Australian Fashion Labels – the Adelaide-based company whose labels now have over 3,000 stockists worldwide and satellite offices in Melbourne, Los Angeles and Shanghai – have enjoyed exponential growth since its inception in 2007. Each of the company’s labels – C/MEO COLLECTIVE, Finders Keepers, Keepsake, The Fifth Label, and Jaggar represent a distinct aesthetic within the contemporary womenswear market, through their focus on on-trend shapes, exclusive prints and quality fabrications. With an online and bricks-and-mortar presence in retailer BNKR, Australian Fashion Labels continues to be one of the most exciting fashion houses in Australia.
We are seeking a talented and driven Head Designer / Brand Manager to lead our internationally established label, The Fifth. Well positioned for growth, we are seeking an experienced Head Designer to infuse style and trend into the label’s current offering of wardrobe staples, and develop it’s prominence in the global market. The label exudes urban street style, and each range provides key silhouettes that can be parred back and easily mixed and matched.
Based in our Adelaide Head Office, our Head Designer translates the vision and aesthetic of the label into aspirational yet commercial product that resonates with our wholesale and retail customers. You are responsible for managing the overall operations of the brand and the team. From design to strategy and sales, you will work closely with other departments to optimize the overall performance of the brand and its presence in the global market. Working closely with our Creative Director and Design Support Team, you will strive to meet the production timeline and manage the workflow of your design team accordingly.
You will actively contribute to, review and report on your brand’s KPI targets and goals to ensure its overall success. As a member of our Management Team, you will lead your Design Team in alignment with our wider company culture, providing mentorship and promoting an engaging team environment.
The main responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Working closely with your Design Team to facilitate the development process across seasonally planned global collections, with the support of our Design Support Team and Creative Director;
Maintaining an overall comprehension of the Company’s design processes and managing your team’s workflow to best ensure adherence to the production timeline, milestones and stage gates;
Working collaboratively with other departments to maintain and promote your brand’s vision and voice – communicating this through marketing and PR collateral, placements, partnerships, events, sales tools and other brand targeted opportunities;
Working alongside our Creative Department to develop look books for each range from concepting, directing on set to finalizing order and signing off on associated sales tools;
Working with our Creative Director, Design Support, Sales Teams and BNKR Retails Teams to analyse and interpret feedback and sell through data from wholesale and retail customers, applying to ranges and adapting product and range size / offering accordingly;
Working with our Design Support and Sales Teams to understand seasonality and hemisphere specific requirements and trends, adapting collections appropriately;
Managing and adhering to budgets allocated for all aspects of development – SMS, fabric, product, creative production etc;
Setting target RRPs at initial design stage for Assistant Designer to work toward;
Supporting your Assistant Designer to achieve target margins through costing negotiations with suppliers;
Seeking out feedback and opportunities to improve skill sets, engaging with training provided by the company – as both a Manager and Designer;
Fashion Design & Development
Researching, trend forecasting and mood board creation – including regular travel;
Concepting each range in line with brand’s voice and cohesive to prior / future collections;
Developing colour palettes, prints and embroidery, working closely with Design Support and in line with the overall seasonal trend strategy;
Liaising with Sales Teams on inspiration to obtain market specific feedback and adapt collections accordingly;
Creating and producing designs by hand or using CAD and handing over to your team to update throughout the development process;
Supporting your team to formulate technical packs with detailed sketches, construction and fit notes, fabrications etc;
Working with your Senior Garment Technician to fit each range, making changes to ensure intended design and functionality, with consideration for cost;
Assisting with fabric development, confirmation of bulk fabrics, and assessing fabric performance;
Other ad hoc tasks related the design, development and production for your brand;
Ability to work well under pressure and in a collaborative team environment.
Ability to interpret feedback and apply effectively to optimize performance and results.
Affinity with fashion, an instinct for style and an eye for aesthetics.
Strong attention to detail.
Energetic, enthusiastic and passionate.
Highly organised with the ability to prioritise tasks and work to a timeline.
Ability to apply technical / functional expertise to support with creating innovative products.
Excellent communication skills and a natural ability to build relationships with a network of suppliers.
Alignment with AFL culture, policies and personnel procedures.
To be successful in this role you will have:
Relevant tertiary qualification in Fashion or Textile Design.
Minimum of 5 years industry experience in Fashion Design, ideally at Head Designer level.
Experience using design programs such as CAD, Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.