If you are a designer thinking about launching a new collection, from the idea to the production stage, there are various professionals you will meet along the way. So it’s a good idea to know the duties of these people you will be working with and entrusting your collection to. Let’s see who these people are and what they do when you decide to work with them for your clothing line.
Modelist: Usually works with the designer and sampler and makes the product three-dimensional by draping or molding from drawings in the designer’s collection, an idea or a vision.
The skill of the modeler is to work on the silhouette drawn by the designer and interpret the shape and proportion for the new collection. Modelists may also be tasked with less creative tasks such as adapting previous patterns and correcting samples. In some companies, interpreting and draping the model may be the task of the designer.
Sample Machinist: Has the ability to adapt new designs. They work closely with the stylists to prepare the first pattern from the muslin and cut the first samples into fabric. It is different from a machinist working in the production section of a factory.
Sample Cutting Person: Some manufacturers hire cutting staff, who work with great speed and accuracy, to cut the first patterns from the actual fabric to give to the sample maker. In small companies, this job is done by modelists. The cutting staff is also responsible for cutting the layers of fabric on which the patterns are spread, with a band knife or a rotating fabric knife, in order to make more than one pattern. This type of work is usually done on the computer in large companies.
Workshop Chief: Coordinates all activities between sample and production in a company with a team of designers and modelists. This is an even more important position if a company carries out its operations in different locations.
Cost Specialist: The costs of all items produced to be sold in a collection. This is the responsibility of the designer or, in large firms, the cost manager.
Costing is based on two key components; materials and labor. The costing process is linked to sampling and production, if it turns out too high after adding margins (some stores can go up to 250 to cover their costs), samples will be reworked and sometimes fabrics changed.
Purchasing officers and product managers: Purchasing managers are evaluated by sales and partial profitability. One of his tasks is to find new collections of designers that can profit the retailing accordingly, and his relationship with the designers is important.
The role of the product manager is equivalent to that of the designer in large, multi-firm firms. They often work together to create and organize a collection at a certain price. They are responsible for each piece of the collection in the store. The product manager in the US is the other half of the designer. Budget-bound designer, product manager and purchasing officer are responsible for the success of a firm.