Technical Sportswear Designer

Santa Ana California
Required Experience: 0 year(s)
Employment Type: Full-Time
Salary Range: Not available
Posted yesterday


AFTCO is a growing apparel company in the fishing & outdoor space with a legacy of USA-made hardgoods. We are not a fashion company. From the freezing temperatures in Michigan’s upper peninsula, to the blazing humidity of summer in Costa Rica - our products are built to handle the extreme.

The fishing industry’s biggest trade show is ICAST. Among hundreds of other product applicants from brands such as Under Armor, Columbia, Simms, Huk, Pelagic and countless others, AFTCO has won 4 out of the 5 awards in the apparel categories of the New Product Showcase, solidifying our place as the leader in technical innovation. As the first company to ever produce and sell a pair of fishing shorts, stretching current product boundaries is the key to our success. We are not only a design-first company; we are a customer-first company. That means listening to the customer and conducting rigorous ambassador field testing to manifest and authenticate the optimal design. It also means delivering a price value relationship our customer is excited about.

We believe in producing products that are built to last, balanced against the preferences of a primarily Southeast & Midwest customer. The ideal candidate stresses fabric selection for optimal performance, lasting construction, and subtle design cues over fashion preferences.

Finally, we are a 61-year-old, 3rd generation, family-owned & operated business that believes deeply in the long-term. We do not focus on big box retail, but instead on organic long-lasting growth through key independent retailers and our direct-to-consumer efforts. In a world where private equity gobbles up brands in order to mass produce cheaply built goods – we are becoming an exception to the rule. We are looking for an individual who shares our long-term thought process.

The Sportswear Designer is at the heart of our design philosophy. With their passion and experience, the person in this role operates with creativity, collaboration and innovation. They envision the entire life-cycle of the product from concept to full functionality in extreme outdoor environments.


⏵ Design/sketch all new styles.

⏵ Develop trims/art/detail on all styles.

⏵ Oversee tech pack development, including building tech packs in some cases and turning over design to sourcing and development team for their tech pack development in most cases.

⏵ Set color stories for each season.

⏵ Handle all color updates to preexisting styles.

⏵ Finalize all hang tags, labels, embroideries, screens and art for each new season.

⏵ Work with freelancers when needed on a category basis.


⏵ Work hand in hand with Sourcing & Development managers on design execution.

⏵ Offer a key perspective on all product and fit review meetings to ensure design execution and product fit.

⏵ Work closely with Junior Developer and Sportswear Production.

⏵ Work closely with all in-house teams to ensure design is followed through.

⏵ Receive and act on feedback from customers and ambassadors on product improvement.

⏵ Oversee product testing program, including relationship development with individual ambassadors, time spent with them and otherwise.


⏵ Ensure all calendar dates are met. Work with Sourcing & Development and Merchandise team to set key design dates.

⏵ Competition research and review.

⏵ Travel to sales territory 2-4 times a year for product research, pre-lining and account feedback.

⏵ Understand current wholesale and retail results.

⏵ Communicate with sales and management regarding their merchandise comments.

⏵ Sales meeting line presentations.

⏵ Work hand in hand with in-house marketing team.

⏵ Senior level garment construction knowledge and the ability to provide technical design sketches.

⏵ Experience with Adobe Creative Suite (especially Illustrator) and Microsoft Office.

⏵ Knowledge of development processes, manufacturing methods, product specifications, and merchandising.

⏵ Understanding of apparel trends and how to apply them.

⏵ Inspiration shopping per season is required to handover reference samples to sourcing department.

⏵ Ability to assist in multiple projects throughout different departments.

⏵ Strong communication, organization, problem solving skills and detail oriented.

⏵ Self-starter, strong follow up skills, and sense of urgency.
Profit Sharing Program, Health Insurance, 100% Company-Covered Life Insurance, Paid Vacation, sick time & holidays, Casual Dress year-round, Discount on Products, Holiday Gift Giveaways