Fashion Production Manager
What is Fitted?
Fitted is a fast-growing fashion brand that produces custom clothing. We exist to transform the fashion model in high-growth markets where custom wear is common-place and custom-tailoring is a part of the culture for its nationals. Our current market for production is Sub-Saharan Africa, and our primary customers are Africans (local and in the US / European diaspora). In many frontier economies, customers’ need for reliable, traditional apparel isn’t met sufficiently because of production issues (individual tailor capacity and ready to wear facilities can’t produce these styles in bulk). People living abroad still want those clothes though! So Fitted is set up to bridge that gap and improve lives. By powering production on a platform built of vetted tailors and fabric sellers, we are able to help small hold workers earn up to3xtheir regular earnings with us. All while giving any African / diaspora interested person absolutely stunning, hand-crafted outfits.
What we want
Well-spoken, tech-savvy, articulate young fashion production or equivalent graduate with 4-6 years’ experience managing custom clothing production by tailors and fashion personnel across the tailoring value-chain (pattern-cutting, sewing, designing, delivery).
Ideal candidates will have exceptional project management skills and will be excellent at ensuring standardized documentation and protocols are followed for key processes across order delivery, tailor testing and outfit production. They will have flair for design and visual communication, excel at relationship management, and exhibit versatility to liaise with stakeholders from tailors to investors. The candidate will be datacentric – preferring to use metrics and numbers to inform process improvement recommendations and ways of improving service delivery. They would be familiar with creating and presenting reports showcasing performance of metrics against targets. An eye for design is essential to success in this role, and strong proficiency for planning and executing events will be a significant added bonus.
Important tasks to engage in for this role would be:
- Contribute to the design & implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures (“SOP”) for production stakeholders on the Fitted®network (tailors, fabric suppliers, embroiderers)
- Pull swatches and prep for shrinkage tests, lab dips, and wash processes
- Maintain production calendar and WIP reports
- Take detailed notes/photos in all fittings and send a recap to the patternmaker/sample maker
- Contribute to the design & implementation of Standard Operating Guidelines (“SOG”) that govern quality delivery on every order. Checks and balances for every phase of order will be expected.
- Communicate and manage all staff working on orders to comply with the SOPs and SOGs of the Company
- Work with the technology and Management team to help in scoping out proprietary software needs for optimal performance of the business and maximum compliance to our SLAs on every order
- Organise the Fitting QVE (“Quality Vetting Exam”) where tailors are appraised for their skill in sewing outfits. This will include venue selection, vendor coordination (photographers etc.), and efficient on-boarding for tailors post-exam, including background checks/verification.
- Devise low-cost, sustainable recruitment strategy for sourcing tailoring talent as well as 3rd party vendors who contribute to producing clothes (fabric suppliers, etc.)
- Develop strategic fabric procurement partnerships with reliable fabric suppliers for the fabric requirements of the business. This requires constant evaluation of multiple prospective suppliers and negotiating favourable terms (like deferred payment) while getting competitive pricing per yard
- Monitor the production process and ensure delivery of a First-Time-Fit-Rate of over 90% for clothes produced by Fitted (i.e. 90% of outfits made fit perfectly the first time)
- Oversee the entire experience of tailors on platform, coordinating their welfare, managing dispute resolution, communication of terms & conditions, etc.
Your opening tasks will be to complete the detailed research into processes, techniques, and procedures best suited for production of outfits by Fitted vetted tailors, making recommendations on internalization / outsourcing of critical things like pattern cutting and embroidery. Our budget for this dept will be progressive, for some required equipment to ensure output at the highest standards. We expect to open a physical office in a market in Lagos in Q1-2021 with your assistance.
Requirements & Skills
Strong Technical & Production Management skills: Excellent knowledge of machinery and techniques for fashion production. Ability to manage custom tailoring production across multiple tailors. Candidates must be able to appraise the Fitted business model for production and recommend avenues for optimisation of production of outfits. For us, current production management involves managing the central functions Fitted offers to vetted tailors (order management system, measurement taking, payment, logistics, fabric procurement)
Leadership skills:Ability to manage fashion workers (embroiderers, tailors) and interface with customers. Candidates who can speak multiple local languages will have a strong advantage in this area
Fabric knowledge: Knowledge of and insight into a wide range of fabrics (in Nigeria and abroad) is a necessary skill. Candidates must serve as and create processes for quality assurance in fabric procurement for production (in bulk or piecemeal). At this current stage of the Company, the Operations Manager serves as fabric procurement manager.
- Outstanding design skills: Strong fashion design skills are a must. Candidates should be able to create styles which effortlessly blend multiple thematic constructs and geographic influences. Top candidates will be able to oversee/manage production of samples of their designs via our tailor network. Candidates should be comfortable sewing together sections of material to form mockups or samples of garments or articles.
- Market Research skills: Strong pulse on trends in global and African fashion.Proximity to trends and developments in the local and international custom clothing industry
Pattern drafting: A very good understanding of how patterns work with the human body. We want someone who’s adept at measuring, cutting and grading patterns in the required materials - and competent enough at this to centralize pattern cutting within Fitted in due course. Excellent candidates will foster improved fit rates by ensuring our tailors are optimizing pattern creation processes (whether they cut patterns themselves or sew pre-cut patterns).
- Personality:Can-do attitude, meticulous, disciplined, organized, dependable, self-motivated person with innate curiosity about the fashion, business, and media world. This opportunity is well suited to ambitious candidates who can operate in a high-pressure but immensely rewarding environment with deadlines.
Terms & Preferences
Salary range: Competitive remuneration (in Naira)
Sales commission up to $50k per annum (in forex) subject to SLAs
Experience:4 - 6 years professional experience as a fashion production manager in a custom clothing business (for traditional African apparel) for men and women's clothing.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in pattern drafting / fashion design preferred with additional certification in fashion production welcome