Push projects to completion by overseeing people, budgets, and schedules.
The fabric a company uses for its clothing can cause it either joy or heartbreak. For example, a company that used acid-washed denim in the 1980s was at the height of fashion. A firm that used that fabric now would be laughed at all the way to the poorhouse.
While Designers may develop and choose some materials, Fabric Managers have a role to play as well. A Fabric Manager helps seek out fabric companies that produce raw materials.
As a Fabric Manager, you spend much of your time traveling. Most cloth companies are located in countries like India and China, and you must go to them. Before you schedule your trip, you investigate firms online, looking for prospects that seem interesting, and scheduling meetings with Production Managers and Sales Managers.
When you arrive, you look at samples fresh off the loom. Searching for sturdiness, drape, colorfastness, and stretch is part of the process, as is haggling for price. The loveliest fabrics in the world mean nothing to you if you can’t get them at a price your company can afford.
Once you return home, you meet with your Designers, Fabric Buyers, and Production Managers to show off your finds. If everyone agrees that the fabrics are good for your company, your Fabric Buyers begin to make purchases. Sometimes, you’re so pleased with the company that you ask your President to lock in a production contract with it, so you’ll have exclusive rights to the fabric of your dreams.