A career in fashion product development requires you to come up with fashionable goods for manufacturers and retailers. It involves planning, developing and presenting fashion-focused products for a specific market. The connection between design and merchandising in the fashion industry is strong, and a job in fashion product development reflects that.
Duties in fashion product development require close attention to styling, assortment, timing and pricing, according to the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Someone in this line of work needs a good understanding of the design process, apparel and image aesthetics, consumer spending, target markets, and the role of textiles and clothing within the global economy.
Those who work in fashion product development must research consumer behaviour, understand the concept and use of merchandising, and be able to merchandise product to satisfy manufacturers, designers, and their retailers. Fashion product developers must know material specifications and analyse cost. The job entails manufacturing a product at a quality and level that pleases both producer and consumer, according to the North Carolina State University Department of Textile and Apparel Technology. The job duties in fashion product development take place in the lab, studio and showroom. Lab work involves the application of research, writing, presentation and computer skills.
In product development, the fashion product developer must communicate the status of preproduction and in-line production to vendors. Pre-production involves preparing packages for the production process, and getting them to production staff. The timing and execution of the development process requires working jointly with design and technical teams. In addition to the creation of product, the job may also require the upkeep of new and existing goods.
The job also requires some administrative work, including scheduling production, handling material specification sheets, tracking production, data entry, follow-up, corresponding with vendors and manufacturers on production orders, and handling e-mail communications with factories, according to Career Builder.
The fashion product development employee oversees the product or product line's goods from conceptualisation to design and construction, then distribution. Within the process, the fashion product developer must ensure the set-up and implementation of quality control standards.