Summary

  • Accomplished fashion design professional with brick  and mortar, specialty store and e-commerce experience.

  • Unique mix of design and product development sensibilities and skills.  Extensive experience in casual and active apparel, bags and accessories. 

  • Highly imaginative with strong hand drawing skills.  Balances creativity with organization and follow through.  

  • Ability to manage product, personnel and timelines while remaining flexible to change.

Professional Experience

WHOLESALE BOUTIQUE/VIV&LOU | Myrtle Beach, SC

Product Development Manager | Designer                                                                                                                                      2015 – Present

Branded and private label multi-million-dollar e-commerce retailer of fashion apparel, accessories, bags and home products with a Southern Preppy feel.  Lead and manage the creation of product and timelines.  Design, illustrate and spec all products.

  • Supervise and creatively contribute to the ideation, creation and development of multiple lines while identifying opportunities for new products and improvements that will create better sell-through.

  • Create and manage designs for proprietary items and prints;  spec and artwork preparation and send out.  Source new factories and materials.

  • Manage a creative team, providing direction and assigning projects most suited to each.

  • Set creative and product development calendar, initiate and drive development from conception to commercialization.

  • Manage sampling, supplier communication and approvals. Track timing, pricing, labels, tags and PO’s.

  • Implemented  the companies' first  product development processes and standards with clear  documented parameters.  This reduced development and production issues by roughly eighty percent.

 

AERO TECH DESIGNS | Pittsburgh, PA                                                                                                                    2012-2015

Apparel Director

Performance cycling, lifestyle and accessories e-commerce retailer.  Provided creative direction and team management for the development of branded and custom products.  Responsible for all areas of design and development up to production hand off. 

  • Provided creative direction and designs (men's, women's, kid's). Guided  the development team in product conception, prototyping, testing (raw materials and garment) and spec generation to style finalization. Managed the in house sample room/sample generation and fit process.  Documented and recorded approvals.

  • Managed a team of four in the areas of graphic design, technical design and patternmaking.

  • Launched the companies first branded accessories at 67 percent margin or greater.  Styles became continuous best sellers.

  • Standardized and documented the design and development process.  This significantly increased the number of styles adopted and decreased product development time, improving productivity.

 

Freelance Designer and Illustrator                                                                                                                        2008 – Present

J. PETERMAN | DICKS SPORTING GOODS | CHICO’S F.A.S. | AVENUE and others

Clients include; J. Peterman, Dicks Sporting Goods (Private Label-Reebok, Koppen, Field & Stream – outdoor/ active apparel), Avenue, Chico’s F.A.S. (Women’s Smart, Denim, Casual and Active lines); Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren (women's sportswear).

  • Researched and created corporate trend reports. Product design, illustration/ presentation boards and PLM implementation.

  • Created detailed fashion illustrations, designs, paintings and tech packs for internal corporate and external use in accordance to the client’s product outlines and deadlines.

 

 

AVENUE| Rochelle Park, NJ                                                                                                                                        2006 – 2008

Designer | Women’s | Denim | Activewear

Women’s specialty Plus Size retailer with approximately 500 retail stores.  Responsible for 90 million retail volume.

  • Set seasonal trend, color, fabric, styling, wash and trim direction for categories. Travel for R & D.  Presented trends and directional overview to VPs, Merchants, Planners and Product Development teammates. Strategized with merchant partners in planning line assortment and expectations.  Designs consistently in the top 10-20 of sales.

  • Created “Tracker” sheets consisting of product drawings and information such as assigned vendor, fabric, wash/color/trims, sampling status and sales samples ETD, centralizing all work in progress information and eliminating confusion.

 

LILLY PULITZER| King of Prussia, PA                                                                                                                      2002 – 2005

Senior Designer | Women’s | Casual Sportswear | Activewear

Oversaw the product, print pattern and spec development of Women’s active and casual sportswear, lounge, golf, tennis and swimwear for an iconic resort lifestyle brand. 

  • Led the sourcing of fabrics, trims, washes, techniques, surface and silhouette design appropriate to seasonal design concepts, end use and brand image.  Supervised approvals and garment fittings. Products often ranked in the top 10-20 in sales with a margin of approximately 67 percent.

  • Designs published in several publications (WWD, Golf for Women, Self) and featured in the Bryant Park 7th on 6th runway show.

 

SUNRISE BRANDS| Los Angeles, CA                                                                                                                        1999 – 2002

Senior Designer | Women’s | Private Label |Denim | Woven

Manufacturer of branded and private label apparel with a sales volume of approximately 87 million.  (Formerly Tarrant Apparel). 

  • Responsible for the creation and merchandising of six corporate and six customer specific apparel lines per year .  Customer base included Target, The Limited, and Walmart among others.

  • Directed the development of styles, fabrics, washes and trims; generated assortment plans for raw materials and merchandise in line with corporate goals.

  • Extensive travel for R&D, trend/fabric/trim/style inspiration, customer presentations and collaboration.

 

WEEKEND EXERCISE COMPANY (MARIKA) |San Diego, CA                                                                      1997 – 1999

VP of Design

Multimillion-dollar activewear manufacturer, now the Marika Group.

Supervised a team of six.  Directed fabric, color and styling process from concept to sign off.  

  • Developed assortment plans in line with dollar and unit goals. Managed costs, implemented and maintained budgets and calendars.

  • Partnered with department heads and team members on catalog layouts, photo-shoots, sales meetings, line presentations production planning and quality control.

 

THE LIMITED| Columbus, OH                                                                                                                                     1995 – 1997

Senior Designer-Women’s Knit and Woven Casual Sportswear and Activewear

Women’s clothing retailer.

Led the in-house design team with a focus on  casual and activewear.  Responsible for the seasonal direction, design and evolution of product from initial concept to final style adoption.

  • Developed fabrics, washes and finishes.  Oversaw all approvals (style, fit, wash, fabric, trim, art).

 

RALPH LAUREN| New York, NY                                                                                                                                  1992 – 1994

Conceptual Artist/Assistant Design Director, Polo Sport-Women’s Activewear

Iconic American retailer.

  • Initiated and drove all aspects of concept, research, design and development for ten lines per season.  Prepared and presented extensive conceptual presentations, mood/fashion illustrations, flats and technical detail sketches by concept/category.

 

Education

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Fashion; PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN| New York, NY – May 1989

 

Computer skills include: Adobe Ai, Photoshop, InDesign; MS Office; Outlook. NED Graphics. Web PDM/PLM.

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© 2014 by Naomi Sasaki-Whalen.