• Product Development Manager

    Job Locations US-MA-Waltham
    Job Function
    Product - Brand
    Min. Exp.(Yrs)
    Full Time
  • General Function


    Founded in 1916, Keds® redefined footwear with the introduction of the Champion sneaker. The iconic design was one of the first options to provide women with accessible, fashionable footwear and ignited a style revolution. Over the past 100 years, Keds® have been worn by iconic women such as Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O and Yoko Ono. In 2015, Keds® introduced the Ladies First Since 1916 platform in over 80 global markets and launched a powerful new era in its history. 2016 marks the brand’s centennial year, celebrating 100 years of fashionable footwear and a passion for female empowerment. At Keds, we’re dedicated to our consumers and proud of our heritage. We are focused on pushing the brand forward in innovative and unexpected ways. We are seeking passionate people to join our collaborative team during a truly momentous year for the brand.


    Experienced Product Developer with strong shoemaking skills and experience in a variety of footwear constructions and shoe types. Relevant background includes both academic and hands-on experience in engineering, manufacturing, mold development and materials. In addition, preferred footwear-specific skills include: technical & blueprint review/communication, innovative shoemaking techniques, last development, pattern engineering and Asian-based factory experience.


    This position will work closely with Asia product development, factory partners, product integrity, sourcing, product design and product management to create all new products for each season.

    Primary Duties

    • Support and assist the product creation process by being the technical bridge between 2D design and the 3D prototype.
    • Follow product brief and successfully manage workload and communication to deliver on all relevant development goals.
    • Manage the prototype development process with Asian-based development teams and sourcing counterparts to meet all timeline, process, and communication requirements.
    • Lead and manage a robust review process of each prototype against the brief (cost, fit, timing, etc.) and effectively communicate results to help inform the product creation process.
    • Deliver assigned projects on-time.
    • Assist Development Director in overseeing team of product developers.
    • Partner with Design and Product Management to ensure projects are meeting the vision of the brand and all brief goals.
    • Responsible for providing technical and engineering direction for designated development projects/prototypes from initial concept to final confirmation, inclusive of: lasts, patterns, molds and materials.
    • Collaborate with Sourcing/GOG group to ensure projects are produced according to specifications, cost, quality and timelines.
    • Liaise with merchandising and finance to ensure production dates and acceptable margins are tracking for success. Serve as a key stakeholder in the weekly commercialization meetings to communicate any risks and inform the team of project status.
    • Travel to factories to ensure quality and production standards are met, as well as overseeing the development of assigned projects.
    • Perform duties consistent with the Company’s AAP/EEO goals and policies.
    • Perform other duties as required/assigned by manager.

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

    • Bachelor’s Degree required
    • 8+ years’ development experience in footwear; vulcanized experience is preferred.
    • Last development experience.
    • Advanced knowledge of fit/construction and costing.
    • Strong computer skills. Microsoft Office and PLM systems experience required.
    • Strong ability to adhere to deadlines and deliver accurate data on time.
    • Excellent written, visual and oral communication skills. Strong organizational skills.
    • Results-driven track record and team player.


    Normal office environment.
    Travel to Asia required.

    The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills which may be required.

    Committed to a diverse workforce, we are an Equal Opportunity Employer (Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled).


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