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Director, Raw Materials - Footwear and Handbags

DATE:  Jul 28, 2022
CITY:  New York
BRAND:  Camuto Group
REQ #:  135290
LOCATION NAME:  Camuto Design Studio
DEPARTMENT:  Production

General Summary:
Our business offers customers outstanding quality at great prices, and we are looking for a Director, Raw 
Materials to manage worldwide leather and materials development that translates our brand design 
philosophies into clear, executable, direction for vendors, suppliers, and other outside research 
institutes. This role will lead and evolve the leather and materials research and development initiative in 
partnership with regional sourcing teams. The role will have a high degree of partnership with the design 
teams supporting our Camuto produced goods. The ideal candidate will have strong understanding an 
current and upcoming material trends and will build strong relationships with material vendors to give us 
access to buy the most desired materials and trends. 


Reports to: VP, Sourcing Business Development


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Partner with the design team to, brings latest ideas and innovation each season while also conducting 
season-less, continual research and development.
• Lead the leather and materials R&D process to translate the brand aesthetic into clear, executable 
direction for sourcing teams that manage vendors/suppliers.
• Drive innovation, research, and development menus on sustainable raw materials together with 
design and sales in keeping with the brand aesthetic.
• Develop a materials development and research strategy that supports the business objectives for the 
assigned area of responsibility.
• Work together with design and sourcing teams on development and allocation strategies.
• Alignment with regional sourcing strategies and ensure product and material expertise and 
capabilities displayed are in alignment
• Participate as key stakeholder in achieving company’s sustainability goals, by developing sustainable 
Leather/materials and sources.
• Lead with Digital: in partnership with the sourcing team, contentiously drive material and trims 
digitalization throughout the vendor base.
• Maintain consistent alignment between design and sourcing on overall concepts as it ties to the brand 
& seasonal strategies.
• Source seasonal design requests with appropriate vendors to offer creative solutions if the request is 
outside the brand’s sourcing and pricing strategy.
• Attend leather and materials shows as appropriate to gain perspective on newness, innovation, 
sustainability, and trend as it applies to the brand
• Utilize technical expertise to realistically translate the design intent on leather and materials requests 
to meet raw material cost parameters and guidelines.
• Analyze leather and materials needs across the brand and make recommendations to sourcing & 
production and design for leveraging qualities across divisions.
• Support sourcing to develop & maintain a portfolio for regional vendors with curated vendor/market 
strength, capabilities, and opportunities
• Maintain a leather and materials resource library to support seasonal inspirations as well as archive 
historical and fundamental Leather/materials.
• Ensure product P2M milestones and calendar dates are met.
• Build and clearly articulate & present seasonal boards and trends that represent overall brand 
strategy, design vision, and textile industry innovations and trends.
• Oversee sample leather and materials development with sourcing determining proper hand feel, 
finishing and construction.


Required Skills and Competencies:
• Excellent technical knowledge of all leather and materials, constructions, and finishing
• Working knowledge and understanding of production
• Attention to details, initiative, organization and strong verbal and written communication skills
• Strong organizational skills and ability to maintain data integrity
• Strong analytical and management skills
• Ability to negotiate and build consensus across multiple functions
• Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to regularly interface with senior management, work 
effectively with Designers and Production partners
• Fluency in both written and spoken English. Mandarin is a plus.
• Position location: Candidate will be required to regularly office/meet from our NY design office


You must apply through our internal portal: 
click here

Why Choose A Career with Designer Brands?

Empowering associates and building strong teams poised to disrupt the retail and footwear landscape through positive change is at the core of who we are at Designer Brands.

  • Invested in helping our associates learn, develop, achieve and grow into strong leaders
  • Shared commitment to creating a culture fueled by engagement, excitement, optimism and fun
  • Dedicated to giving back and community involvement 

About Designer Brands:

Designer Brands Inc. is one of North America’s largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories. 

  • Designer Brands Inc. operates a portfolio of retail concepts in nearly 1,000 locations under the DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, The Shoe Company, and Shoe Warehouse brands and operates leased locations in the U.S through its Affiliated Business Group. 
  • Designer Brands designs and produces footwear and accessories through Camuto Group, a leading manufacturer selling in more than 5,400 doors worldwide. 












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