Apparel Product Development Manager Job Description [Updated for 2024]

apparel product development manager job description

In the fast-paced world of fashion, the need for Apparel Product Development Managers is continually growing.

As fashion trends evolve, so does the demand for innovative minds who can conceptualize, create, and enhance our clothing collections.

But let’s dig deeper: What’s truly expected from an Apparel Product Development Manager?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the essence of this role,
  • A hiring manager creating the perfect candidate profile,
  • Or simply intrigued by the world of apparel product development,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we introduce a customizable Apparel Product Development Manager job description template, crafted for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Apparel Product Development Manager Duties and Responsibilities

Apparel Product Development Managers manage the entire process of apparel design and production, from the initial concept phase to the final product being delivered to retail stores.

They work closely with designers, manufacturers, and sales teams to ensure that products meet quality standards and are profitable.

Apparel Product Development Managers have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Analyze fashion trends and consumer needs to propose new product ideas
  • Collaborate with design teams to develop new styles and improve existing ones
  • Oversee the creation of technical specifications for products, including materials, dimensions, and production processes
  • Coordinate with manufacturers to ensure that products are produced accurately and on schedule
  • Conduct quality control checks to ensure that products meet brand and customer standards
  • Work with sales and marketing teams to price products and develop marketing strategies
  • Monitor the production process to ensure that products are delivered on time and within budget
  • Communicate with stakeholders about product development progress and challenges
  • Identify opportunities for process improvements and cost savings in the product development process


Apparel Product Development Manager Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking an experienced and creative Apparel Product Development Manager to oversee our product development process.

This role involves managing the lifecycle of our apparel products, from initial concept and design to production and distribution.

The ideal candidate will be responsible for researching fashion trends, creating design concepts, supervising production, and ensuring high-quality finishes.

They should have strong leadership abilities, excellent communication skills, and a keen eye for detail.



  • Manage the product development process from conceptualization to launch
  • Research and stay updated on latest fashion trends and consumer preferences
  • Collaborate with designers to develop design concepts and prototypes
  • Oversee production processes to ensure quality standards are met
  • Coordinate with marketing and sales teams to strategize product launches and promotions
  • Develop and maintain budgets and timelines for product development projects
  • Manage and train product development team members
  • Establish strong relationships with suppliers and manufacturers
  • Ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations



  • Proven experience in product development, preferably in the apparel industry
  • Strong understanding of fashion trends and the apparel market
  • Experience managing teams and projects
  • Knowledge of manufacturing processes and quality control
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills
  • Detail-oriented with strong organizational abilities
  • Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, Product Development, or a related field



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Apparel Product Development Manager
  • Work Environment: Office setting with options for remote work. Travel may be required for fashion shows, supplier visits, and industry conferences.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Director of Product Development.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $80,000 minimum to $120,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a portfolio showcasing your previous work to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Apparel Product Development Manager Do?

Apparel Product Development Managers typically work for fashion brands, retail companies, or manufacturers in the clothing industry.

They may also work as independent consultants, providing their services to various clients.

Their main responsibility is to oversee the entire process of clothing design and production, from the initial concept to the final product.

This includes identifying fashion trends, creating design concepts, selecting materials, and managing the manufacturing process.

They work closely with designers, pattern makers, and manufacturers to ensure that the end product meets the brand’s standards in terms of style, quality, and cost.

Apparel Product Development Managers also work with marketing and sales teams to develop pricing strategies and promotional plans for the new products.

They are often involved in the fitting and modification process, ensuring that the garments are comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

Furthermore, they are responsible for creating and managing product development timelines to ensure that new products are launched on schedule.

They may also be tasked with analyzing market trends and consumer feedback to identify potential improvements or new product opportunities.


Apparel Product Development Manager Qualifications and Skills

An Apparel Product Development Manager must possess a wide range of skills and qualifications that can be utilized to effectively manage the creation and development of new clothing products:

  • Fashion industry knowledge to understand current trends and customer demands, and to develop apparel products that meet or exceed these expectations.
  • Project management skills to oversee the entire process of product development, from the initial concept to the final product, ensuring that all steps are completed in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Technical skills including understanding of garment construction, fabric types, and production processes to effectively lead the product development team.
  • Strong communication skills to coordinate with various departments such as design, production, marketing, and sales, and to effectively communicate the vision and progress of the product development.
  • Strategic thinking and problem-solving skills to identify potential issues in the product development process and to implement effective solutions.
  • Understanding of budgeting and cost management to ensure the product development process stays within the allocated budget.
  • Good negotiation skills to work with suppliers and manufacturers, ensuring the best quality materials and production processes are utilized at the most cost-effective price.
  • Knowledge of software applications relevant to product development and design such as CAD or other fashion design software.


