Head Designer

We are looking for an experienced Head Designer to join us in our spacious and light studio in central Wellington.

You will have experience working as a senior level designer & work alongside our Creative Director and Senior Creative to develop brand direction & design all collections implementing our global high growth strategies. This key role requires extensive knowledge in all aspects of range building, garment design, construction and fabric development from concept sketch to final sales sample.

Your previous leadership roles will enable you to confidently direct, manage and support the design & technical teams through research, development and execution to meet multiple deadlines.

Kowtow is a global, sustainable and ethical clothing label. We present our collections each season in Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris, NY, Tokyo, Melbourne and Wellington. For more information please visit www.kowtowclothing.com

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Seasonal design direction.
  • Research and analyse market and sales trends.
  • Responsible for the creation of seasonal mood boards, designs, sketches, product prototypes and samples.
  • Research and develop fibres, fabrics, colours palettes, prints & trims in line with our ethical & sustainable credentials.
  • Provide leadership, direction and support across design department to ensure an efficient, motivated, productive and high-performing team.
  • Schedule and direct garment fittings and work closely with technical team to ensure consistent high quality in fit and construction of samples and production.
  • Ensure range development meets all deadlines.
  • Work collaboratively with Production, Sales and Marketing teams.
  • Assist Creative Director with promotions, shoot planning and look books.

Candidates will require:

  • Relevant tertiary qualification in fashion design and technology.
  • Minimum 5 years commercial design experience including concept and range building for northern & southern hemisphere.
  • International experience is a plus; focus on growing a brand into North America, Europe & Asia.
  • Demonstrate extensive experience and knowledge in womenswear design across woven & knit fabrics including denim & knitwear.
  • Proven skills in team leadership.
  • Exceptional communication skills.
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate the Kowtow aesthetic in designs.
  • Mac literate including Photoshop & Illustrator.
  • Must have initiative, can juggle multiple tasks to meet deadlines and will work calmly in a fast-paced, creatively driven team environment.

Ideally you also understand what sustainability means and live a conscious lifestyle.


Hours: 40 hrs per week Monday – Friday, 8am - 4:30pm


Applications closing date: 17th December 2017
Applicants for this position should have NZ residency or a valid NZ work visa.
Please email your cover letter, portfolio & CV with references to emma@kowtowclothing.com.