our material calendar, spearheading material choices, and ensure detailed communication to suppliers, with the support of the Material Specialists.
Prepare and lead material presentations to Sales and Marketing to support internal cross functional teams (Global Sales Meeting, Seasonal Range Brief, Product launch, etc.)
Build and supervise the material testing processes, evaluate the feedback channels and coordinate improvements as our product categories expand.
Draft, verify, and control more agile Material development structures, to achieve streamlined processes whilst increasing product quality, innovation, and cost engineering of premium sportswear apparel.
Control price calculation and lead negotiation with suppliers.
Identify potential new material partners and build on the growing material sourcing strategy and diversifying T2 expertise, in collaboration with Head of Sourcing, Head of Apparel Creation, and Head of Design.
On board new suppliers and work with them to align with our processes, co-creation goals, and sustainability guidelines and targets.
Identify category growth opportunities and new market product potential, in relation to both technologies and new categories of business.
Build, lead and train a world class Materials, Trims, and Colour team, which features solid understanding of the company’s design identity and technical excellence.
Cultivate a proactive and entrepreneurial team culture alongside succession planning for further growth.
Initiate and foster strong relationships and collaboration with Apparel Design, Product Management, Product Development, collaborate with Testing, Sustainability, Supply Chain (weekly meetings, QA), and partner with Marketing and Sales.
Partner closely with Head of Apparel Creation, Head of Design (Creative Director), and Head of Product Management on future state and strategy of material development and proprietary innovation (on both a materials and technical branding level).
Partner closely with Head of (Material) Innovation and Head of Sustainability on building a framework for and executing on the company’s major ESG material goals.
Bachelor's Degree (minimum) in Fashion, Textile Engineering/Technology from a global leading university or related field.
15+ years of material developer experience, ideally within the Performance Sportswear industry.
10+ years of experience leading teams.
10+ years of experience in Product Development and Manufacturing – fabric sourcing, materials, product creation life cycle, costing, digital product creation and product review meetings.
Willingness to travel globally on a regular basis to our material suppliers/mills to create, develop, and source On materials, in line with our company strategy and vision.
Heightened experience in project management from creative direction through to bulk production with an expert knowledge of material cost engineering.
Affinity for outdoor sportswear apparel materials, design, and technology, with an eye for aesthetics and a key awareness of trends both within the industry and analogous industries.
Excellent understanding of the industry’s processes with ability to lead cross-functional projects toward a vision collaboratively.
Strong eye for product aesthetics and track record of performance material innovation and global sustainability initiatives with the ability to think, act, and execute strategically.
Collaborative spirit with diverse stakeholders as well as superior communication and presentation skills (verbal and written English).
Highly attentive to detail and has the ability to build, organise, and create effective presentations and strategy documents.
Able to balance creativity with organisation and discipline in a fast-paced environment.
Very strong interpersonal skills to maximise the productivity of the application team.
Talent to deal with change management and bring entrepreneurial spirit when facing unexpected challenges.
We’re responsible for creating innovative products for On. We have a vital responsibility to meet the needs and demands of our runners and new customers. So we research, design, develop and test lots of ideas scientifically and aesthetically. Only products that pass our rigorous testing standards ever go to market.
On is a place that is centered around growth and progress. We offer an environment designed to give people the tools to develop holistically – to stay active, to learn, explore and innovate. Our distinctive approach combines a supportive, team-oriented atmosphere, with access to personal self-care for both physical and mental well-being, so each person is led by purpose. On is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to creating a work environment that is fair and inclusive, where all decisions related to recruitment, advancement, and retention are free of discrimination.Build the better you
We want to set everyone up for success, so here’s the lowdown on how we hire. Our process is a two-way street – bringing you into our culture, while helping us learn how you think.
Our full process can last about eight weeks from application to offer, because we care about getting it right. These steps explain how we usually do things.
Before you get started, feel free to consider if you want to work with us. Strange question? Well, we give people a lot of space to navigate their day-to-day and that style isn't for everyone. We want you to be passionate about what you do and be sure this is the right fit. Because when skills and passion combine – it creates that 'Wow' moment.