Apparel Product Development Manager Experience Requirements

Entry-level candidates for the role of an Apparel Product Development Manager usually possess a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, Textile Science, or a related field, with at least 2 to 3 years of experience in the fashion industry.

This experience is often gained through internships or entry-level roles in apparel design or product development departments.

Candidates with 5 to 7 years of experience typically have developed their skills in areas such as product planning, trend analysis, fabric sourcing, and cost negotiation.

They may have had roles in apparel design, fashion merchandising, or as an Assistant Product Development Manager.

Those with over 10 years of experience often have extensive knowledge of the apparel industry, including design, production, and merchandising.

In addition to their technical skills, these candidates typically have project management experience and have developed strong relationships with suppliers and manufacturers.

They may have held positions such as Senior Product Developer, Merchandise Manager, or even worked in fashion buying.

Those with this level of experience are likely ready for a managerial or leadership role in product development, as they have the necessary knowledge and skills to oversee the development of apparel from concept to final product.


Apparel Product Development Manager Education and Training Requirements

Apparel Product Development Managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, fashion merchandising, textile design, or a related field.

The curriculum for these degrees often includes topics such as textile science, color theory, fashion history, and computer-aided design (CAD).

Along with the degree, these professionals require a strong understanding of fashion trends, materials, and production processes.

Knowledge in marketing, retail buying, and product management is also beneficial as it helps in understanding market demands and competition.

For some positions, particularly those in larger organizations or for high-level roles, employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in fashion merchandising, business administration, or a related field.

Additional certifications from recognized fashion institutes or programs such as Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) can further strengthen the credentials of an Apparel Product Development Manager.

Relevant work experience, particularly in product development, design, or merchandising, is usually a key requirement.

Continuing education and staying updated with the latest fashion trends, technological advancements in production, and consumer behavior are also important for career advancement in this field.


Apparel Product Development Manager Salary Expectations

An Apparel Product Development Manager earns an average salary of $92,682 (USD) per year.

The actual income can differ based on factors such as industry experience, educational background, and the geographic location of the job.


Apparel Product Development Manager Job Description FAQs

What qualifications does an Apparel Product Development Manager need?

The Apparel Product Development Manager should ideally have a degree in fashion design or related field.

Knowledge of textiles, color theory, and design principles are essential.

They should also have several years of experience in the fashion industry, preferably in a management or supervisory role.


What are the daily duties of an Apparel Product Development Manager?

An Apparel Product Development Manager’s day involves overseeing the design and production process of new clothing articles.

They liaise between designers, production teams, and sales teams to ensure that products are designed, manufactured, and delivered as per market trends and customer expectations.

They also review prototypes, make design adjustments, manage budgets, and set timelines.


What qualities make a good Apparel Product Development Manager?

A good Apparel Product Development Manager has strong leadership and decision-making skills.

They are creative, with a keen eye for fashion trends and a deep understanding of the target audience.

They must also have excellent project management and communication skills to effectively coordinate between various departments and ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.


What should you look for in an Apparel Product Development Manager resume?

In a resume, look for a combination of education in fashion design or related field and experience in the fashion industry.

It’s beneficial if they have experience in supervising a design or production team.

Skills in project management, budgeting, and trend forecasting are also essential.

Familiarity with design software and production processes can be a plus.


Is it challenging to hire an Apparel Product Development Manager?

Yes, it can be challenging to hire an Apparel Product Development Manager.

The role requires a mix of fashion industry knowledge, managerial experience, and creativity.

It’s important to find a candidate who not only understands the design and production process but can also effectively manage a team and make strategic decisions.

Therefore, it’s crucial to have a thorough recruitment process to find the right fit for your company.



And there we have it.

Today, we’ve unveiled the real essence of being an Apparel Product Development Manager.

Guess what?

It’s not solely about designing clothes.

It’s about weaving the future of fashion, one thread at a time.

With our go-to Apparel Product Development Manager job description template and real-life examples, you’re fully equipped to make your move.

But why settle just there?

Delve deeper with our job description generator. It’s your next stride towards meticulously curated listings or refining your resume to perfection.


Every thread weaves into the larger fabric of the fashion industry.

Let’s tailor that future. Together.

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